Camco says expanding U.S. carbon portfolio

Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:16am EDT

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By Nina Chestney

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - British low-carbon project developer Camco International Ltd. has expanded its carbon portfolio in North America, with over two million tonnes of emissions reductions under contract to date, it said in a trading update on Thursday.

"North America is an important pillar in Camco's global strategy, and we are pleased with the rapid progress the team has made," said Yariv Cohen, Camco president.

The firm's shares were little changed at 19.40 pence at 0855 GMT.

Camco said earlier this year it would focus on clean energy opportunities in east Asia and the United States.

It has been concentrating on the development of clean energy projects in the U.S. agricultural sector, such as anaerobic digestion and non-manure agricultural feedstock.

On Thursday, Camco said it has over 2 million tonnes of voluntary carbon credits under management in North America with over one million tonnes registered.

It has seven projects registered with the U.S. Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and another four projects on track for registration by the end of 2011.

It has also monetised over 100,000 credits from CAR agricultural projects to date through forward and spot transactions and anticipates further sales during 2011.

"We continue to develop a pipeline of additional projects accounting for more than 50,000 head of cattle in total and we are accelerating work on additional platforms to develop projects from other sources of organic waste," Cohen added.

PORTFOLIO

Peel Hunt cut its recommendation for Camco to 'sell' from 'buy' on Thursday and lowered its price target to 15 pence from 25 pence, to show consistency with peer Trading Emissions , it said in a note.

On Wednesday, Trading Emissions postponed plans to sell off its carbon portfolio after this year's fall in carbon offset prices, pushing its shares down to their lowest levels in more than two years.

Carbon prices have fallen steeply since June, with U.N.-backed certified emissions reductions (CERs) slumping around 20 percent this year due to fears about the over-supply of credits and on bearish policy and economic factors.

"Investors are clearly dissatisfied with Trading Emissions... There is a risk that this dissatisfaction spreads to Camco," said Peer Hunt analyst Andrew Shepherd-Barron.

"To date, Camco has signed some interesting deals (Khazanah, U.S. dairy) but they are early stage and pre-revenue and hence risky," he added.

Added to that, the analyst said Camco's U.S. business plans assume its project portfolio will be delivered successfully.

"The post 2013 portfolio, where we have assumed 12.5 euros a tonne CER prices and a 20 percent margin, (...) may prove optimistic given the track record of past disappointment in delivering against expectations as well as early year prices currently of 10-11.5 euros," he added.

(Edited by William Hardy)

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