UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
   
For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018
   
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
   
For the transition period from ______ to ______

 

Commission file number: 001-33522

 

SYNTHESIS ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

Delaware 20-2110031
(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
   
Three Riverway, Suite 300, Houston, Texas 77056
(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (713) 579-0600

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act:

 

Common Stock, $.01 par value NASDAQ Stock Market
(Title of Class) (Name of Exchange on Which Registered)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 of 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ☐ No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (Section 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer ☐ Accelerated filer ☐ Non-accelerated filer ☐ Smaller reporting company ☒

Emerging growth company ☐

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒

 

The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $24.6 million on December 31, 2017. The registrant had 11,022,283 shares of common stock outstanding on November 1, 2018.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

None

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  Page
   
PART I  
Item 1. Description of Business 4
Item 1A. Risk Factors 19
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 36
Item 2. Properties 36
Item 3. Legal Proceedings 36
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 36
   
PART II  
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 37
Item 6. Selected Financial Data 38
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 39
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risk 45
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 45
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosures 75
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 75
Item 9B. Other Information 76
   
PART III  
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 77
Item 11. Executive Compensation 80
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 89
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 91
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services 92
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules 93

 

 

 

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Forward-Looking Statements

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements and are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those risks, trends and uncertainties are the ability of Batchfire Resources Pty Ltd (“BFR”) and Australian Future Energy Pty Ltd (“AFE”) management to successfully grow and develop their Australian assets and operations, including Callide, Pentland and the Gladstone Energy and Ammonia Project; the ability of BFR to produce earnings and pay dividends; the ability of SES EnCoal Energy sp. z o. o. (“SEE”) management to successfully grow and develop projects, assets and operations in Poland; our ability to raise additional capital; our indebtedness and the amount of cash required to service our indebtedness; our ability to find a partner for our technology business; our ability to develop and expand business of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture in the joint venture territory; our ability to develop our business verticals, including DRI steel, through our marketing arrangement with Midrex Technologies; our ability to successfully develop our licensing business; the ability of our project with Yima to produce earnings and pay dividends; the economic conditions of countries where we are operating; events or circumstances which result in an impairment of our assets; our ability to reduce operating costs; our ability to make distributions and repatriate earnings from our Chinese operations; our ability to maintain our listing on the NASDAQ Stock Market; our ability to successfully commercialize our technology at a larger scale and higher pressures; commodity prices, including in particular natural gas, crude oil, methanol and power, the availability and terms of financing; our customers’ and/or our ability to obtain the necessary approvals and permits for future projects; our ability to estimate the sufficiency of existing capital resources; the sufficiency of internal controls and procedures; and our results of operations in countries outside of the U.S., where we are continuing to pursue and develop projects. Although we believe that in making such forward-looking statements our expectations are based upon reasonable assumptions, such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected by us. We cannot assure you that the assumptions upon which such forward-looking statements are based will prove to be correct.

 

When used in this Form 10-K, the words “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements for a number of important reasons, including those discussed under “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

 

You should read these statements carefully because they discuss our expectations about our future performance, contain projections of our future operating results or our future financial condition, or state other “forward-looking” information. You should be aware that the occurrence of certain events described in this Form 10-K could substantially harm our business, results of operations and financial condition and that upon the occurrence of any of these events, the trading price of our common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

 

We cannot guarantee any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this Form 10-K after the date hereof.

 

 

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PART I

 

Item 1. Description of Business

 

General

 

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (referred to herein as “we”, “us” and “our”), together with its wholly-owned and majority-owned controlled subsidiaries is a global clean energy company that owns proprietary technology, SES Gasification Technology (“SGT”), for the low-cost and environmentally responsible production of synthesis gas (referred to as the “syngas”). Syngas produced from SGT is a mixture of primarily hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane, and is used for the production of a wide variety of high-value clean energy and chemical products, such as substitute natural gas, power, methanol and fertilizer. Our current focus has been primarily on commercializing our technology outside China through the regional business platforms we have created with partners in Australia, Australian Future Energy Pty Ltd (“AFE”), and in Poland, SES EnCoal Energy sp. zo. o (“SEE”). Through AFE and SEE we believe we are developing energy and resource projects with the necessary commercial and financing structures to deliver attractive financial results. Our business model is to create value growth through AFE and SEE via the generation of earnings, from the licensing of our proprietary technology and the sale of proprietary equipment into those project developments, and through income from earned or carried equity ownership in resource and clean energy production facilities that utilize our technology. AFE and SEE endeavor to link long-term access to low-cost coal or renewable resources to the projects they develop as well as secure long-term contracts for product off-take thereby establishing the commercial and financing foundation for those projects.

 

Through AFE and SEE, we have established local expertise with knowledge of the markets and government influences in those regions and who have the expertise required for project development, project financing, and fundraising to deliver financial results for the platforms.

 

We believe our business proposition is compelling due to our ability to generate lower cost syngas in a clean and responsible manner utilizing coal, coal wastes, renewable biomass and municipal wastes for the production of clean energy and chemicals.

 

We operate our business from our headquarters located in Houston, Texas and our offices in Shanghai, China. Additionally, our partnership companies AFE and SEE have independent operations in Brisbane, Australia and Warsaw, Poland respectively.

 

Syngas as an Alternative to Conventional Energy Sources

 

Our syngas can provide a competitive alternative to other forms of energy such as natural gas, LNG, crude oil and conventional utilization of coal in boilers for power generation. Such competing technologies include reforming of natural gas for chemicals and hydrogen production, oil refining for fuels production, petroleum byproducts for plastics, precursors such as olefins and conventional natural gas, fuel oil and coal combustion in power generation equipment and other industrial applications.

 

 

 

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The competitive advantage of our syngas is primarily driven by the price and lack of availability of natural gas, LNG and crude oil. As such, our syngas can provide a lower cost energy source in markets where coal, low quality coal, coal wastes, biomass and municipal wastes are available and where natural gas, LNG and crude oil are expensive or constrained due to lack of infrastructure such as distribution pipelines and power transmission lines, such as Asia, Eastern Europe, and parts of South America, while conversely in markets with relatively inexpensive natural gas, LNG and crude oil, we do not anticipate new syngas capacity additions.

 

In addition to economic advantages, we believe our syngas also provides an environmentally responsible option for manufacturing chemicals, hydrogen, industrial fuel gas and can provide a cleaner option for the generation of power from coal as it minimizes both air and solid environmental emissions, in addition to utilizing less water.

 

Target Markets

 

World population is expected to increase by 1.7 billion reaching 9.2 billion by 2040 and global GDP is projected to average around 3.25% per year, broadly in line with growth over the past 25 years. The main driver of economic growth is increasing productivity which accounts for three-quarters of global expansion and lifts more than 2.5 billion people from low incomes. This places a large demand on energy. The stronger growth reflects the more limited scope for efficiency gains when oil, gas and coal used as a feedstock rather than as a source of energy, according to the BP Energy Outlook 2018 edition. While assessing target markets in relation to the deployment of our gasification technology into global projects, we believe our ability to produce a competitively priced and environmentally responsible syngas as an alternative to natural gas and LNG positions us as a syngas energy alternative that bridges between coal markets based on traditional coal burning and the growing natural gas and LNG markets. Thus, while coal is expected to decline as part of global energy consumption, natural gas and LNG are expected to dramatically rise over the same time period. We believe this shift from coal burning offers a compelling opportunity for our technology to utilize the lowest cost coals to produce a clean syngas which can be economically advantaged over LNG in markets where LNG imports are expected to rise such as Asia/ China and Europe.

 

Our syngas technology provides project owners with what we believe can be a very small environmental footprint related to harmful pollutants such as nitrous oxides, sulfur oxides, particulate matter, airborne mercury and heavy metals and is an efficient and responsible user of water resources. However, we face challenges with the growing anti-coal sentiment primarily in the western world where we are doing business in Australia and the European Union. New government regulatory concepts under discussion and review in these regions have the potential of halting all know forms of coal to energy utilization due to caps and penalties related to CO2 generation. We believe we address this new challenge through utilizing our technology’s ability to blend renewable solid feedstocks with coal or by using only renewable solid feedstocks. We also work to educate the market place regarding our syngas technology’s ability to separate and capture significant amounts of CO2 for utilization in other processes.

 

Against this market backdrop, we believe there is potential for increasing demand for new global syngas capacity from coal conversion technologies such as ours. We can see the acceleration of interest in syngas as an energy source by examining the number of global projects either under construction or planned through 2019

 

 

While traditional uses of gasification technology have predominantly been driven by the chemicals industry, we believe new growth will be within the chemicals industry but will also come from utilization of syngas as a source of industrial fuel gas, SNG and power generation. For example, the global share of energy for power generation is expected to rise to 47% by 2035, according to the BP Energy Outlook 2017 edition, as consumer preference shift towards electricity. Our technological ability to utilize coal in a clean manner to produce syngas for either power generation or a replacement alternative for natural gas and LNG affords us the opportunity to be part of meeting these global energy needs.

 

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We believe that our technology is well positioned to be an important solution that addresses the market needs of the changing global energy landscape. Our gasification technology is unique in its ability to provide an economic, efficient and environmentally responsible alternative to many energy and chemical products normally derived from natural gas, LNG, crude oil, and oil derivatives.

 

Our target markets focus primarily on lower quality coals, biomass and municipal waste where our gasification technology allows energy in the widest range of feedstocks to be unlocked and converted into flexible and valuable syngas. We offer a compelling advantage because of our ability to use such a wide range of solid fuel natural resources. Without our technology, regions where lignite coal, high moisture coal, high ash coal and/or high fines coals exist may face technology barriers which will prevent those resources from being used in energy production. Our technology can transform most of these natural resources into a valuable and flexible syngas product. This clean syngas product can then be used in place of natural gas and oil for making most energy and chemical products.

 

Our primary focus is on the Australia and Eastern Europe markets through AFE and SEE where each have unique market dynamics where we believe we can deploy our technology into projects and provide the investment returns critical to our future success and growth.

 

Because of these market dynamics, we believe our gasification technology has broad strategic importance to:

 

1)Countries and regions with developing economies which have their own low cost domestic coal resources or easy access to imported low cost coal. Such countries and regions need access to low cost clean energy and chemical products to grow and, in some cases, to provide basic necessities that improve the health and well-being of their populations. These regions have limited access to affordable alternate energy sources like natural gas and oil and can benefit from economic growth by using the lowest cost energy resources such as low cost domestic or imported coal for the production of vital products. Many Asian countries expect to see a surge in expensive imported LNG and a need to utilize their domestic coal to meet their energy product demand increase.

 

2)Countries which possess significant low-cost coal resources such as Australia and those in South America and Eastern Europe which also have a strategic need and desire to produce clean and affordable energy and chemicals from their own domestic resources.

 

3)Existing operating companies which deploy their own technologies for energy and/or chemicals production or who rely upon oil and natural gas for their industrial applications. These technologies have been well established for use with oil and natural gas resources but are constrained from growing in parts of the world where the oil and natural gas feedstocks are either not readily available due to missing infrastructure and/or very expensive such as LNG in much of Asia. Integrating those established technologies with our technology opens these technologies to a new low cost natural resource in low quality coals thereby transforming the economic opportunity. Such is the case for example in producing power, methanol, DRI steel product, ammonia and urea for fertilizers and many transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

 

4)Developed countries such as the United States and Western Europe who are searching for a viable solution for growing biomass and municipal solid waste disposal issues and could also benefit from additional renewable resources.

