Famur hunts new non-Russia, non-coal business

Poland’s Famur says it is seeking new markets and customers after cancelling more than US$30 million of deliveries to Russia at the start of April and reporting a 4% year-on-year decline in mining equipment sales for the first three months of 2022.

The manufacturer, also aiming to replace thermal-coal mine sales with new energy business, reported 274 million Polish zloty (PLN), or US$65m, of revenues to the end of March, which was flat yoy, including PLN264m (US$62m) of mining revenue. Group net profit was PLN36m (US$8.5m) and EBITDA came in at PLN95m (US$22m).

The period saw Famur’s first photovoltaics segment revenue of about US$2.4m come in, offsetting the mining segment dip.

Famur president Miroslaw Bendzera said the company’s May 2021 decision to “change strategic directions and enter projects in the area of renewable energy sources” had it targeting buyers for large-scale photovoltaic farms, initially in Poland. In March it concluded a circa-US$100m project finance loan agreement to “finance and refinance the construction costs of PV farms”.

Famur is aiming to achieve about 70% of its revenues from sources unrelated to steam coal – its traditional primary market – by the end of 2024.

Bendzera said a March quarter that started “on a rather optimistic note” with countries lifting COVID restrictions and the company’s order book being rebuilt “ended … in an entirely new economic and political reality”.

“The war in Ukraine, the return of the pandemic in China and the resulting blockades, as well as the risks of slowing economic activity with escalating price increases have all left their mark,” he said.

“In the segment of mining machinery, which is our traditional field of activity, we will focus on looking for new markets and orders in other countries to fill the gap left by the Russian market.”

Famur said it received new orders in Q1 worth US$36m from Poland and abroad, bringing its order portfolio of machine contracts and leases to circa-US$140m.

“We continue to grow our portfolio of photovoltaic projects through the development of our own initiatives and purchases from the market,” Bendzera said.

“This brought us to nearly 1.9GW of estimated total capacity of projects at various stages of development as of the end of the first quarter of this year. In accordance with our assumptions for the development of the photovoltaic segment, we are also planning foreign expansion and we are currently in the process of organising operational and commercial structures, [including] in Germany.

“We are currently working on expanding our offer in the field of wind turbine gearbox overhauls and maintenance. Regardless of these activities, in May this year, we signed a letter of intent with EdF EN Group in order to develop a model of potential cooperation for the development and operation of projects related to wind turbines in Poland.”

Famur is also aiming to cut its manufacturing carbon footprint and “achieve measurable savings in energy costs”. It has commissioned 50kWp of PV panel installations in two production plants and has plans to install a 1MWp PV unit.


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