10 May 2007
OF GLOBAL MARKETING AGENT
White Energy Company Limited (White Energy (ASX: WEC)) today announced BHP Billiton has agreed to provide a US$35 million 7 year unsecured convertible funding facility. A Term sheet has been signed subject to formal documentation, completion of due diligence and internal approvals on both sides.
Under the terms of the facility, US$7.5 million of the facility must be converted into ordinary shares in White Energy by September 2008 at a 10% discount to the then prevailing market price subject to a floor of $2.45 per share. Further, BHP Billiton also has the right to convert up to another US$12.5 million into ordinary shares in White Energy over the next 4 years essentially at the then prevailing market price subject to a floor of $2.55 per share.
The US$35 million committed, long term unsecured convertible funding facility is to be used to accelerate the roll out of White Energyâ€™s patented coal technology. Interest on the loan is fixed at normal commercial rates however there is a moratorium on any interest or principal repayments for the first 4 years of the facility.
White Energy also announced that as part of the agreement BHP Billiton will act as White Energyâ€™s exclusive global marketing agent for its upgraded export coal produced through White Energyâ€™s coal technology plants.
BHP Billiton and White Energy are also continuing to discuss ways of working together to apply White Energyâ€™s coal upgrading technology to certain of BHP Billitonâ€™s sub bituminous coal deposits.
White Energy Managing Director, Mr John Atkinson, said: â€œTodayâ€™s agreement with BHP Billiton is a positive step for the Company. The provision of this convertible funding facility by BHP Billiton and our recent joint venture activity reflects well on our patented, environmentally friendly coal upgrading technology developed by the CSIRO. We look forward to working with BHP Billiton from both a development perspective and also in having access to their expertise and global reach in the marketing of our upgraded coal.â€
White Energy is the exclusive worldwide license holder of the binderless coal briquetting process that enhances relatively poor quality coal and significantly increaseâ€™s its energy efficiency. The process has two major benefits: it results in substantial transportation and operational cost savings and it creates significant environmental benefits.
Competitive, independently verified technology â€“ the White Coal Technology was developed by CSIRO in conjunction with TraDet Inc, K.R. Komarek Inc and The Griffin Coal Mining Company Pty Ltd. Independent tests, by both expert engineers and coal producers, have proven the process to be more cost and operationally efficient than competing technologies.
For further information contact:
White Energy Company Limited.
Tel: + 61 2 9251 1311