 

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Competition

 

Our technology offers an economical and cleaner approach for conversion of coal into energy and chemicals through our ability to economically gasify a wide range of solid-form natural resources including biomass, low quality coals, high quality coals, and coal wastes. We are not aware of commercially available gasifiers with such a wide range of feedstock flexibility. Our gasification technology operates efficiently with high ash and high moisture coals without coal rejection due to particle size and without the formation of tars and oils present in the technology of our competitors.

 

While our technology has been proven to be commercially viable, we are continually seeking to advance and improve our gasification technology, such as through our new XL3000 gasification system. We are continuing to work with our prospective customers to determine the suitability of their low rank coals for our technology through proprietary coal characterization testing and bench scale gasification tests. During the current year we received an additional patent for processes which were a result of our continued development of SGT. We have several additional patent applications pending relating to these technology improvements in addition to a number of other improvements to increase the gasifier availability and to lower the costs of the gasifier installation and subsequent operations.

 

Historically, the most predominant commercially deployed gasification technology providers have been: GE, Shell, Siemens, CB&I and Lurgi. Shell’s technology is now owned by U.S. based company Air Products. With the exception of Lurgi, these competitors utilized entrained flow slagging gasification technologies. The entrained flow technologies operate on more expensive high grade bituminous and some sub-bituminous coals as feedstocks, but lack capability with the more difficult low heating value, high ash and high moisture coals and with biomass or other renewable waste materials. We have seen what we believe are significant changes in the competitive landscape for gasification over the past few years. Primarily this has been reflected in the inability of these long standing traditional entrained flow technologies to meet the needs of the many of the new projects now in development because many of these projects owners are faced with the need to use much lower quality coals or renewable feedstocks. We believe this change in the competitive landscape is pushing SGT and other fluidized bed and moving/fixed bed technologies into the forefront for consideration for future projects.

 

The Lurgi gasification technology, a moving bed gasification technology, is capable of gasifying the lower grade coals, but has more restrictive requirements on feedstock particle size. The Lurgi gasification technology also generates tars and oils in the syngas that have to be removed prior to downstream processing.

 

Several types of simple fluid bed technologies are available. ThyssenKrupp (Uhde division) offers the High Temperature Winkler (“HTW”) technology and there are several versions of very simple, low pressure fluid bed gasifiers offered in Asia. While a number of HTW plants were built and operated, we are not aware of any in current commercial operation. All of these simple fluid bed technologies have more operating temperature limits than SGT, and none have managed to achieve the high conversions which SGT has demonstrated in commercial plants.

 

In addition to these, there are several Chinese gasification technologies that have been commercialized such as East China University and China Aerospace. The Chinese technologies commercialized thus far are derivatives of the historically commercialized western technologies mentioned above and generally fall into the category of entrained flow slagging gasification. To date, commercialization of these technologies has been primarily inside China.

 

The following chart details our view of the current competitive landscape and details the current technologies available on the marketplace, along with their competitive advantages and disadvantages.

 

SES Gasification Technology Competitive Comparison

  Biomass & Peat Lignite Sub Bituminous Bituminous & Anthracite Comments
SES Advanced Fluidized Bed

Good Economics

Good Efficiency

Low Capex

Low water use

Good Economics

Good Efficiency

Low Capex

Low water use

Good for high ash

Good for high moisture

Includes fine coal

 

Good Economics

Good Efficiency

Low Capex

Low water use

Good for high ash

Good for high moisture

Includes fine coal

 

Best Economics

Good Efficiency

Low Capex

Low water use

Good for high ash

Good for high moisture

Includes fine coal

 

SES Advanced Fluidized gasification maintains its efficiency across all feedstock qualities, has lower water usage and low Capex and Opex.  This leads to attractive economics on most of the world’s solid-form natural resources.
Simple Fluid Beds

Low Conversion/high feed cost

Good Efficiency

Low Capex

Low water use

 

Low Conversion/high feed cost

Good Efficiency

Low Capex

Low water use

 

Low Conversion/high feed cost

Good Efficiency

Low Capex

Low water use

Very Low Conversion/high feed cost

Good Efficiency

Low Capex

Low water use

Simple fluid beds cannot achieve high conversion and are more limited in range of acceptable ash fusion temperatures.

Entrained Flow

 

 

Excluded due to technology capability or to poor economics

Reduced Economics

Some are Efficient

Low to High Capex

Med to high water use

Not suitable for high ash

Not suitable for high moisture

Includes fine coal

Reduced Economics

Some are Efficient

Low to High Capex

Med to high water use

Some have moisture or ash limits

Includes fine coal

 

Good Economics

Efficient

Low to High Capex

Med to high water use

Not suitable for high ash

Not suitable for high moisture

Includes fine coal

Entrained flow technologies have been the most widely deployed over the past 4 decades.  These technologies tend to perform well and are best suited for highest quality coal resources. They can be large water consumers depending on coal feed type and syngas cooling systems used. Low to high Capex due mainly to variations in gasification heat recovery and integration designs.

 

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Moving Bed

 

 

Excluded due to technology capability or to poor economics

Acceptable Economics due to lower coal pricing

Good Efficiency

High Capex

High water use

Environmental issues due to tars and oils

Lump coal only

Excludes fine coal

Reduced Economics

Good Efficiency

High Capex

High water use

Environmental issues due to tars and oils

Lump coal only

Excludes fine coal

Reduced Economics

Good Efficiency

High Capex

High water use

Environmental issues due to tars and oils

Lump coal only

Excludes fine coal

Large installed base in South Africa and China.  Prior to SES technology, this was the High Capex alternative for low quality coal where entrained flow technologies were uneconomic.

Emerging

 

Transport Reactor & Other

Non- Commercial Non- Commercial Non- Commercial Non- Commercial Emerging technologies have very limited commercial plants in operation such as the transport reactor which is best suited for low ash lignite coals.  Many other emerging technologies attempting to gasify biomass and municipal wastes.

 

Barriers to New Competition

 

Historically gasification technologies have required many years and development costs on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars to reach credible commercial deployment. Because of the costs surrounding such development, gasification technology developed has been historically funded by users with strategic interests and significant economic resources such as major international oil companies or governmental entities looking at alternative clean energy solutions.

 

Most, if not all, gasification technologies have received significant government subsidies in the early research and development stages. Our technology has been highly developed by both GTI and us over the past 40+ years where the technology has been enhanced and commercially deployed. More than $700 million dollars have been spent in the development and commercialization of our SGT technology, including ~$200 million for the research and development required to develop the U-GAS® technology at GTI, ~$200 million of additional funding by us to further technology development and early commercialization, and over $300 million dollars from our Chinese partners and customers providing equity and debt guarantees for the commercial systems now up and running in China. We believe that the current range of available technologies leaves little incentive for development of new technologies, and emerging competition for everyone in the industry will focus on imitation and adaptation.

 

GTI Agreement

 

In November 2009, we entered into an Amended and Restated License Agreement, (the “GTI Agreement”), with the Gas Technology Institute, (“GTI”), replacing the Amended and Restated License Agreement between us and GTI dated August 31, 2006, as amended. Under the GTI Agreement, we maintain our exclusive worldwide right to license the U-GAS® technology for all types of coals and coal/biomass mixtures with coal content exceeding 60%, as well as the non-exclusive right to license the U-GAS® technology for 100% biomass and coal/biomass blends exceeding 40% biomass. We have the right to grant sublicenses, with the approval from GTI, for which we would then owe royalty payments to GTI based on an agreed upon rate schedule. Royalty payments to GTI consist of a minimum annual payment or variable rate payments per the rate schedules dependent upon license agreements, invested equity or carried interests, whichever is higher. The initial term of the contract was for 10 years with two 10-year extensions executable upon notice to GTI. In May 2016, we exercised the first of our two 10-year extensions available and now maintain the exclusive license through 2026.

 

Through 2026, we and GTI are restricted from disclosing any confidential information (as defined in the GTI Agreement) to any person other than employees of affiliates or contractors who are required to deal with such information, and such persons will be bound by the confidentiality provisions of the GTI Agreement. We have further indemnified GTI and its affiliates from any liability or loss resulting from unauthorized disclosure or use of any confidential information that we receive.

 

While the core of our technology is the U-GAS® system, we have continued to innovate and modify the process to a point where we maintain certain intellectual property rights over SGT. Since the original licensing in 2004, we have maintained a strong relationship with GTI and continue to benefit from the resources and collaborative work environment that GTI provides us.

 

Relationships with Strategic Partners and Business Verticals

 

As part of our overall strategy, we intend primarily to (i) work with our existing, AFE and SEE partnership companies to secure new SGT technology and equipment orders and develop energy, chemicals and resource projects where we would own an earned or carried equity interest in the project, (ii) monitor, support and facilitate our minority ownership interest in BFR in order to realize the financial value through dividend income or other means, (iii) work to recover cash and monetize our joint venture operations, Yima and Tianwo-SES, (iv) continue to seek value accretive partnerships to help us grow through strengthening our SGT delivery capability and through creation of new project opportunities and (v) taking necessary steps to utilize our existing cash reserves in the most financially productive means possible.

 

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In July 2015, we entered into a Project Alliance Agreement that expands our exclusive relationship with Midrex Technologies for integration and optimization of DRI technology using coal gasification. Midrex has taken the lead in marketing, sales, proposal development, and project execution for coal gasification DRI projects as part of the new project alliance. Midrex may also lead the construction of the fully integrated solution for customers who desire such an execution strategy. We will provide the DRI gasification technology for each project including engineering, key equipment, and technical services. The agreement includes finalization of an engineering package for the optimized coal gasification DRI solution. Prior to the Project Alliance Agreement, we also entered into an exclusive agreement with Tianwo-SES and Midrex for the joint marketing of coal gasification-based DRI facilities in China. These facilities will combine our gasification technology with the Direct Reduction Process of Midrex to create syngas from low quality coals in order to convert iron ore into high-purity DRI. Tianwo-SES Joint Venture will aid in the marketing of these DRI facilities in China and will supply the gasification equipment and licensing of the technology.

 

Current Operations and Projects

 

Australian Future Energy Pty Ltd

 

In February 2014, we established AFE together with an Australian company, Ambre Investments PTY Limited (“Ambre”). AFE is an independently managed Australian business platform established for the purpose of building a large-scale, vertically integrated business in Australia based on developing, building and owning equity interests in financially attractive and environmentally responsible projects that produce low cost syngas as a competitive alternative to expensive local natural gas and LNG.

 

On June 9, 2015, we entered into a Master Technology Agreement (the “MTA”) with AFE which was later revised on May 10, 2017 (as described below). Pursuant to the MTA, we have conveyed certain exclusive access rights to our gasification technology in Australia focusing on promotion and use of our technology in projects. AFE is the exclusive operational entity for business relating to our technology in Australia and AFE owns no rights to sub-license our technology. AFE will work with us on project license agreements for use of our technology as projects are developed in Australia. In return for its work, AFE will receive a share of any license fee we receive for project licenses in Australia.

