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Edited Transcript of NEL.OL earnings conference call or presentation 27-Feb-19 7:00am GMT

Q4 2018 Nel ASA Earnings Call

Mar 8, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Nel ASA earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 7:00:00am GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Bent M. Skisaker

Nel ASA - CFO

* Jon Andre Løkke

Nel ASA - CEO

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Conference Call Participants

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* Mikkel Nyholt

Carnegie Investment Bank AB, Research Division - Analyst of Industrials, Construction and Infrastructure

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Presentation

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Jon Andre Løkke, Nel ASA - CEO [1]

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Okay. Welcome everyone, and well, welcome to this fourth quarter presentation for now. Welcome to everyone also following this over the web. As usual, we will go through the presentation and then finish off with some questions and answers. And this time since Bjørn is in Japan representing now at the FC Expo, Bent will sit ready to take questions. And if you want to write in your questions, you can do that already now.

We'll go through the normal fourth quarter highlights. We will talk a bit about how we are positioning our company and our organization for the future development. We need to continue to build the capabilities and the competency in the organization. We will cover some important market trends and how we basically respond to those trends, and then we will try to summarize all of the various events that has happened during the quarter and also after the quarter.

Let's start off with the highlights. In terms of top line, we gave you some guidance on the 30th of January and that we are slightly better than the guidance. The revenue growth is not still where we would like it to be, so we still keep pushing on that. We talked about that also last quarter. But there was a lot of other events that happened both during the quarter and after the quarter.

We started off the quarter with the announcement related to Alstom, where we were selected as partners in the consortium to support them to deploy hydrogen trains in the northern part of Germany. We received 2 additional station orders in Norway. We received station orders in Netherlands, together with the framework agreement from Shell, a new agreement. We received an E.U. grant related to developing a next-generation fueling stations for heavy-duty applications. We got awarded a grant under the PILOT-E program together with the Yara to develop green ammonia.

Then we had the -- after the quarter, we had the second order from Shell related to heavy-duty, this time slightly more than $6 million. We undertook a private placement and raised NOK 460 million in gross proceeds. We were suggested for funding in Korea for 2 more stations. And last but not least, we signed the agreement in Korea related to selling PEM electrolysis to fuel Hyundai trucks. So a lot of things to talk about and we will go through all of these elements in more detail through the presentation.

In terms of financial highlights, as I said, we gave you some guidance on the 30th of January. We are slightly better on revenues and EBITDA. We are, as I said, still not happy with the revenue, the growth. We keep pushing that and also we use some initiatives a bit later to be able to get that. But that larger results in -- slow down the orders in the second half of 2018 in the United States from our PEM Proton business. And we also talked about that last quarter.

In terms of EBITDA, we still carry a lot of additional cost. We are building a company that is expanding into new regions. And that obviously carries cost before we see revenue. So we will continue to carry some of this growth cost. But when we adjust for that, we have a negative EBITDA around NOK 18 million. In terms of funding, clearly we are now very well funded after the capital raising that we did at the end of January.

So let me talk a bit about how we are now evolving the organization to be able to handle the bright future that we see in hydrogen. But first, a quick reminder of where we are and who we are. We are now increasingly becoming a global company. We have production facilities in the U.S., in Norway, in Denmark. We have teams and people in place in California, in Korea, in China, in Japan, and in addition to a few other countries in Europe. We have sold electrolysis now to around about 80 countries. And if you count South Korea, we will have sold fueling station to 10 countries.

So how do we evolve the organization? How do we make sure that we have the competences and the capabilities in the organization to be to handle what is actually lying ahead of us in terms of growth and deployment? Well, we're doing a number of things to do that. So we are basically building an organization that is going to be able to take us through the next phase of development. In terms of finance function, we are adding, strengthening that. We are adding a new corporate project function, and I'll explain all of these in more detail in the next slide.

We are adding legal -- group legal function. We are improving the way we communicate in terms of IR, PR and corporate communication, maybe more importantly how we speak more efficiently to the political community about what we are trying to do. We are building a stronger business development and corporate strategy function. And we're doing new things on how to boost and accelerate sales, we're basically trying to reposition that; more focused on products, standard products, pushing that. And then we are freeing up time for our technology CTO so that we can get a better coordination and follow up of that.

