AFC Energy (AIM: AFC), a leading provider of hydrogen power generation technologies, takes this opportunity to provide a further update on the impact of the COVID-19 virus on its business.
Plans are now being made for a return to the office for many staff towards the end of May, subject to Government guidelines and following the conduct of requisite workplace risk assessments.
Over the past two months, with no furloughing of staff, we have consequently seen no slow down across the science, engineering and manufacturing teams who are actively responding to new project development opportunities. Early on in ‘lockdown’, the Company took the decision to facilitate employees working from home whilst providing the flexibility to allow select staff to work from the office and laboratories where working from home was not possible. To this end, the Company acknowledges the continued efforts many of our staff have made to ensure the continuity of validation work in laboratories and manufacturing activities over these past few months, mitigating the effect the COVID-19 virus might otherwise have had on our business.
Since the Company’s last COVID-19 update in March 2020, AFC Energy has seen a rise in the number of commercial enquiries for its H-Power system driven predominantly by growing public awareness associated with an improvement in air quality and a reduction in pollution seen as a direct consequence of Government action plans to mitigate the local and global effects of COVID-19.
A pick-up in interest from construction companies in particular to address localised pollution deriving from diesel generators, along with the UK’s Non Road Mobile Machinery (“NRMM”) emission reduction regulations that come into play in September 2020. These enquiries, which range from outright system purchases, to plant hire, commercial scale field testing and distribution partnerships, have further evidenced industry’s continued emphasis on emission reduction and alternatives to transition away from fossil fuels. They further highlight the value proposition that AFC Energy’s H-Power system can bring to industry, particularly with its ability to utilise ammonia as a low-cost hydrogen carrier.
In addition to construction, several other industries, including EV charging and ports have also seen uplifts in the number of proposals we are working on at present. We are seeing a strong Government and industrial commitment towards large scale stimulus packages where fiscal commitment to green energy, air quality, pollution reduction and EV charging will further enhance new commercial opportunities for AFC Energy across its stated key markets.
The safety of our staff, their families, our customers and partners continue to be of paramount importance to AFC Energy and we have committed to do all things necessary to successfully mitigate the risk to health and safety during this time. We are pleased to hear that most of our supply chain have remained responsive over the past few months and are for the most part now returning to their offices to the extent possible.