 

On May 10, 2017, we entered into a project technology license agreement with AFE in connection with a project being developed by AFE in Queensland Australia. AFE intends to form a subsidiary project company and assign the project technology license agreement to that company and that company will assume all of the obligations of AFE thereunder. Pursuant to the project technology license agreement, we granted a non-exclusive, license to use our technology at the project to manufacture syngas and to use our technology in the design of the facility. In consideration, the project technology license agreement calls for a license fee to be finalized based on the finalized plant capacity and a separate fee of $2.0 million for the delivery of a process design package. License fees shall be paid as project milestones are reached throughout the planning, construction and first five years of plant operations. The success and timing of the project being developed by AFE will affect if and/or when we will be able to receive all of the payments from this license agreement. However, there can be no assurance that AFE will be successful in developing this or any other project.

 

If AFE makes, whether patentable or not, improvements relating to our technology, they grant to us and our affiliates, an irrevocable royalty free right to use or license such improvements and agrees to make such improvements available free of charge.

 

AFE provides indemnity to us for damages resulting from the use of the technology in a manner other than as contemplated by the license, while we indemnify AFE to the extent that the intellectual property associated with the technology is found to infringe on the rights of a third party. Either party may terminate the license in connection with a material breach by the other party or the other party’s bankruptcy. AFE may also terminate if we fail to diligently commence the process design package as contemplated by the license. We also provide a guarantee of all obligations under the license. If we are unable to fulfil our obligations under this agreement, AFE may terminate the agreement and be entitled to a full, irrevocable, and unencumbered license for the duration of its project to use without any further payment to us.

 

AFE has evaluated multiple project opportunities and is currently focused on three projects, all in the state of Queensland, targeted to produce a combination of syngas and methane for industrial fuel gas plus ammonia and electric power.

 

In 2016, AFE completed the creation and spin-off of Batchfire Resources Pty Ltd (“BFR”) (as discussed below) as a separate standalone company which acquired and operates the Callide thermal coal mine in Queensland.

 

In August 2017, AFE completed the acquisition of a mine development lease related to the 266-million-ton resource near Pentland, Queensland through AFE’s wholly owned subsidiary, Great Northern Energy Pty Ltd (“GNE”). GNE has a 100% ownership interest in the Pentland Coal Mine. GNE is currently finalizing the preparation of its Initial Advice Statement of the Pentland Coal Mine project to the Queensland Government for the development of the project for an initial 6.0 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) ROM coal operation, with allowance for expansion of the project for up to 9.0 million mtpa ROM coal operation. In its first phase of operation, 4.5 million mtpa of coal is planned for export to Asian markets with the balance of 1.5 million mtpa for feedstock to a future proposed coal gasification project. It is anticipated, based on current planning, for the project to be operational in 2022. A drilling program is planned to commence in late 2018 to expand the size and overall quality and understanding of the Pentland resource.

 

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In September 2018, AFE’s Gladstone Energy and Ammonia Project (“GEAP”) was formally announced in Queensland Parliament by Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Innovation and Planning, Mr. Cameron Dick and was declared by the Queensland Co-Ordinator General as a Co-Ordinated Project. A coordinated project approach also means that all the potential impacts and benefits of the project are considered in an integrated and comprehensive manner and the Coordinator-General’s decision to declare this project a Coordinated Project is expected to help streamline approvals and fast-track delivery of the project.

 

The project will be located in the State Development Area in Gladstone, Queensland and is planned to process 1.5 million mtpa of low-quality coal using SGT, to produce up to 330,000 mpta of ammonia product, and up to 8 petajoules of pipeline quality gas for the east coast domestic gas market. In addition, the proposed project will generate approximately 90 MW of electrical power, with approximately 25 MW of this being available for export to the local domestic grid. The ammonia and gas produced is to be used by major industrial users, including those focusing on agriculture, the mining industry and advanced manufacturing. The project is estimated by AFE to commence construction by mid-2020, with the first ammonia production proposed in mid-2022.

 

For our ownership interest in AFE, we have been contributing cash and engineering support for AFE’s business development while Ambre contributed cash and services. Additional ownership in AFE has been granted to the AFE management team and staff individuals providing services to AFE. In January 2017, we elected to increase our ownership interest in AFE by contributing approximately $0.4 million of cash. In August 2017 and March 2018, we elected to make additional contributions of $0.47 million and $0.16 million respectively to assist AFE with developing its business in Australia.

 

Batchfire Resources Pty Ltd

 

As a result of AFE’s early stage business development efforts associated with the Callide coal mine in Central Queensland, Australia, AFE created BFR. BFR was a spin-off company for which ownership interest was distributed to the existing shareholders of AFE and to the new BFR management team in December 2015. BFR is registered in Australia and was formed for the purpose of purchasing the Callide thermal coal mine from Anglo-American plc (“Anglo-American”). The Callide mine is one of the largest thermal coal mines in Australia and has been in operation for more than 20 years.

 

In October 2016, BFR stated that it had received investment support for the acquisition from Singapore-based Lindenfels Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of commodity traders Avra Commodities. The acquisition of the Callide thermal coal mine from Anglo-American was completed in October 2016.

 

In January 2018, the Minister of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy approved BFR’s mining lease application through to 2043 for Callide coal mine’s Boundary Hill South Project. The Callide mining tenure extends across 180 square kilometers and contains an estimated coal resource of up to 1.7 billion metric tons and saleable coal production averages 10 million metric tons per year. BFR is implementing its mining plan at Callide intended to lower the per unit mining costs and deliver profitable financial results.

 

SES EnCoal Energy sp. z o.o

 

In October 2017, we entered into agreements with Warsaw-based EnInvestments sp. z o.o. Under the terms of the agreements, we and EnInvestments are equal shareholders of SEE and SEE will exclusively market, develop, and commercialize projects in Poland which utilize our technology, services, and proprietary equipment and we share with SEE a portion of the technology license payments, net of fees, we receive from Poland. The goal of SEE is to establish efficient clean energy projects that provide Polish industries superior economic benefits as compared to the use of expensive, imported natural gas and LNG, while providing energy independence through our technological capabilities to convert the wide range of Poland’s indigenous coals, coal waste, biomass and municipal waste to valuable syngas products.  SEE has developed a pipeline of projects and together with us is actively working with Polish customers and partners to complete necessary project feasibility, permitting, and SGT technology agreement steps required prior to starting construction on the projects.

 

Tauron Wytwarzanie S.A., (“Tauron”), has contracted Poland’s Institute of Coal Chemistry (“IChPW”) to complete a detailed preliminary design assessment and economic study for the conversion of its 200MW conventional power boilers to clean syngas which would be Poland’s first SGT facility. The project feasibility study concluded in March 2018 with positive results. The results presented by IChPW to Tauron have shown that the conversion of Tauron’s 200 MW power boiler utilizing SGT can be both economically attractive and environmentally beneficial. We believe that SGT power boiler conversions are an ideal solution capable of meeting EU and IED targets.

 

For our ownership interest in SEE, we have been contributing cash and assisting in the development of SEE. SEE was initially funded in January 2018 with a cash contribution of approximately $6,000 and an additional funding in March 2018 of approximately $76,000.

 

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Yima Joint Venture

 

In August 2009, we entered into joint venture contracts and related agreements with Yima Coal Industry Group Company (“Yima”), replacing the prior joint venture contracts entered in October 2008 and April 2009. The joint ventures were formed for each of the gasification, methanol/methanol protein production, and utility island components of the plant (collectively the “Yima Joint Venture”). The joint venture contracts provided that we and Yima contribute equity of 25% and 75%, respectively, to the Yima Joint Venture. The remaining capital for the project construction has been funded with project debt obtained by the Yima Joint Venture. Yima agreed to guarantee the project debt in order to secure debt financing from domestic Chinese banking sources. We agreed to pledge to Yima our ownership interests in the joint ventures as security for our obligations. In the event that the necessary additional debt financing is not obtained, Yima agreed to provide a loan to the joint venture to satisfy the remaining capital needs of the project with terms comparable to current market rates at the time of the loan. Yima also agreed to provide coal to the project at preferential pricing under a side-letter agreement related to the JV contracts. To date, Yima has not provided coal at preferential price to the project and we do not believe Yima will do so in the future.

 

The term of the joint venture commenced June 9, 2009 at the time each joint venture company obtained its business operating license and shall end 30 years after the business license issue date, June 8, 2039. As discussed below, in November 2016, as part of an overall corporate restructuring plan, these joint ventures were combined into a single joint venture.

 

We continue to own a 25% interest in the Yima Joint Venture and Yima owns a 75% interest. Notwithstanding this, in connection with an expansion of the project, we have the option to contribute a greater percentage of capital for the expansion, such that as a result, we could expand through contributions, at our election, up to a 49% ownership interest in the Yima Joint Venture.

 

Despite initiating methanol production in December 2012, the Yima Joint Venture’s plant continued its construction through the beginning of 2016. In March 2016, the Yima Joint Venture completed the required performance testing of the SGT systems and successfully issued its Performance Test Certificate, which is the point that we considered the plant to be completed.

 

In 2016, the plant faced increasing regulatory scrutiny from the environmental and safety bureaus as the plant was not built in full compliance with its original submitted designs. In June 2016, the local environmental bureau requested that the plant temporarily halt operations to address certain issues identified by the environmental bureau. These issues affected the joint venture’s ability to receive its final operating and safety permits and were related to the original approval for methanol protein production and the original three JV business structure. This has been addressed and fully resolved and the three joints ventures were combined into one in November 2016. The Yima Joint Venture returned to operations in late November 2016 and in November 2017, the Yima Joint Venture completed the required safety testing and successfully received its safety production permit from the Henan government and it subsequently received the Industry Products License in May 2018, allowing for its products to be sold on the open market and an updated business license was successfully obtained in January 2018.

 

Since the plant restored operations in November 2016, it has had periods of running at full design capacity and periods of operations at lower levels of production. The primary operational issues have been related to operational errors, equipment quality that has caused increased downtime and the failure to secure coal supply. The plant experienced a 90-day period in which it operated at full capacity ending in August 2017. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, the plant produced 185,761 tons of pure methanol, its best fiscal year performance to date. We continue to see signs of overall improvement in operations, resulting in longer periods of production at design capacity.

 

In December 2017 and January 2018, on-going development cooperation and discussions with the Yima Joint Venture management resulted in the joint venture agreeing to pay various costs incurred by us during the construction and commissioning period of the facility in the amount of approximately 16 million Chinese Renminbi yuan, (“RMB”). As of June 30, 2018, we have received 6.15 million RMB (approximately $0.9 million) of payments from the Yima Joint Venture related to these costs. Additional payments may be forthcoming. Due to uncertainty, revenues will be recorded upon receipt of payment.