So the way that we will be organized going forward, we will have 6 supporting functions and we will have 2 divisions with full profit and loss responsibility. I've already mentioned the finance function, which largely will remain the same except that we will add more resources. But we have hired [Hamsida] in the corporate project function. Hamsida comes from Kvaerner. He has been basically working in with large oil and gas projects his entire life and is really used to doing large projects. He has the project model in his -- in the way that he works.

And as you know, we had some challenges with some projects in the past. We think that this is really going to make us have a much more robust execution of projects. He will obviously be responsible for the whole Nikola project, which is goes across the entity. So it's important to kind of strengthen that. And he will bring his framework and the way that he works and the way that he works for the suppliers and follow up schedule and cost with him. So that's going to be good.

We also recently hired (inaudible) on legal. He comes from Nexans. He is used to negotiating very large infrastructural contracts. He will be able to help us with all the legal agreements, be able to handle the risk elements in the contracts in a different way than we have in the past, and obviously will give us free up time, management time.

We have now concentrated Bjørn's activities around corporate communication and IR. And maybe more importantly, how we push the story into the political communities when we had meetings with central politicians in the European Commission. We are talking to ministers in Norway. We're basically trying to push the -- push our story, this is the way we would like to run hydrogen and deploy it in different areas in a different way, and be even more responsive and in terms of marketing our brand, both internally and externally. So we are also adding resources in that function.

In terms of business development, the corporate strategy, we're adding resources also there so that we can be more efficient when we want to move into new market if we want to set up a joint venture, if we want to go into a corporation, that we have more, what should I say, resources to be able to deal with all of these processes. And then we are establishing a new function called strategic projects and key account management. And this function is going to coordinate some of these large strategically important projects and the way that we qualify these projects, bring them in and follow them up in addition to the key account function. So dedicated key accounts which is sitting out in the organization, but are coordinated centrally for Nikola, for Shell, for [NG], and for many of these other really important activities where we have multiple interfaces.

So we think that that is going to be a very good supporting functions. And then we are moving sales of standard products back underneath the divisions, so the divisions will have full P&L and responsibility. That will allow us to coordinate sales very closely with operations so that they know exactly what they need to sell and get out of the door before we end the quarter. And we will be able to get even stronger push on selling and filling up the pipeline, basically making sure that our factories are fully loaded. And I think that's critically important to be able to drive cost reductions and improvements. So we are very optimistic related to how we are going to organize this. We believe that this will be an important part to make the company capable of basically going through the next phase of development.

So let's talk a bit about the market trends that we see and how we respond to these market trends. We have been historically operating in a niche market. We have served the food with renewable hydrogen. We have showed the food industry, glass industry, polysilicon, some laboratories, obviously power generation for cooling, life support, some of these elements. The really big new markets, as you know, is mobility and what we call Power-to-Gas where you take green electricity, turn it into green hydrogen and using it for a number of different applications. In terms of mobility, it's not only about cars anymore, it's about a whole range of different applications and it's about becoming now more and more competitive with petrol and diesel with our solutions when you run your application.

So let's cover the mobility part first. I mean, a few years ago, we only talked about cars. But now we see all of these different kinds of applications. We see trains, we see fast ferries, buses, freights transport, even ships are looking into this, obviously trucks, forklifts and traditional ferries. And this development is going faster than we had expected. The development in cars, yes, it's probably going slower than we have expected. But this development, I mean these applications are going faster. That means that we need to respond to that and that is one of the reasons why we also raise the equity.

Now when you look at the list on the right-hand side, you see the benefits that hydrogen brings to the table. And we think that hydrogen is the best zero-emission solution for many of this application. You get the low weight, high energy density. You get the fast fueling at the long range. And you are able to -- you don't need to build out a completely new set of infrastructure to be able to support deploying hydrogen application. So this is an important development.

And when we look at how freight is supposed to develop over the next number of years, we see that freight is actually stipulated to more than double in the coming periods. 47% of the CO2 emissions on transport is coming from heavy-duty transportation. And obviously we cannot rely on fossil fuels to cover all of these -- all of this growth. So this is an area where there is an increasingly political willingness and commercial willingness to find solutions. And as I said, we believe that hydrogen is the most promising alternative in terms of a zero-emission solution for these applications.

If you look to Norway, the last 15 years, what happened? Well, light duty fuels went down, but heavy-duty fuels went up. So look at the diesel. It's basically going up and stabilizing at the high levels. How do you reduce that? How do you take that away and significantly reduce that? And that's what the political communities are looking at increasingly and is one of the underlying trends for why we see the changes that we see.

