Hydrodec Changes Top Exec, Focuses on U.S.


Chief Executive Ian Smale stepped down Dec. 4, and Chief Financial Officer Chris Ellis was appointed acting chief executive, the United Kingdom-based company announced.

Hydrodec said the change was by mutual agreement with Smale, who joined the company in 2012, and credited him with leading its expanded footprint.

Ellis appointment is for an initial term of up to 6 months, and he will hold the roles of both acting chief executive and CFO in the near term.

The board believes no immediate replacement for the role of chief financial officer will be required, as Chris will continue to work with the board and his finance team to ensure processes are in place to ensure his ongoing financial role is appropriately supported, Hydrodec stated in a news release. The company intends to commence an appropriate process to make an executive appointment to the board in due course as necessary.

In September, Hydrodec Group posted a $7.5 million loss for the six months ending June 30, compared to a $3 million loss during the first half of 2014. The ramp-up of key projects had been slower than expected, the company noted in its interim results report, adding that it continued to face, and react to, oil price volatility and difficult market conditions in the U.K.

Hydrodec Chairman Lord Moynihan said, The ongoing ramp-up to full operations in Canton, coupled with the recently announced long-term funding, are a platform for a strong focus on operational delivery and the next phase in the companys development. The board is grateful for Ians leadership through the recent difficulties, which we believe are now behind us.

Moynihan said 2016 will be an important year for Hydrodec, especially in the United States. With our Canton plant in production, the focus is on production and sale of transformer oil into the U.S. market, as this represents the key generator of cash in the company portfolio, he stated. We remain confident that the rebuilt and expanded plant has a unique market proposition and is well placed in 2016 to leverage the production of highest quality transformer oil produced in the U.S. Our objective remains to grow a profitable company and deliver value for shareholders through integrated used oil rerefining solutions based on market-leading proprietary technology.

An explosion and fire destroyed the processing unit of Hydrodecs transformer oil rerefinery in Canton, Ohio, in December 2013. In November of this year, the company said it settled with its insurers on a $20 million claim following the fire damage.

Hydrodec commissioned a rebuilt plant at the location in early June this year, with two of six newly built production trains in operation. By November, the company had announced it had started the fifth and sixth production trains at the rebuilt transformer oil rerefinery.

The company also operates a transformer oil rerefinery in Young, Australia.

In July, a Hydrodec subsidiary leased a 9-acre site in northwest United Kingdom for use in the first phase of its planned 75 million liters per year API Group II/II+ rerefinery. In August 2014, Hydrodec announced it signed engineering, licensing and technology collaboration agreements for the rerefinery with Chemical Engineering Partners.

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