 

Tianwo-SES Clean Energy Technologies Limited

 

Joint Venture Contract

 

In February 2014, SES Asia Technologies Limited, one of our wholly owned subsidiaries, entered into a Joint Venture Contract (the “JV Contract”) with Zhangjiagang Chemical Machinery Co., Ltd., which subsequently changed its legal name to Suzhou Thvow Technology Co. Ltd. (“STT”), to form Tianwo-SES Clean Energy Technologies Limited, (“Tianwo-SES Joint Venture”). The purpose of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture is to establish our gasification technology as the leading gasification technology in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory (which is China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mongolia and Malaysia) by becoming a leading provider of proprietary equipment and engineering services for the technology. The scope of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture is to market and license our gasification technology via project sublicenses; procurement and sale of proprietary equipment and services; coal testing; and engineering, procurement and research and development related to the technology. STT contributed 53.8 million RMB (approximately $8.0 million) in April 2014 and was required to contribute an additional 46.2 million RMB (approximately $6.8 million) within two years of such date for a total contribution of 100 million RMB (approximately $14.8 million) in cash to the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture in return for a 65% ownership interest in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture. The second capital contribution from STT of 46.2 million RMB (approximately $6.8 million) was not paid by STT in April 2016 as required by the initial JV Contract. As part of a restructuring of the agreement described below, the obligation for payment of additional registered capital was removed.

 

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We have contributed certain exclusive technology sub-licensing rights into the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture for the territory pursuant to the terms of a Technology Usage and Contribution Agreement (the “TUCA”) entered into among the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, STT and us on the same date and further described in more detail below. This resulted in an original ownership of 35% of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture by SES. Under the JV Contract, neither party may transfer their interests in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture without first offering such interests to the other party.

 

In August 2017, we entered into a restructuring agreement of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture (“Restructuring Agreement”). The agreed change in share ownership, reduction in the registered capital of the joint venture, and the final transfer of shares with local government authorities was completed in December 2017. In this restructuring, an additional party was added to the JV Contract, upon receipt of final government approvals, The Innovative Coal Chemical Design Institute (“ICCDI”) has become a 25% owner of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, we have decreased our ownership to 25% and STT has decreased its ownership to 50%. ICCDI previously served as general contractor and engineered and constructed all three projects which utilize SGT in seven gasification systems. Equipment orders related to these projects were secured by our joint venture partner, Zhangjiangang Chemical Machinery Co., Ltd. The projects are located in the provinces of Shandong, Henan, and Shanxi, have been completed and are currently operating for the Aluminum Corporation of China.

 

We received 11.15 million RMB (approximately $1.7 million) from ICCDI as a result of this restructuring. In conjunction with the joint venture restructuring, we also received 1.2 million RMB (approximately $180,000) related to outstanding invoices for services we had provided to the Tianwo SES Joint Venture. The inclusion of ICCDI as an owner has the potential to enhance the joint venture’s bidding ability and we believe the joint venture will focus on securing larger coal to chemical projects as well as continue to pursue projects in the industrial fuels segment.

 

In addition to the ownership changes described above, the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture board of directors (the “Board”) was changed to consist of eight directors, four appointed by STT, two appointed by ICCDI and two appointed by us. All significant acts as described in the JV Contract require the unanimous approval of the Board.

 

The JV Contract also includes a non-competition provision which requires that the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture be the exclusive legal entity within the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory for the marketing and sale of any gasification technology or related equipment that utilizes low quality coal feedstock. Notwithstanding this, STT retained the right to manufacture and sell gasification equipment outside the scope of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture within the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory. In addition, we retained the right to develop and invest equity in projects outside of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture within the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory. As a result of the Restructuring Agreement, we have further retained the right to provide gasification technology licenses and to sell proprietary equipment directly into projects in the joint venture territory provided we have an equity interest in the project. After the termination of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, STT and ICCDI must obtain written consent from us to market development of any gasification technology that utilizes low quality coal feedstock in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory.

 

The JV Contract may be terminated upon, among other things: (i) a material breach of the JV Contract which is not cured, (ii) a violation of the TUCA, (iii) the failure to obtain positive net income within 24 months of establishing the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture or (iv) mutual agreement of the parties.

 

TUCA

 

Pursuant to the TUCA, we have contributed to the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture certain exclusive rights to our gasification technology in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory, including the right to: (i) grant site specific project sub-licenses to third parties; (ii) use our marks for proprietary equipment and services; (iii) engineer and/or design processes that utilize our technology or our other intellectual property; (iv) provide engineering and design services for joint venture projects and (v) take over the development of projects in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory that have previously been developed by us and our affiliates. As a result of the Restructuring Agreement, ICCDI was added as a party to the TUCA, but all other material terms remained the same.

  

The Tianwo-SES Joint Venture will be the exclusive operational entity for business relating to our technology in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory, except for projects in which SES has an equity ownership position. For these projects, as a result of the Restructuring Agreement, we can provide technology and equipment directly, with no obligation to the joint venture. If the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture loses exclusivity due to a breach by us, STT and ICCDI are to be compensated for direct losses and all lost project profits. We were also required to provide training for technical personnel of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture through the second anniversary of the establishment of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, which has now passed. We will also provide a review of engineering works for the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture. If modifications are suggested by us and not made, the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture bears the liability resulting from such failure. If we suggest modifications and there is still liability resulting from the engineering work, it is our liability.

 

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Any party making improvements, whether patentable or not, relating to our technology after the establishment of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, grants to the other party an irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty free right to use or license such improvements and agrees to make such improvements available to us free of charge. All such improvements shall become part of our technology and all parties shall have the same rights, licenses and obligations with respect to the improvement as contemplated by the TUCA.

 

The Tianwo-SES Joint Venture is required to establish an Intellectual Property Committee, with two representatives from the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and two from SES. This Committee shall review all improvements and protection measures and recommend actions to be taken by the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture in furtherance thereof. Notwithstanding this, each party is entitled to take actions on its own to protect intellectual property rights. As of June 30, 2018, that committee was yet to be formed.

 

Any breach of or default under the TUCA which is not cured on notice entitles the non-breaching party to terminate. The Tianwo-SES Joint Venture indemnifies us for misuse of our technology or infringement of our technology upon rights of any third party.

 

Synthesis Energy Systems (Zao Zhuang) New Gas Company Ltd.

 

In July 2006, we entered into a cooperative joint venture contract with Shandong Hai Hua Xuecheng Energy Co. Ltd. (“Xuecheng Energy”) which established Synthesis Energy Systems (Zao Zhuang) New Gas Company Ltd. (“ZZ Joint Venture”). The ZZ Joint Venture’s primary purpose was to develop, construct and operate a syngas production plant utilizing SGT in Zao Zhuang City, Shandong Province, China and producing and selling syngas and the various byproducts of the plant.

 

We initially owned 97.6% of the ZZ Joint Venture and Xuecheng Energy owned the remaining 2.4%. In June 2015, we entered into a Share Purchase and Investment Agreement, (the “SPA”), with Rui Feng Enterprises Limited (“Rui Feng”), whereby Rui Feng would acquire a controlling interest in Synthesis Energy Systems Investments Inc. (“SESI”), and a wholly owned subsidiary, which owns our interest in the ZZ Joint Venture.  Under the terms of the SPA, SESI originally agreed to sell an approximately 61% equity interest to Rui Feng in exchange for $10.0 million.  This amount was to be paid in four installments through December 2016, with the first installment of approximately $1.6 million paid on June 26, 2015. However, Rui Feng did not make any subsequent payments. This resulted in our majority ownership (approximately 88.1%) until we eventually restructured our ownership with Xuecheng Energy.

 

In August 2016, we announced that we and Xuecheng Energy entered into a definitive agreement to restructure the ZZ Joint Venture. Due to the Chinese government’s widespread initiative to move industry into larger scale, commercial and environmentally beneficial industrial parks, it became clear that the plant was no longer going to be allowed to operate in its current location. As a result, we retain an approximate nine percent ownership in the ZZ Joint Venture asset, and Xuecheng Energy assumed all outstanding liabilities of the ZZ Joint Venture, including payables related to the Cooperation Agreement with Xuecheng Energy signed in 2013. The definitive agreement took full effect when the registration with the government was completed on October 31, 2016. With the closure of this transaction, SES does not anticipate any future liabilities related to the ZZ Joint Venture. The ZZ Joint Venture was a very successful demonstration of our technology and its operational history and commercial operations helped provide the foundation for our technology, SGT.

 

During the second quarter of fiscal 2017, we deconsolidated the ZZ Joint Venture and began accounting for our nine percent investment in the ZZ Joint Venture under the cost method. The carrying value of our investment in the ZZ Joint Venture was zero at both June 30, 2018 and 2017.

 

Business Development, Engineering and Project Management

 

Management and Business Development Staff

 

We currently employ a staff of experienced management and business development professionals in both the U.S. and China that are focused on opportunities in our target markets. The management and business development team are focused on the disciplined development of new business for gasification projects, licensing opportunities and other technology products and services which maximize the advantages of our gasification technology. Members of the team have either led or participated in the development of multiple coal and natural gas power projects, coal gasification projects, chemical and gasification licensing transactions globally over the past three decades. In addition, we utilize consultants and our relationships with our strategic partners to further supplement our staff in developing relationships with potential customers.

 

Technology, Engineering and Project Management Staff

 

We have a capable and seasoned technology team, with skill sets ranging from detailed design engineering, project management and plant commissioning experience.  Our engineers leverage their gasification and process industry knowledge to continuously improve SGT using data collected from our commercial licensees and test platforms.  These improvements increase overall plant reliability, while reducing the capital and operating costs for our project partners, as well as develop core intellectual property for the company.  The team is engaged during the earliest stages of project development, allowing for more precise planning and optimization of the integrated technologies.  This provides a further competitive edge with respect to cost and project development cycle times.  In addition to our technology engineering team, we leverage our resource capability through partnering with international engineering and procurement companies with significant gasification experience.

 

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Business Concentration

 

Our assets in China accounted for approximately 52% of our total assets as of June 30, 2018, which includes our investment in the Yima Joint Venture and other miscellaneous assets. While our balance sheet shows a significant business concentration in China, we are primarily focused on developing our assets outside of China which we believe will be responsible for a large percentage of our financial results going forward.

 

Suppliers

 

China has rapidly expanded its industrial manufacturing and construction capabilities. This has reduced the cost and build time of traditional sources of supply. In China, through our strategic relationships, we have been successful in locating and contracting with a number of key suppliers of major equipment and services.

 

For projects outside of China, we plan to continue to leverage our strong ties and partnerships in China to provide low cost equipment and engineering into our projects. In locations where local sourcing is of value, we expect to be able to develop supply chain capabilities for our equipment utilizing experienced industrial manufacturing capabilities and low-cost sources of labor and materials that will benefit our technology.

 

Patents

 

We currently hold multiple U.S. and international patents and a number of pending patent applications, primarily relating to new technology developments that we have made to the U-GAS® technology, known as SGT. This includes our gasification process, the integration of our gasification process with downstream uses and the equipment design for our gasification facilities. Although in the aggregate our patents are important to us, we do not regard any individual patent as critical or essential to our business.

 

Prior to us entering into the GTI Agreement, U-GAS® had not been commercially deployed on coal above approximately 150 tons per day per gasification system nor had it been commercially deployed on coal using pure oxygen as a reactant or at elevated pressures. Today, we have commercially deployed the technology at a scale of 1,200 tons per day of coal feed using pure oxygen as a reactant and at pressures of up to 10 bar.