And we believe that we already have the solution. This is the solution. If you can deliver hydrogen in the bus depot at the side of the ferry or next to the heavy-duty truck at NOK 50 per kilo, you are more than competitive in terms of petrol and diesel. And how do you do that? Well, you then get access to renewable electricity at around about NOK 40 per kilowatt hour, which is not very difficult in Norway and in many other places. You deploy a 20-megawatt electrolyzer solution, which is relatively low cost and very efficient because it's made for industrial applications. And you can now deploy that on mobility applications.

You can produce them up to 8-tons of hydrogen per day. You move the hydrogen by using the latest and greatest transport solutions. You can now truck up to 1.5 ton of hydrogen in each container. 1.5 ton of hydrogen is 50,000-kilowatt hours of energy, which you can move in a container. And you then either plugin the container with the ferry or you install a dispenser in the bus depot or next to the heavy-duty port and you deploy your hydrogen. And we believe that this is the way to do it and be able to deliver very efficient solutions for heavy-duty applications.

And what happens then? Well, then you basically have a hub where you produce hydrogen and you can serve a whole range of different applications. You can serve buses, trains, cars, ferries, everything within a 2 1/2 hour radius, you can serve with this solution. Why 2 1/2 hours? Well, because the driver needs to go out, disconnect his container, pick up the empty one, go back again in one shift. And then, you could basically look at how many of these circles do you need? Well, to cover the whole of south of Norway, maybe you need 4 or 5 of these hubs. And then you basically can address all of these applications and allow them to come naturally evolve into fruition in these areas.

And so this is basically what we are working on. We are working on the first hub to see if we can get traction on deploying this type of shared infrastructure. And that's the key word here, shared infrastructure. It's not a dedicated fast charging for one application. It's one infrastructure that can cover a whole range for different applications. And that's one of the beauties of the hydrogen solution.

So we believe that we have a leadership in technology in terms of fueling. But the trend means that we need to step up. We need to push more hydrogen faster. I mean historically we have fueled 5 kilos in 3 to 5 minutes. Now we need to fuel 50 kilos in 10 minutes. So it's a different game. So we need to upgrade our technology and that is basically what we are initiating these days to remain in a leadership position.

If we then turn around and look at the other big market, which is the Power-to-X, we see green electricity as the key driver; the renewable energy becoming cheaper, turn it into green hydrogen, renewable hydrogen, and you can use it in many applications. And these are some of the examples. And also here, we are involved directly or indirectly in all of these categories or project. Some projects are very far -- is far at the time, some projects are more mature. It's the same on the transportation side. We are involved directly or indirectly in all of these -- all of the categories that I showed you.

Here, for example, starting with ammonia up in the top left corner, we are working with Yara as you know. We are working with refineries to introduce the hydrogen there. We are working with a few methanol projects. We are supporting to [Sodol] and [T-seer] when they are reinitiating their initiatives from green hydrogen. We are working with SSAB on steel. We are exploring how we can remotely power islands. You've heard the talk about small bodies obviously far out in time, but there are other islands smaller, which are also working on different hydrogen applications.

Power-to-Gas, we are involved in a number of projects on that. Export through the hyper project, we are working on how can we export renewable hydrogen and renewable power to other countries. And then increasingly fish farming is sailing up as an interesting market. So all of these applications you should watch out for and will come at different speeds going forward. And that means that we also are stepping up our activities and technology development on electrolysis.

To remain what we believe in the leadership position, we want to both have a position -- strong position, continue position on alkaline, but we also want to build a position on PEM. We think it is important to have be able to offer both different technology for different applications, and more importantly have a technology hedge. We don't know exactly, if there is going to be a winner in 2030, who is going to be the winner. So we need to push, we need to push both. We are continuing to reduce cost of our alkaline through the expansions at Notodden. We are developing next generation through our work with Yara. And we continue to upgrade and upsize our PEM technology to be able to address even bigger applications. So that's what we will continue to do on that.

So that was a quick summary on market and how we respond. Let's move now into the update of the quarter and after the quarter related to the segment developments. As I said, we started out the quarter with the announcement related to the -- that we were selected as a partner in the -- by Alstom. We have a consortium where we support Alstom in the northern part of Germany in Schleswig-Holstein region.

