UPDATE 2-Camco reports 2010 profit, targets Asia, U.S.

Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:42am EST

* FY pretax profit 10.1 mln euros vs 10.9 mln loss last year

* Sees emissions trading opportunities in California

(Recasts, adds CEO interview)

By Gerard Wynn and Adveith Nair

LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - British low-carbon project developer Camco International Ltd CAMIN.L swung to full-year profit and lifted sales ahead of turning its focus to clean energy opportunities in east Asia and the United States.

The company reported a profit of 10.1 million euros ($13.8 million) for the year, compared with a loss of 10.9 million euros last year. Revenue was up 8 percent to 30 million euros.

The company's shares were up 11 percent at 1430 GMT.

In a shift to clean energy from its core carbon offset business under the Kyoto Protocol, Camco raised $30 million cash last year in a joint venture with Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and acquired U.S. biogas projects, which use farm waste methane to generate electricity.

"In the clean energy project business ... we are focused only on south-east Asia and North America given that's where the main emissions are in the world and the biggest opportunities," Scott McGregor, chief executive, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Camco, which also has a carbon consulting business, would invest the new cash this year for projects to come on line next year and with full revenue expected in 2013.

Its core business is selling carbon offsets to rich countries struggling to meet carbon caps under the U.N.-backed Kyoto Protocol, whose first round ends in 2012.

Camco produced 8.1 million tonnes of offsets in 2010 under that market, worth 95 million euros at Tuesday's prices CEREZZ1, compared with 3.3 million tonnes the previous year, and expected that to rise further in 2011.

The company added it would benefit from a recent U.N. rule change where low-carbon projects under Kyoto would earn offsets from the date they were submitted for approval, instead of after approval, adding up to 12-18 months of extra emissions cuts.

The value of its U.N.-approved offset pipeline rose more than a tenth over the course of the year, to 31.7 million euros, and it also developed a new pipeline of 30 million tonnes for sale into Europe's emissions trading scheme after 2012.

The company saw new opportunities in emissions trading beyond Kyoto and Europe, especially in California.

California launches next year a carbon trading system where power plants and factories will have to pay for carbon emissions, above a certain limit, with a soft start where most permits will be allocated free. [ID:nN14290282]

Companies will have the option to buy carbon offsets instead of cutting their own emissions, and Camco said it was one of the biggest developers of approved offset projects.

"We expect over time for other states and other provinces in Canada to join that scheme, with potentially a third of North America," said McGregor, adding he expected to sell hundreds of thousands of tonnes of offsets into the scheme in 2012. (Reporting by Adveith Nair and Gerard Wynn; Editing by XXX) ($1=.7316 Euro)

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