 

In addition, we also have new designs completed, with more in process today, and we are quoting gasification systems for customers that would increase our gasification capacity to approximately 3,000 tons per day of coal using pure oxygen as a reactant at pressures up to 55 bar. We have made improvements to the U-GAS technology which have either been patented, are in the process of patenting, or are held by us as trade secrets. In addition, we have several new improvements which are currently in development associated with designs of our higher pressure and higher capacity systems that will further enhance the efficiency of the gasification process or reduce capital or operating expenses.

 

Project and Technical Development

 

We may incur internal and third-party project and technical development costs related to the advancement of our gasification technology and related processes. We plan to continue certain development initiatives that support our strategies and project development activities with a goal of offering our customers the best and most efficient clean coal solutions.

 

Environmental Regulation

 

Our operations are subject to stringent national, provincial state and local laws and regulations governing the discharge of materials into the environment or otherwise relating to environmental protection. Numerous governmental agencies, including various Chinese and Australian authorities, issue regulations to implement and enforce such laws, which often require difficult and costly compliance measures that carry substantial administrative, civil and criminal penalties or may result in injunctive relief for failure to comply. These laws and regulations may require the acquisition of a permit before construction or operation at a facility commences, restrict the types, quantities and concentrations of various substances that can be released into the environment in connection with such activities, limit or prohibit construction activities on certain lands lying within wilderness, wetlands, ecologically sensitive and other protected areas, and impose substantial liabilities for pollution.

 

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Our facilities may require permits for or be constrained by permit conditions in relation to acceptable air emissions and wastewater discharges, as well as other authorizations, some of which must be issued before construction commences.  Issuance of these permits could be subject to unpredictable delays, contests and even, in some cases, denial or refusal.  Although we believe that there will be support for our projects, the permitting process could be complex and time consuming and the issuance of permits may be subject to the potential for contest and other regulatory uncertainties that may result in unpredictable delays. We are in substantial compliance with current applicable environmental laws and regulations and have not experienced any material adverse effect from compliance with these environmental requirements.

 

In addition, some recent scientific studies have suggested that emissions of certain gases, commonly referred to as “greenhouse gases,” may be contributing to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere.  In response to such studies, many countries are actively considering legislation, or have already taken legal measures, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.  Examples of such legislation and new legal measures include new environmental laws and regulations that could impose a carbon tax, a cap and trade program requiring us to purchase carbon credits, or measures that would require reductions in emissions or require modification of raw materials, fuel use or production rates.  In China, the Environmental Protection Tax Law entered into force on January 1, 2018, pursuant to which enterprises that directly discharge taxable pollutants within the territory of China and maritime space under its justification shall pay environmental protection tax. This legislation includes two appendices, one of which provides for the tax rate of different pollutants and the other lists taxable pollutants and pollution equivalent. According to this legislation, the environmental protection tax has replaced the pollutant discharge fee since January 1, 2018.

 

Carbon dioxide, (CO2), a byproduct of burning fossil fuels such as coal, is an example of a greenhouse gas.  Regardless of technology used in gasification facilities, there is carbon dioxide released whenever the syngas is cleaned and prepared for energy or chemicals production.  We believe that gasification is currently the most desirable technology for processing coal if CO2 emissions become regulated. This is because gasification and the adjacent syngas cleaning technologies separate the CO2 produced from the final products and thereby create a rich CO2 stream that can be captured, sequestered and/or sold. However, greenhouse gas regulations can add production and capital cost to all fossil fuel technologies and may require us or our customers to obtain additional permits, meet additional control requirements, install additional environmental mitigation equipment, or take other as yet unknown steps to comply with such potential regulations, which could adversely affect our financial performance. 

 

In 2013, the U.S. and a number of international development banks, including the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, announced that they would no longer provide financing for the development of new coal-fueled power plants or would do so only in narrowly defined circumstances. Other international development banks, such as the Asian Development Bank and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, have continued to provide such financing.

 

The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in December 1997 by the signatories to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), established a binding set of greenhouse gas emission targets for developed nations. The U.S. signed the Kyoto Protocol, but it has never been ratified by the U.S. Senate. Australia ratified the Kyoto Protocol in December 2007 and became a full member in March 2008. There were discussions to develop a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol after the expiration of its commitment period in 2012, including at the UNFCCC conferences in Copenhagen (2009), Cancun (2010), Durban (2011), Doha (2012) and Paris (2015). At the Durban conference, an ad hoc working group was established to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the UNFCCC, applicable to all parties. At the Doha meeting, an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, which included new commitments for certain parties in a second commitment period, from 2013 to 2020. In December 2012, Australia signed on to the second commitment period. During the UNFCCC conference in Paris, France in late 2015, an agreement was adopted calling for voluntary emissions reductions contributions after the second commitment period ends in 2020. The agreement was entered into force on November 4, 2016 after ratification and execution by more than 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Both Australia and the United States ratified the agreement. On August 4, 2017 the United States formally signaled its intention to withdraw from the agreement (although it has not yet withdrawn).

 

Enactment of laws or passage of regulations regarding emissions from the combustion of coal by the U.S., some of its states or other countries, or other actions to limit such emissions, could result in electricity generators switching from coal to other fuel sources. Further, policies limiting available financing for the development of new coal-fueled power stations could adversely impact the global demand for coal in the future. The potential financial impact on us of future laws, regulations or other policies will depend upon the degree to which any such laws or regulations force electricity generators to diminish their reliance on coal as a fuel source. That, in turn, will depend on a number of factors, including the specific requirements imposed by any such laws, regulations or other policies, the time periods over which those laws, regulations or other policies would be phased in, the state of commercial development and deployment of CCUS technologies and the alternative uses for coal. From time to time, we attempt to analyze the potential impact on the Company of as-yet-unadopted, potential laws, regulations and policies. Such analysis require that we make significant assumptions as to the specific provisions of such potential laws, regulations and policies. These analyses sometimes show that certain potential laws, regulations and policies, if implemented in the manner assumed by the analyses, could result in material adverse impacts on our operations, financial condition or cash flow, in view of the significant uncertainty surrounding each of these potential laws, regulations and policies. We do not believe that such analyses reasonably predict the quantitative impact that future laws, regulations or other policies may have on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.

 

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Australian Regulatory Matters

 

Native Title and Cultural Heritage. Since 1992, the Australian courts have recognized that native title to lands, as recognized under the laws and customs of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia, may have survived the process of European settlement. These developments are supported by Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) which recognizes and protects native title, and under which a national register of native title claims and determinations has been established. Native title rights do not extend to minerals; however, native title rights can be affected by the mining process unless those rights have previously been extinguished thereby requiring negotiation with the registered native title claimants or determined native title holders (as applicable) (and potentially the payment of compensation) prior to the grant of certain mining tenements. There is also federal and state legislation to prevent damage to and manage Aboriginal cultural heritage and archaeological sites.

 

Mining Tenements and Environmental. In Queensland and New South Wales, the development of a mine requires both the grant of a right to extract the resource and an approval which authorizes the environmental impact. These approvals are obtained under separate legislation from separate government authorities. The application processes can run concurrently and are also concurrent with any native title or cultural heritage process that is required. The environmental impacts of mining projects are regulated by state and federal governments. Federal regulation will only apply if the particular project will, or is likely to, significantly impact a matter of national environmental significance (for example, a water resource, an endangered species or particular protected places). Environmental approvals processes involve complex issues that, on occasion, require lengthy studies and documentation. Typically mining proponents must also reach agreement with the owners of land underlying proposed mining tenements prior to the grant and/or conduct of mining activities or otherwise acquire the land. These arrangements generally involve the payment of compensation in lieu of the impacts of mining on the land.

 

Australian mining operations are generally subject to local, state and federal laws and regulations. At the federal level, these legislative acts include, but are not limited to, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (Cth). Foreign investors into Australia may also require approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board.

 

In Queensland, laws and regulations related to mining include, but are not limited to, the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld), Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014 (Qld) (MERCP Act), Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) (EP Act), Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld), potentially the Planning Act 2016 (Qld), Building Act 1975 (Qld), Explosives Act 1999 (Qld), Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld), Native Title (Queensland) Act 1993 (Qld), Water Act 2000 (Qld), State Development and Public Works Organization Act 1971 (Qld), Queensland Heritage Act 1992 (Qld), Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 (Qld), Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld), Vegetation Management Act 1999 (Qld), Land Act 1994 (Qld), Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 (Qld), Fisheries Act 1994 (Qld) and the Forestry Act 1959 (Qld). Under the EP Act, policies have been developed to achieve the objectives of the law and provide guidance on specific areas of the environment, including air, noise, water and waste management. Increased emphasis has recently been placed on topics including, but not limited to, hazardous dams assessment, the protection of strategic cropping land, the assessment and provision of financial assurance and undertaking rehabilitation of mining activities. The MERCP Act commenced on September 27, 2016 and included significant reforms to the management of overlapping coal and coal seam gas tenements and the coordination of activities and access to private and public land. In November 2016, amendments to the EP Act and the Water Act 2000 (Qld) became effective and facilitate regulatory scrutiny of the environmental impacts of underground water extraction during the operational phase of resource projects for all tenements yet to commence mineral extraction. The ‘Chain of Responsibility’ provisions of the EP Act, effective in April 2016, allow the regulator to issue an environmental protection order (EPO) to a related person of a company in two circumstances; (a) if an EPO has been issued to the company, an EPO can also be issued to a related person of the company (at the same time or later); or (b) if the company is a high risk company (as defined in the EP Act), an EPO can be issued to a related person of the company (whether or not an EPO has also been issued to the company). A guideline has been issued to provide more certainty to industry on the circumstances when an EPO may be issued.

 

In New South Wales, laws and regulations related to mining include, but are not limited to, the Mining Act 1992 (NSW), Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 (NSW), Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 1961 (NSW), Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EP&A Act), Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000 (NSW), Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW), Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (NSW), Explosives Act 2003 (NSW), Water Management Act 2000 (NSW), Water Act 1912 (NSW), Radiation Control Act 1990 (NSW), Heritage Act 1977 (NSW), Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW), Crown Lands Act 1989 (NSW), Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Act 2008 (NSW), Fisheries Management Act 1994 (NSW), Forestry Act 2012 (NSW), Native Title (New South Wales) Act 1994 (NSW), Roads Act 1993 (NSW) and National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW). Under the EP&A Act, environmental planning instruments must be considered when approving a mining project development application. There are multiple State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) relevant to coal projects in New South Wales. Amendments to the SEPPs that cover mining have occurred in the past two years and are aimed at protecting agriculture, water resources and critical industry clusters. One SEPP, referred to as the “Mining SEPP”, was amended in late 2013 to make it mandatory for decision makers to consider the economic significance of coal resources when determining a development application for a mine and to give primacy to that consideration. While this amendment was repealed in 2015, decision makers still have regard to the significance of a resource and the State and regional economic benefits of a proposed coal mine when considering a development application on the basis that it is an element of the “public interest” head of consideration contained in the legislation.