We are working together with the consortium. Alstom -- there's no guarantee that Alstom will win, but they have obviously put in their bid and we will support them the best we can. But more importantly, it's a good relationship we have because Alstom trains is not only relevant in the northern part of Germany, obviously it's also relevant in other parts of Europe and even in Norway. So we will keep building on that. As we said last quarter on the quarterly presentation, in any case this is not relevant for revenue purposes before in 2021. So you should keep that in mind. We will come back to the development on that.

Then we got awarded the PILOT-E funding for our project together with Yara, future or green ammonia, green fertilizer. Here we will use -- continue to develop our high-pressure, large-scale electrolyzer technology, which will give us even larger capacity, hopefully lower cost, same efficiency level and even more flexibility. And it will be tailored to ammonia -- green ammonia production. So basically the input that we receive from our customer will then be able to -- we will built that into the technology so it works perfectly and will be a good solution for Yara in this particular case.

Making a green molecule, a green hydrogen molecule is obviously a drop in replacement for a fossil molecule. So this is from a concept point of view is a relatively easy switch. But the future of ammonia, Yara still was going to upgrade and have the next generation ready. So that is what we're doing. The theoretical potential of this market is massive. We're talking about $100 billion market just for this. More than half the hydrogen today goes into ammonia production. So it is a theoretical massive market and very important to have a finger on the pulse on what's going on there.

Last year just before Christmas, Enova -- or in Oslo and Norge and together with Enova launched 4 PILOT-E projects. And Yara -- and Nel was involved in 3 out of 4 directly with Yara, but indirectly through Hyon which is also I think interesting to mention in this context. So Hyon is working together with their partners with the 2 of the other 4 PILOT-E projects related to fast ferries and related to container ships, both going on hydrogen; one with [Newled] and the other one with some ship. The container ship is supposed to remove freight from road to sea and it's not a trans-Atlantic container ship solution, but it is a container solution, which will move between European countries.

Hyon is now positioning themselves as a competent center, resource center for all of these different applications within marine and are basically developing the solution that needs to go into the ships and that needs to go into the tank solution and the fueling solution. And obviously, we as partners, Hexagon, PowerCell and Nel, are supporting them in terms of the technology that they would need to execute on this. So they are making some traction and having some interesting developments.

In terms of the Notodden facility, we continue to work on the expansion plans there, the pre-engineering plans. We have put together a very strong operational and expansion team there. And when you put together a competent set of people and ask them to continue to work on a topic, they will very often find improvements. So they are now finding -- improving the case even more. I mean, cutting the cost even more. So we continue to work on that.

We will align the ramp-up of this facility with the demand from the customer. And obviously we add not only Nikola, but also all the potential customers on that. And we are a bit soft on exactly when we ramp up and that's because when we stagger all of this, we need to find out exactly how quickly we need to ramp up. But in the meantime, we don't waste our time. We do work systematically to improve, cut costs further and generate a very robust operational concept.

We signed the framework agreement with Shell before Christmas and at the same time we got appeal for 2 stations for the Netherlands. This is a project that is supposed to be installed in 2019, has a value around EUR 2.5 million. So it's a very nice good project and we are very happy to see that Shell continue to rely on our technology. This picture by the way is not from the Netherlands, it's from Citrus Heights in California. This is the first Shell station with Nel equipment that opened before Christmas. And as you can see, we have 2 dispensers, Nel dispensers standing back to back. So here you could fuel -- more than 1 customer can come at the same time and fuel at this site. So we are very happy as I said to continue to support Nel with their initiatives. Shell is one of the most aggressive energy companies when it comes to deploying hydrogen technology.

In terms of what is happening in Norway, we received Enova funding and a purchase order for 2 additional stations -- okay, we received Enova funding for 3 stations and we have got funding orders for 2. So now, all in all, we have received orders for 7 stations from Uno-X Hydrogen and Uno-X Hydrogen has received funding for 9 stations from Enova. So they are also moving forward quite nicely. The 2 later stations will go into Trondheim in the backyard of Enova. So hopefully, they will also be able to drive some hydrogen cars at Sandemoen and Hell. And we will come back to how that develops.

The interesting part with Uno-X here again is that they are also now seeing the trend move from light-duty to heavy-duty, from cars over to trucks and buses. So they are now also contemplating how can we respond to that. Maybe we also need to address heavy-duty in a different way. So that transition is also happening at the moment and we think that that is very good. We will obviously like to support them in that.

