Welcome to the 2008 Annual General Meeting of White Energy Company Limited. The general meeting materials provide an overview of the activities undertaken by your company during the year to 30th June 2008. I would like to take this opportunity to update shareholders.
The world’s financial markets and the forecast economic conditions in the major economies have deteriorated substantially since the publication of the Annual Report. While these changed circumstances create additional challenges for all companies, your Board is of the opinion that the opportunities arising out of the implementation of your company’s strategy continue to be real and growing. In this regard we are delighted to have announced the proposed joint venture arrangement with Black River Asset Management LLC (“Black River”), an independently managed subsidiary of the Cargill Group under which White Energy and Black River will jointly develop and commercialise White Energy’s coal upgrading technology throughout Africa. John Atkinson, the company’s Managing Director will update you on these developments and those in our other markets during his presentation.
The progress made during the course of the year has been critical to underpin your Company’s long term success. The aggregation of the achievements in Indonesia, China, South Africa and the United States in putting together a platform of investments with significant industry players provides a solid base to support the creation of a large and profitable business. We are fortunate that our technology is genuinely relevant to current energy market conditions. Coal will continue to play a critical role in the energy equation. Our upgrading technology is seen by us and other key stakeholders in the energy sector, whether coal producers or power utilities, as the leader in an elite class of workable coal upgrading technologies which has the capacity to significantly enhance both the economics and the environmental positioning of the coal supply equation.