 

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Mining Rehabilitation (Reclamation). Mine reclamation is regulated by state specific legislation. As a condition of approval for mining operations, companies are required to progressively rehabilitate mined land and provide appropriate security to the relevant state government as a safeguard to cover the costs of rehabilitation in circumstances where mine operators are unable to do so. Self-bonding is not permitted. BFR has provided security to the relevant authorities which are calculated in accordance with current regulatory requirements. BFR operate in both the Queensland and New South Wales state jurisdictions.

 

New South Wales reclamation. The Mining Act 1992 (NSW) (Mining Act) is administered by the Department of Planning and Environment and authorizes the holder of a mining tenement to extract a mineral subject to obtaining consent under the EP&A and other auxiliary approvals and licenses.

 

Through the Mining Act, environmental protection and rehabilitation are regulated by conditions in all mining leases and environmental authorities including requirements for the submission of a Mining Operations Plan (MOP) prior to the commencement of operations. All mining operations must be carried out in accordance with the MOP which describes site activities and the progress toward environmental and rehabilitation outcomes and are updated on a regular basis or if mine plans change. The mines publicly report their reclamation performance on an annual basis.

 

In support of the MOP process, a rehabilitation cost estimate is calculated periodically to determine the amount of bond support required to cover the cost of rehabilitation based on extent of disturbance during the MOP period.

 

Queensland rehabilitation. The EP Act is administered by the Department of Environment and Science which authorizes environmentally relevant activities such as mining activities relating to a mining lease through an Environmental Authority (EA). Environmental protection and rehabilitation activities are regulated by conditions in the EA, including the requirement for the submission of a Plan of Operations (PO) prior to the commencement of operations. Currently, all mining operations must be carried out in accordance with the PO which describes site activities and the progress toward environmental and rehabilitation outcomes and are updated on a regular basis or if mine plans change. The mines submit an annual return reporting on their EA compliance including rehabilitation performance. The Queensland Government is in the process of reviewing the requirement of a PO for mining activities. Legislation (in the form of a Bill) was introduced in the Queensland parliament in February 2018 that instead requires entities undertaking mining activities to prepare a ‘life of mine’ progressive rehabilitation and closure plan (PRCP) which will be binding in the undertaking of a mining activity and include annual reporting and regular auditing requirements.

 

The Bill requires EA holders to prepare a detailed PRCP which is to include information detailing how mining activities will be undertaken to maximize progressive rehabilitation of the land to a stable condition. The PRCP will provide for specific rehabilitation milestones and non-compliance will be an offence.

 

As a condition of the EA, financial security requirements are calculated to determine the amount of bonding required to cover the cost of rehabilitation based on extent of disturbance during the PO period. The Bill will also amend the way in which financial security is calculated and provided. The new regime is to consider the risk profile of the EA holder for the mining activity and the risk profile of the particular mining project so that security is either provided by way of a contribution to a fund or by other surety.

 

At this stage, it is expected that the Bill is likely to be passed by the Queensland parliament in October 2018 with commencement to occur by the end of 2018 or in early 2019.

 

Occupational Health and Safety. Broadly, State legislation requires persons conducting a business or undertaking to provide and maintain a safe workplace by providing safe systems of work, safety equipment and appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision. Specific occupational health and safety obligations have been mandated under state legislation to account for the specialized nature of the coal mining industry. The concepts are typically similar to the general occupational health and safety legislation however, there are some differences in the terminology, the application and detail of the laws. The most noteworthy difference being that coal mining safety laws are more prescriptive when compared to general occupational health and safety laws. Further, mining operators, executive officers (including directors and other officers of a corporate entity), employees with statutory appointments (e.g. site senior executives) and all other persons (including coal mine workers and all other persons at a mine) are subject to the obligations under this legislation.

 

A small number of coal mine workers in Queensland and New South Wales have been diagnosed with coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP, also known as black lung) following decades of assumed eradication of the disease. This led to a Parliamentary inquiry into CWP with a report tabled before the Queensland parliament in May 2017. The report made a series of recommendations regarding the detection and monitoring of CWP as well as recommending the relevant legislation better support these initiatives. The report also noted that the government authority (the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy) responsible for regulating CWP (amongst broader occupational health and safety issues pertaining to the resources and mining sector) failed to properly administer the relevant legislation.

 

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The Queensland Government released its formal response to the recommendations tabled before Parliament. Following the recommendations, and a consultation process, the Queensland Government made a number of changes to the coal mining legislation, specifically with a view to prevent and monitor issues contributing to CWP. Following the report, the Queensland Government’s initial response was to release a draft Bill establishing a mine health and safety regulatory body that is independent from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. This Bill has not been passed by Parliament and further amendments to the Bill have been tabled.

 

Industrial Relations. A national industrial relations system administered by the federal government applies to all private sector employers and employees. The matters regulated under the national system include employment conditions, unfair dismissal, enterprise bargaining, bullying claims, industrial action and resolution of workplace disputes. Many of the workers employed or to be employed by AFE and BFR are covered by enterprise agreements approved under the national system.

 

Greenhouse Gases. In 2007, a single, national reporting system relating to greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and energy production was introduced. The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (Cth) (NGER Act) imposes requirements for corporations meeting a certain threshold to register and report greenhouse gas emissions and abatement actions, as well as energy production and consumption. The Clean Energy Regulator administers the NGER Act. The Commonwealth Department of Environment is responsible for NGER Act-related policy developments and review. Both foreign and local corporations that meet the prescribed carbon dioxide and energy production or consumption limits in Australia (Controlling Corporations) must comply with the NGER Act.

 

On July 1, 2016, amendments to the NGER Act implemented the Emission Reduction Fund Safeguard Mechanism. From that date, large designated facilities such as coal mines were issued with a baseline for their covered emissions and must take steps to keep their emissions below the baseline, comply with their statutory obligations by some other means (for example, by purchasing and surrendering Australian carbon credit units to offset emissions over the baseline) or face penalties.

 

Queensland Royalty. As a general rule, royalties are payable to the State of Queensland for extracted coal. Statutory formulas under the Mineral Resources Regulation 2013 (Qld) are used to calculate the royalty rates (expressed as a percentage) for coal sold, disposed of, or used, where the average price per metric ton is either between $100 and $150 Australian dollars, or greater than $150 Australian dollars. The rate is 7% for coal sold, disposed of, or used below $100 Australian dollars per metric ton. The periodic impact of these royalty rates is dependent upon the volume of metric tons produced at Queensland mining locations and coal prices received for those metric tons. The Queensland Office of State Revenue issues determinations setting out its interpretation of the laws that impose royalties and provide guidance on how royalty rates should be calculated.

 

New South Wales Royalty. In New South Wales, the royalty applicable to coal is charged as a percentage of the value of production (total revenue less allowable deductions). This is equal to 6.2% for deep underground mines (coal extracted at depths greater than 400 meters below ground surface), 7.2% for underground mines and 8.2% for open-cut mines.

 

Chinese Foreign Investment and Business Regulations

 

We operate our business in China under a legal regime consisting of the State Council, which is the highest authority of the executive branch of the Chinese central government, and several ministries and agencies under its authority, including the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”), the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”), the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (“SAFE”) and their respective authorized local counterparts.

 

The Chinese government imposes restrictions on the convertibility of the Chinese Renminbi yuan and on the collection and use of foreign currency by Chinese entities. Under current regulations, the Chinese Renminbi yuan is generally convertible for current account transactions, which include dividend distributions, and the import and export of goods and services subject to review and approval by SAFE or its designated foreign exchange bank. However, conversion of Chinese Renminbi yuan into foreign currency and foreign currency into Chinese Renminbi yuan for capital account transactions is under the strict scrutiny of SAFE. According to SAFE Circular [2015] 19 (Circular on Reforming the Administration of Foreign Exchange Capital Settlement of Foreign-invested Enterprise) and SAFE Circular [2016] 16 (Circular on Reforming the Administration of Foreign Exchange Settlement under the Capital Account), foreign-invested enterprise whose main business is investment may convert foreign currency in a capital account into Chinese Renminbi yuan for equity investment. Other types of foreign-invested enterprises may convert foreign currency in a capital account into Chinese Renminbi yuan for equity investment provided that the enterprise being invested into makes relevant registration with SAFE (or a designated bank) and establishes a settlement payment account.

 

Under current Chinese regulations, foreign-invested enterprises such as our Chinese subsidiaries are required to apply to banks authorized to conduct foreign exchange business by SAFE for a Foreign Exchange Registration Certificate for Foreign-Invested Enterprise. With such registration (which is subject to remaining rights and interests, registration with SAFE), a foreign-invested enterprise may open foreign exchange bank accounts at banks authorized to conduct foreign exchange business by SAFE and may buy, sell and remit foreign exchange through such banks, subject to documentation and approval requirements. Foreign-invested enterprises are required to open and maintain separate foreign exchange accounts for capital account transactions and current account transactions. In addition, there are restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that foreign-invested enterprises may retain in such accounts, except that foreign-invested enterprises may retain foreign exchange income under current account transactions in its sole discretion.

 

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Also at the time of applying for SAFE registration (including any change registration), foreign-invested enterprises that do not constitute round tripping investment enterprises will be required to represent that its foreign shareholder is not directly or indirectly held by any Chinese residents; foreign-invested enterprises that constitute round tripping investment enterprises will be required to disclose the actual controlling person of its foreign shareholder. Any false or misleading representations may result in administrative liabilities imposed on the onshore entities and their legal representatives. If Chinese residents who are beneficial holders of our shares, make, or have previously made, direct or indirect round tripping investments through a SPV which falls within the scope of the registration under the SAFE Circular [2014] 37 (SAFE Circular [2014] 37 Relating to Foreign Exchange Administration of Offshore Investment, Financing and Round tripping Investment by Domestic Residents utilizing Special Purpose Vehicles), the Chinese residents must make foreign exchange registration for their offshore investments, failing which, the Chinese residents may be ordered to return the capital to China and be imposed a fine by SAFE for such misconduct.

 

Failure to comply with the registration procedures, including failure to update its own foreign exchange registration, may result in restrictions on the relevant onshore entity, including restrictions on the payment of dividends and other distributions to its offshore parent or affiliate and restrictions on the capital inflow from the offshore entity, and may also subject relevant Chinese residents to penalties under the Chinese foreign exchange administration regulations. Also, at the time of applying for SAFE registration (including any change registration), the onshore entities that do not constitute round tripping investment enterprises will be required to represents that its foreign shareholder is not directly or indirectly held by any Chinese residents; the onshore entities that constitute round tripping investment enterprises will be required to disclose the actual controlling person of its foreign shareholder. Any false or misleading representations may result in administrative liabilities imposed on the onshore entities and their legal representatives.