We got a grant in Denmark for developing the next generation heavy-duty dispenser solution, which is good. This is what we need to do to be able to support Nikola, fuel a lot more hydrogen very fast. So technology needs to be upgraded. And we also entered into an MOU together with some of the leading players around the globe related to developing the standard fueling protocols for how do you fuel a truck? What kind of dispenser? How fast? What is the temperature profile? What is the pressure profile?

And for us to work together with this consortium is good. I mean, we need the standards and we need to have our -- put our fingerprints on the solution. And when we can put our fingerprints on the solution, it's obviously better for us because we then make the equipment to support that solution. So we are very happy to be part of this very important work.

After the year, we also announced the contract with Shell. This was in connection with the equity raising on the 30th of January. This multi-dispenser solution has a contract value of $6.5 million. I think it's a very important confirmation on the trend that we've talked about, more and more things happening in heavy-duty.

Shell is working together with Toyota, as you know, on the -- in California. And this contract is part of the framework, and obviously has a potential beyond this order. So we are very happy to see that. The work has started immediately on the equipment. However, we have not exactly agreed on the timing for the installation yet.

Now we made some progress in Korea. We received notice that we were -- we won one of the bids that we made for 2 station solutions in the Gangwon Technopark area. So it's a project that has a value of close to EUR 3 million. We will now when we have received the funding and trying to negotiations with the end customer to be able to read on the details. The interesting part is that Korea has launched very aggressive, I must say, plans in terms of deploying hydrogen stations. They want to do more than 300 stations within 2022, which is not a very long time. So obviously very, very aggressive. And we would like to monitor this very closely and obviously support this very closely.

As you know, there is a special purpose company that is being set up in Korea. We have been suggested and have a board position in this special purpose company, now Korea has a board position. And we are obviously contemplating how to participate. We need to really keep our finger on the polls on what's going on there. We don't want to miss out on this opportunity. And when we see an aggressor that has aggressive plans like this, we need to really follow up closely. So we think we can come back to you with more information sometime late Q2 or early Q3 related to what is actually going on and how we basically are getting involved in details around the happenings in Korea. But keep your eyes on Korea.

Then last but not least, a few days ago we announced a contract with the Hydrospider, which is basically an H2 Energy company. There are also other partners behind which will be revealed in due time. They have -- are working with Hyundai to deploy heavy-duty fuel trucks, hydrogen trucks into Switzerland. They have so far reserved 1,000 trucks over the next few years. And this electrolyzer and the frame agreement that we signed for 30 megawatt is going to bring equipment that will produce the necessary green hydrogen for this particular project.

And for us, this was a very, very important project because we want to get in there and we want to basically get our hands on the business in Switzerland to be able to deploy a lot of equipment there. It also gave us the opportunity to deploy the first containerized PEM 2 megawatt electrolyzer solution in Europe. We have previously sold to the U.S. and we have sold to China, but we don't have a unit in Europe. And that means that we have also been successful in selling more of the U.S.-based technology into Europe, which has been something that we've been working on quite a long time. The U.S. team has been strong in the U.S. and the European team has been strong, but now we are selling technology across, which is also important.

There is obviously a potential beyond the 30 megawatt and there is also potential to take their concept into other parts of Europe. So these are all things that we are working on. But so far very, very happy to be able to work together with H2 Energy and Hyundai in terms of deploying this infrastructure.

So with that, we move over to the summary and outlook. Through our recent activities in the last quarter and into this quarter, we believe that we've been delivering on all of these 6 items to build our company for the future. We've improved the financing of the company. We have our strengthening in our global presence. We are taking steps in terms of technology leadership and cost leadership to even the cut costs further. We have proven that we are the preferred partner in more projects, both in electrolyzer and in fueling stations. And we are strengthening our commercial capabilities by also refocusing our sales strategy both on corporate and in the divisions.

So far we are delivering on what we promised. And in terms of outlook, we still need to highlight that when we build a company like now and we see from some of the media from time to time that haven't really understood, that it actually does cost money to move into new markets and basically expand. So you have to also for the future expect that that will have a negative impact on EBITDA. We continue to work on the factory at Notodden to deliver to Nikola and other customers. We are leveraging on what we see in terms of heavy-duty opportunities -- heavy-duty vehicle opportunities and increasing speeding up our technology development in these areas. We are developing next-generation electrolyzers for new industrial applications, for example ammonia, refineries, and we keep pushing technology cost reductions on existing platforms.

We continue to explore how to move into China. We are also collaborating on the H2Bus Europe project and we will see news on that. As a matter of fact, we sent out an invitation just a few days ago. We will reveal who is the partners behind and it will happen on the 21st of March in connection with the big transport exhibition in Denmark. So there will be news on H2 Energy collaboration. And we see significant tender activities in both electrolyzers and fueling stations, and we continue to build a strong pipeline for the future.

So that was the outlook. And with that, I think we will move over to questions and answers. And normally maybe we -- if there is no immediate in the room, typically it make sense to take a question from the web first to kind of warm up. Bent?

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Questions and Answers

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Bent M. Skisaker, Nel ASA - CFO [1]

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Yes. I have one question here about Nikola. The Nikola World is coming up quickly. When will we see the first orders?

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Jon Andre Løkke, Nel ASA - CEO [2]

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So let me just remind everyone that we have seen the first orders already, not for commercial station, but we have in total received the orders for between $10 million and $11 million from Nikola. And they are -- and part of that was for engineering work, part of that was for demo stations. And the equipment for the demo stations is on the ground and is being installed; not everything, but the first demo station that will be used for the Nikola World event. And they will obviously like to fuel their truck in connection with this event using this station. We will be there. We will participate in the event and hopefully show off the equipment together with Nikola.

When it comes to the commercial stations, we are obviously in dialogue with Nikola also related today to that. But it's not for us to announce their ramp-up schedule and when the orders are coming. They need to announce that themselves. And that we will support them. We -- as I said, we are working on exact timing on the exact location of the commercial stations and we'll have to get back to you on that. Should we -- is there a question in the room or should we take...

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Mikkel Nyholt, Carnegie Investment Bank AB, Research Division - Analyst of Industrials, Construction and Infrastructure [3]

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Mikkel Nyholt, Carnegie. I'm not going to ask you about the Nikola contracts. It's like you said that's up to Nikola, but you have a lot of good leads now in say Switzerland and South Korea. And obviously from the initial purchase orders here, there are expectations of lot more of those to come. Are you able to say anything on the timeline about the say adoption of the last 28 megawatts now in Switzerland and for South Korea, where there is an expectation of 300 fueling stations by 2022? That's like the same order you got every week from now until 2022. And from an outsiders point of view, it would make sense to deploy all the stations right away in order to sort of speed up the markets rather than going slowly, slowly, step by step. I understand that these are out of your control, but I mean you're closer to the decision makers than we are out here. So some thoughts on that would be very helpful.

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Jon Andre Løkke, Nel ASA - CEO [4]

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Thank you for closing on that note. It's out of our control. We obviously have our -- we try to do our best to push where we think we can influence and -- so we do that. We have a team on the ground in Korea. We have hired. We have taken one of the most experienced people which we hired from [Linda], which has also sold a lot of stations. So he is obviously very experienced local guy and he has his finger on the polls there. But even though we have our internal ambitions and our internal ideas, I'm not going to kind of try to set the expectations for when it will happen because no matter what I say, it will be wrong. Either I'll be too aggressive or I'll be too slow. So I don't think I'll do that, especially when it comes to Korea. When it comes to Switzerland, I think we are very happy that we now have been able to successfully conclude a long process with the contract and a framework agreement, and I think we should enjoy that for at least few more days before we kind of push additional equipment. And we need to make sure that this is now gets off the ground and we are successful in deploying this solution. And it's also about building the relationship that we have established. I mean, keep in mind, H2 Energy we have sold equipment to -- they are already running smaller units from now. But so sorry for not complying completely with your question. There's a follow-up, Bent.

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Mikkel Nyholt, Carnegie Investment Bank AB, Research Division - Analyst of Industrials, Construction and Infrastructure [5]

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So just to follow up on that one then. In terms of the market, what is your worst fears or your -- what are you most concerned about in terms of market growth?

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Jon Andre Løkke, Nel ASA - CEO [6]

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Well, we are impatient. I'm impatient. So we want to see everything move very, very quickly. But we do see that things are taking a bit more time sometimes. I mean, you see luckily, it's not the same all over the place. So we saw the car deployment has slowed down. I mean there's no doubt. But there are other parts of the market compensating for that. Now suddenly heavy-duty is going faster. We -- when we a few months ago or years ago or quarters ago to be exact, maybe looked at 1 or 2 markets for green hydrogen, we now see more markets coming, more projects coming, more requests. And more people are thinking about how can I make green ammonia, how can I make green methanol, how can I introduce green hydrogen into my refinery. So overall, even though there is a delay between when we receive the request and when you see the announcement, we see the list of requests growing massively. And we see the -- that's why we see the pipeline. We continue to say that the pipeline is all-time high. And that's because when we take all of these projects and add them together and maybe even put on a probability, we see that the pipeline, the weighted average pipeline is growing. And that is very comfortable for me because then I know that eventually things will fall out of the funnel. I mean, when you feed the lot into the funnel, something will come out the other end. But sometimes it takes a bit longer time than we would have liked.