 

Under Chinese regulations, wholly foreign-owned enterprises and Sino-foreign equity joint ventures in China may pay dividends only out of their accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with Chinese accounting standards and regulations. The foreign invested company may not distribute profits until the losses of the previous fiscal years have been made up. Additionally, the foreign invested company shall make allocations of after-tax profits to a reserve fund and a bonus and welfare fund for their employees. In the case of a Sino-foreign equity joint venture, in addition to the reserve fund and the bonus and welfare fund, the company shall also make allocations to a venture expansion fund. In the case of a wholly foreign-owned enterprise, the amount to be contributed to the reserve fund shall be no less than 10% of the after-tax profits unless the aggregate amount reaches 50% of the registered capital of the company, at which time the company may stop making allocations to the reserve fund. The amount to be contributed to other funds of a wholly foreign-owned enterprise or any of the above funds of a Sino-foreign equity joint venture may be determined by the board of the company in accordance with the applicable laws. Any amounts to be contributed to such funds shall be set aside prior to distribution of after-tax profit.

 

Employees

 

As of June 30, 2018, we had approximately 13 full time employees. None of our employees are represented by any collective bargaining unit. We have not experienced any work stoppages, work slowdowns or other labor unrest. We believe that our relations with our employees are good.

 

Available Information

 

We make available free of charge, or through the “Investor Center – Financials & Filings” section of our website at www.synthesisenergy.com, access to our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is filed, or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our Code of Business and Ethical Conduct and the charters of our Audit, Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees are also available through the “Investor Center - Corporate Governance” section of our website or in print to any stockholder who requests them.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

Our business is subject to a number of risks which may negatively impact our business interests on a go-forward basis. These risks should be carefully considered prior to, or continuing, investment in our Company. To assist in the understanding of these risks, we have broken down the risks into four main categories all of which could materially impact our financial operations or our financial position:

 

Risks Related to Our Business

 

We will require substantial additional funding, and our failure to raise additional capital necessary to support and expand our operations could reduce our ability to compete and could harm our business.

 

As of June 30, 2018, we had $7.1 million in cash and cash equivalents and $6.4 million of working capital.

 

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As of November 14, 2018, we had $4.0 million in cash and cash equivalents. In addition to the cash and cash equivalents we have approximately another $0.3 million in Chinese bank acceptance notes, which are similar to certificates of deposits, and have maturity dates greater than 90 days but less than one year. Of the $4.0 million in cash and cash equivalents, $2.6 million resides in the United States or easily accessed foreign countries and approximately $1.4 million resides in China. We are seeking to strengthen our financial position through new strategic partnering opportunities and we consider a full range of financing options to create the most value for us which may include divestiture of assets such as our Yima Joint Venture, our Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and our technology. If we cannot raise required funds on acceptable terms, we may further reduce our expenses. We believe that with the strategies above, we can continue to operate for the next twelve months, assuming we can successfully transfer the funds currently in China to the U.S. Based on the historical negative cash flows that the Company has incurred, the continued limited cash inflows in the period subsequent to year end and the uncertain nature of the ability to transfer the cash that resides in China, there is substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

 

We currently plan to use our available cash for: (i) securing orders and tasks associated with our overall business strategy described above; (ii) additional working capital investments or shareholder loans into AFE or SEE to support the growth of those strategic businesses; (iii) growing our technology IP portfolio and securing technology partners or collaborations that help us improve our ability to commercialize and implement SGT; (iv) paying the interest related to the Senior Secured Debentures (“Debentures”); (v) general and administrative expenses; and (vi) working capital and other general corporate purposes. The actual allocation and timing of these expenditures will be dependent on various factors, including changes in our strategic relationships, commodity prices and industry conditions, and other factors that we cannot currently predict.

 

We currently have very limited financial and human resources to fully develop and execute on all of our business opportunities. We can make no assurances that AFE, SEE and our other business operations including our expected share of dividends from BFR will provide us with sufficient and timely cash flows to continue our operations. We are seeking to strengthen our financial position through new strategic partnering opportunities and we may choose to raise additional capital through equity and debt financing to strengthen our balance sheet to support our delivery of potential new orders for our technology and for our corporate general and administrative expenses. We may consider a full range of financing options to create the most value for us which may include divestiture of assets such as our Yima Joint Venture, our Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and our technology. We cannot provide any assurance that any financing will be available to us in the future on acceptable terms or at all. Any such financing could be dilutive to our existing stockholders. If we cannot raise required funds on acceptable terms, we may further reduce our expenses and we may not be able to, among other things, (i) maintain our general and administrative expenses at current levels including retention of key personnel and consultants; (ii) successfully implement our business strategy, including continuing to deliver our technology to customers and partners pursuant to licenses; (iii) make additional capital contributions to our joint ventures; (iv) fund certain obligations as they become due; (v) respond to competitive pressures or unanticipated capital requirements; or (vi) repay our indebtedness. In addition, we may elect to sell certain investments as a source of cash to develop additional projects or for general corporate purposes.

 

Our ability to generate cash to service our indebtedness depends on many factors beyond our control, and any failure to meet our debt obligations could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our ability to make payments on and to refinance our indebtedness, including our recently issued Debentures, and to fund planned capital expenditures will depend on our ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations in the future. To a certain extent, this is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative and regulatory conditions and other factors that are beyond our control.

 

We cannot assure you that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations in an amount sufficient to enable us to pay principal and interest on our indebtedness, including our recently issued Debentures, or to fund our other liquidity needs. If our cash flow and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt obligations, we may be forced to sell assets, seek additional equity or debt capital or restructure our debt. We cannot assure you that any of these remedies could, if necessary, be affected on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Our cash flow and capital resources may be insufficient for payment of interest on and principal of our debt in the future, including payments on our recently issued Debentures, and any such alternative measures may be unsuccessful or may not permit us to meet scheduled debt service obligations, which could cause us to default on our obligations and could impair our liquidity.

 

We may not be successful in developing our business platform in Australia.

 

All of our business in Australia is currently being conducted by AFE and as such, we are dependent on the ability of AFE to grow and develop its pending and contemplated projects, and to secure debt and equity financing for projects. We will only receive fees for projects with AFE when agreed milestones across the development, design, construction, start-up and operations of the project are achieved. These projects will have a number of risks and could present unexpected challenges, including the existence of unknown potential disputes, liabilities or contingencies that arise during or after the development of the project. We cannot assure you that AFE will be able to complete the necessary financings, or once completed satisfy the conditions required to achieve these milestones or be able to enter into relationships with partners which can finance and develop the projects to completion. In addition, we can make no assurances that AFE will have sufficient and timely cash flows to continue its operations in the absence of a financing. The failure to complete the financings and, achieve the milestones or for the projects to be fully developed would have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operation.

 

Our size and lack of operating history could inhibit the development of our third-party licensing business.

 

SGT license and equipment supply agreements will typically provide a guarantee of the performance of the SGT systems used in a project. Due to our limited history and lack of financial strength, we may not be able to provide adequate financial support required to guarantee our technology performance in a project. As a result, this can impact the ability to complete equity and debt financing of projects and prevent us from securing orders. This outcome would hinder the development of our third-party licensing business and, as a result, have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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We may not be successful developing opportunities to license our technology.

 

Although we have identified potential opportunities in Australia, Eastern Europe, South America, the Caribbean, China and other parts of Asia, our licensing and related service business are based on our ability to secure contractual commitments from our potential customers to utilize our technology in their projects. These projects are generally capital intensive, require government approvals and can take two to five years or more to complete their development and construction. Our ability to secure orders for our technology is subject to many uncertainties associated with our customers completing a go or no-go decision to develop and invest in these projects. Additionally, successfully developing global licensing opportunities for our technology is subject to the uncertainty of global markets as well as our continued capability to deliver technology licenses, components and services, as well as the capability of regional platform companies that we develop, like AFE, to fund, develop and complete both equity and debt financing for the projects that will use our technology and related services. In addition, as with our other projects, we will be exposed to the risk of financial non-performance by our customers. Although we anticipate that we can generate revenues through engineering and technical service fees, as well as licensing fees and royalties on products sold by our licensees that incorporate our proprietary technology, there can be no assurances that we will be able to do so and our inability to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operation.

 

We are dependent on our relationships with our strategic partners for project development.

 

We are dependent on our relationships with our strategic partners to accelerate our expansion, fund our development efforts, better understand market practices and regulatory issues and more effectively handle challenges that may arise.

 

Through the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, we have partnered a significant portion of our China business with STT, a Chinese company which desires to invest into the growth of China’s clean energy space and ICCDI previously served as general contractor and engineered and constructed all three projects for the Aluminum Corporation of China, which recognizes the opportunity afforded by our technology capability and business model.  We have committed to execute all of our business in Australia through AFE and in Poland through SEE. We believe partnering with companies such as STT and ICCDI and setting up companies like AFE and SEE with strong local partners, can increase the acceptance of our technology on a global basis and will enable us to reduce our capital requirements to achieve this acceleration.

 

We may also seek additional partners in the future for our technology platforms. Our future success will depend on these relationships and any other strategic relationships that we may enter into. We cannot assure you that we will satisfy the conditions required to maintain these relationships under existing agreements or that we can prevent the termination of these agreements. We also cannot assure you that we will be able to enter into relationships with future strategic partners on acceptable terms. Further, we cannot assure you that our joint venture partners, including STT and ICCDI, AFE, and SEE will grow effectively meet their development objectives.

 

We may not be successful developing our technology and licensing business.

 

The development of our licensing and technology business depends, in part, on our ability to form strategic relationships with other partners which can extend our global sales reach for our technology and licensing business and retaining key technical personnel to work on that business for us. We cannot provide assurance that we will be able to successfully develop our strategic partnerships or successfully grow the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, our exclusive provider of technology and licensing in China, Mongolia, Indonesia, Vietnam, The Philippines, and Malaysia, which depends upon several factors, including the strength of global energy and chemical markets, commodity prices and the ability of our strategic partners to timely perform their obligations.  There can be no assurances that we will be able to succeed in developing or sustaining these relationships, or continue to retain the necessary employees, and our inability to do so could result in ending our licensing business which would have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operation.

 

Joint ventures, partnerships, and companies that we enter into present a number of challenges that could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations and cash flows.

 

We have developed projects in China with the ZZ Joint Venture, the Yima Joint Venture, and our Tianwo-SES Joint Venture. In addition, as part of our business strategy, we plan to enter into other joint ventures or similar transactions, including as part of our business verticals some of which may be material. These transactions typically involve a number of risks and present financial, managerial and operational challenges, including the existence of unknown potential disputes, liabilities or contingencies that arise after entering into the joint venture related to the counterparties to such joint ventures, with whom we share control. We could experience financial or other setbacks if transactions encounter unanticipated problems due to challenges, including problems related to execution or integration. In some cases, our joint venture partner may have a contractual commitment to provide funding to the joint venture, although we do not have assurances that they will satisfy such obligations. Economic uncertainty in China, Eastern Europe, Australia, or other parts of the world in which we plan to do business, could also cause delays or make financing of operations more difficult. Any of these risks could reduce our revenues or increase our expenses, which could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows.