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Mikkel Nyholt, Carnegie Investment Bank AB, Research Division - Analyst of Industrials, Construction and Infrastructure [7]

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And just purely company-specific, the expansion at Notodden is according to plan or...

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Jon Andre Løkke, Nel ASA - CEO [8]

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It is -- yes, it is according to plan. However, as we've talked about also the last quarter, we need to allow in exactly the ramp up. And we don't think we don't have to. We have some time. We have a few months to make sure that we build a robust solution to make sure that we explore further potentially improvements because it's not like we have to get product out the door from this. We already have 14 megawatt of capacity from the old line now, which has been upgraded. So we have a lot of flexibility in terms of timing exactly when we push the button, when we start to install the equipment, when we ramp up the facility. Okay. Anymore questions from the room? Should we attempt to see what is on the web here? Bent?

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Bent M. Skisaker, Nel ASA - CFO [9]

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Yes. There's a lot of questions here. But there are few ones going asking about the RotoLyzer. So here is a question. What is the timeframe for the new pressurized electrolyzer and the RotoLyzer?

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Jon Andre Løkke, Nel ASA - CEO [10]

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So in terms of the high-pressure electrolyzer, this is a very large unit that we are currently running demo solution. It's been running for the last 6 months. It's running very well at Notodden. We are lucky there because we have a test center, which is probably quite unique in the global context. We can plug in different applications into the same balance of plant. We haven't said anything about the exact timing of it, and I'm not going to do that now either. But you take the small unit, you make sure this runs successfully, you make a bigger unit. And that's what we are doing together with Yara and that's -- and then we want to test that unit together with Yara. And as I said, we have not talked about the exact timing of it. When it comes to the RotoLyzer, I probably forgot to mention that, but we are continuing to work on the RotoLyzer. We're testing it. We're testing a revised concept. We saw that the quality of the gas and the -- was good and the efficiency was good over the existing, but we needed to build a robust product that runs for hours and hours and hours without any interruptions. That project is also evolving. Keep in mind, RotoLyzer is purposely made or more for smaller applications, not for the really, really big ones. So even though the technology is moving forward, you don't forget some of these big industrial applications, which is relevant for the expansion at Notodden, which is relevant for the new high-pressure technology. I think that, and I've said this before also, it's even a bigger swing factor than potentially a success at the RotoLyzer, but the project is running forward and we are testing it and we have soon results of the next commercial unit. Anything else from the room or should we -- is there kind of another group of questions which we can kind of cover, Bent, or what do you think?

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Bent M. Skisaker, Nel ASA - CFO [11]

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Yes.

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Jon Andre Løkke, Nel ASA - CEO [12]

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Should we close?

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Bent M. Skisaker, Nel ASA - CFO [13]

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There are some on the financial figures. So here is one of them. The net loss of Nel is a concern. Losses to be expected in this phase of expansion, but when can we expect improvements in the balance between income and costs?

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Jon Andre Løkke, Nel ASA - CEO [14]

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Well, we've added lot of cost. We agreed to add a lot of cost to basically build teams in new markets, move into -- expand our capacity, prepare for ramp up. So we are -- we have decided not to guide exactly when we turn or exactly because we see that plans often change. Sometimes you think that you need this capacity and then you realize that you need this capacity, and then you need to adjust or you think that it's enough to go into this market and then suddenly you see 2 new markets and then you need to move into those. So therefore, when place, time, plans change, we don't want to set the hard limit on this is where because we think that that is maybe not the best solution for the company to remain flexible to act on what we see in the market I think is better. So I don't think I can contribute more than that. I think that's what we have time for. Thank you very much everyone for coming. Thank you for sticking with us and welcome back in -- when is it, Bent?

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Bent M. Skisaker, Nel ASA - CFO [15]

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The 7th of May.

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Jon Andre Løkke, Nel ASA - CEO [16]

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7th of May, welcome back. Thank you.