 

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All of our business in Australia is currently being conducted through AFE and as such, we are dependent on the ability of AFE to grow and develop its pending and contemplated projects. AFE will need to raise additional funds to move their project development efforts forward. We will only receive fees for projects with AFE, if they are successful in their fundraising efforts, and when agreed milestones across the development, design, construction, start-up and operations of the project are achieved. These projects will have a number of risks and could present unexpected challenges, including the existence of unknown potential disputes, liabilities or contingencies that arise during or after the development of the project. We cannot assure you that AFE will satisfy the conditions required to achieve these milestones or that AFE will be able to enter into relationships with partners which can finance and develop the projects to completion. The failure to achieve the milestones or for the projects to be fully developed would have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

All of our business in Poland is currently being conducted through SEE and as such, we are dependent on the ability of SEE to grow and develop its pending and contemplated projects. SEE will need to raise additional funds to move their project development efforts forward. We will only receive fees for projects with SEE if they are successful in their fundraising efforts and when agreed milestones across the development, design, construction, start-up and operations of the project are achieved. These projects will have a number of risks and could present unexpected challenges, including the existence of unknown potential disputes, liabilities or contingencies that arise during or after the development of the project. We cannot assure you that SEE will satisfy the conditions required to achieve these milestones or that SEE will be able to enter into relationships with partners which can finance and develop the projects to completion. The failure to achieve the milestones or for the projects to be fully developed would have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

Additionally, we are a minority owner in the Yima Joint Venture. We have failed to demonstrate that we can significantly influence the decision making of the joint venture. Therefore, we rely on our joint venture partner to provide management and operational support for the joint venture. Accordingly, the Yima Joint Venture investment’s success is completely dependent upon the Yima management. We have relied, and will continue to rely, upon personnel in China to compile this information and deliver it to us in a timely fashion so that the information can be incorporated into our consolidated financial statements prior to the due dates for our annual and quarterly reports. Any difficulties or delays in receiving this information or incorporating it into our consolidated financial statements in the future could impair our ability to timely file our annual and quarterly reports.

 

Dependence on owners of future projects in which we have a minority interest, or extended negotiations regarding the scope of the projects, could delay or prevent the realization of targeted returns on our capital invested in these projects.

 

We may be subject to future impairment losses due to potential declines in the fair value of our assets.

 

We evaluated the conditions of the Yima Joint Venture to determine whether other-than-temporary decrease in value had occurred as of June 30, 2018 and 2017. As of each date, management determined that there were applicable triggering events related to its investment in the Yima Joint Venture. Management determined these events in these years were other-than-temporary in nature and therefore conducted an impairment analysis utilizing a discounted cash flow fair market valuation and a Black-Scholes Model-Fair Value of Optionality used in valuing companies with substantial amounts of debt where a discounted cash flow valuation may be inadequate for estimating fair value with the assistance of a third-party valuation expert. In the valuations, significant unobservable inputs were used to calculate the fair value of the investment. These inputs included forecasted methanol and coal prices, calculated discount rates and discount for lack of marketability as the majority owner is a state-owned entity in China, volatility analysis and information received from the joint venture. These valuations led to the conclusion that the investment in the Yima Joint Venture were impaired as of June 30, 2018 and 2017, and accordingly, we recorded a $3.5 million impairment for the year ended June 30, 2018, and a $17.7 million impairment for the year ended June 30, 2017. The carrying value of our Yima investment as of June 30, 2018 and 2017 was approximately $5.0 million and $8.5 million respectively.

 

Should general economic, market or business conditions decline further, and continue to have a negative impact on our revenues or other aspects of our business, we may be required to record impairment charges in the future, which could materially and adversely affect financial condition and results of operation.

 

Economic uncertainty could negatively impact our business, limit our access to the credit and equity markets, increase the cost of capital, and may have other negative consequences that we cannot predict.

 

Global economic uncertainty and the underlying access to credit and equity markets could create financial challenges for us and the economy as a whole. Our internally generated cash flow and cash on hand historically have not been sufficient to fund all of our expenditures, and we have relied on, among other things, bank financings and private equity to provide us with additional capital. Our ability to access capital may be restricted at a time when we would like, or need, to raise capital. If our cash flow from operations is less than anticipated and our access to capital is restricted, we may be required to reduce our operating and capital budget, which could have a material adverse effect on our results and future operations. Ongoing uncertainty may also reduce the values we are able to realize in asset sales or other transactions we may engage in to raise capital, thus making these transactions more difficult and less economic to consummate.

 

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Our results of operations and cash flows may fluctuate.

 

Our operating results and cash flows may fluctuate significantly as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside our control. Factors that may affect our operating results and cash flows include but are not limited to: (i) the ability of our Australian and Polish businesses, through AFE, SEE and BFR, to develop and provide the contemplated returns on our investment; (ii) the success of the Yima Joint Venture and their ability to improve operations and overcome the current cash flow concerns of their operations; (iii) our ability to obtain new customers and retain existing customers; (iv) the success and acceptance of our technology; (v) our ability to successfully distribute cash out of China; (vi) our ability to successfully develop additional regional platforms similar to AFE and SEE in other parts of the world, and our ability to successfully develop our licensing business verticals , as well as execute on our projects; (vii) the ability to obtain financing for our projects; (viii) the cost of coal, electricity, and natural gas; (ix) shortages of equipment, raw materials or feedstock; (x) approvals by various government agencies; and (xi) general economic conditions as well as economic conditions specific to the energy industry.

 

An inability to attract and retain qualified personnel could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We do not currently have all of the personnel to fully develop and execute on all of our business opportunities, including our various business verticals and other partnering arrangements. Also, our technology design and implementation capability rely on years of gasification specific and U-GAS® specific experience and expertise in key staff members. Our future success depends, in part, on our ability, as well as the ability of our joint ventures, to identify, attract and retain highly skilled technical personnel. We face intense competition for qualified individuals from numerous other companies, some of which have far greater resources than we do. We may be unable to identify, attract and retain suitably qualified individuals, or we may be required to pay increased compensation in order to do so. If we were to be unable to attract and retain the qualified personnel we need to succeed, our business, financial condition and results of operations could suffer.

 

Our success will depend in part on our ability to grow and diversify, which in turn will require that we manage and control our growth effectively.

 

Our business strategy contemplates growth and diversification. As we add to our services, our number of customers, and our marketing and sales efforts, operating expenses and capital requirements will increase. Our ability to manage growth effectively will require that we continue to expend funds to improve our operational, financial and management controls, as well as reporting systems and procedures. In addition, we must effectively recruit new employees, and once hired, train and manage them. From time to time, we may also have discussions with respect to potential acquisitions, some of which may be material, in order to further grow and diversify our business. However, acquisitions are subject to a number of risks and challenges, including difficulty of integrating the businesses, adverse effects on our earnings, existence of unknown liabilities or contingencies and potential disputes with counterparties. We will be unable to manage our business effectively if we are unable to alleviate the strain on resources caused by growth in a timely and successful manner. We cannot assure you that we will be able to manage our growth and a failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

We or our partners will manage the design, procurement and construction of our plants. If our or their management of these issues fail, our business and operating results could suffer.

 

Previously for our ZZ Joint Venture, and possibly for other projects we may work on in the future, we have or expect to manage plant design as it relates to the gasification systems. Some of this work has been or will be subcontracted to third parties. We are and will be coordinating and supervising these tasks. Although we believe that this is the most time and cost-effective way to build gasification plants, we bear the risk of cost and schedule overruns and quality control. If we do not properly manage the design, procurement and construction of our plants, our business and operating results could be seriously harmed. Furthermore, as we continue to improve our technology, we may decide to make changes to our equipment that could further delay the construction of our plants. Additionally, for certain of our projects, including projects for which we provide a license or related service, we will rely on our partners to manage the design, procurement and construction of the plant. The success and timing of work on these projects by others will depend upon a number of factors that will be largely outside of our control. We can provide no assurances that the work will be completed timely or at all, or that the work will be performed at standards to our satisfaction.

 

Continued disruption in U.S. and international economic conditions and in the commodity and credit markets may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operation.

 

The global economy may experience another significant contraction, which could impeded our ability and the ability of our partners to obtain financing for our projects. This could significantly and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition in a number of other ways. Any decline in economic conditions may reduce the demand or prices for the production from our plants. Our industry partners and potential customers and suppliers may also experience insolvencies, bankruptcies or similar events. As a direct result of these trends, our ability to finance and develop our existing projects, commence any new projects and sell our products may continue to be adversely impacted. In addition, the increased currency volatility could significantly and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Any of the above factors could also adversely affect our ability to access credit or raise capital even if the capital markets improve.

 

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Our lack of operating history precludes us from forecasting operating results and our business strategies may not be accepted in the marketplace and may not help us to achieve profitability.

 

Our lack of operating history or meaningful revenue precludes us from forecasting operating results based on historical results. Our proposed business strategies described in this annual report incorporate our senior management’s current best analysis of potential markets, opportunities and difficulties that face us. No assurance can be given that the underlying assumptions accurately reflect current trends in our industry, terms of possible project investments or our customers’ reaction to our products and services or that such products or services will be successful. Our business strategies may and likely will change substantially from time to time as our senior management reassesses its opportunities and reallocates its resources, and any such strategies may be changed or abandoned at any time. If we are unable to develop or implement these strategies through our projects and our technology, we may never achieve profitability which could impair our ability to continue as a going concern. Even if we do achieve profitability, it may not be sustainable, and we cannot predict the level of such profitability.

 

We face the potential inability to protect our intellectual property rights which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

We rely on the proprietary SGT technology originally based on U-GAS® technology licensed from GTI. All of the original patents granted around U-GAS® technology have expired and we are improving SGT technology, received some new patents and we have applied for other new patents for these improvements and new technologies. Proprietary rights relating to our technology are protected from unauthorized use by third parties only to the extent that they are covered by valid and enforceable patents, maintained within trade secrets or maintained in confidence through legally binding agreements. There can be no assurance that patents will be issued from any pending or future patent applications owned by or licensed to us or that the claims allowed under any issued patents will be sufficiently broad to protect our technology. In the absence of patent protection, we may be vulnerable to competitors who attempt to copy our technology or gain access to our proprietary information and technical know-how and we may be especially vulnerable to Chinese entities in their attempts to copy all or part of our technology. In addition, we rely on proprietary information and technical know-how that we seek to protect, in part, by entering into confidentiality agreements with our collaborators, employees, and consultants. In the case of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, to which we have transferred the exclusive right to our technology within the joint venture territory, we are relying on the covenants and protections included in the TUCA. We cannot assure you that these agreements will not be breached, that we would have adequate remedies for any breach or that our trade secrets will not otherwise become known or be independently developed by competitors.

 

Proceedings initiated by us to protect our proprietary rights could result in substantial costs to us. We cannot assure you that our competitors will not initiate litigation to challenge the validity of our patents, or that they will not use their resources to design comparable products that do not infringe upon our patents. Pending or issued patents held by parties not affiliated with us may relate to our products or technologies. We may need to acquire licenses to, or contest the validity of, any such patents. We cannot assure you that any license required under any such patent would be made available on acceptable terms or that we would prevail in any such contest. We could incur substantial costs in defending ourselves in suits brought against us or in suits in which we may assert our patent rights against others. If the outcome of any such litigation is unfavorable to us, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

 

We are dependent on the availability and cost of low rank coal and coal waste and our inability to obtain a low-cost source could have an impact on our business.

 

We believe that we have the greatest competitive advantage using our technology in situations where there is a ready source of low rank, low cost coal, coal waste or biomass to utilize as a feedstock. We intend to locate projects in areas where low cost coal and coal waste are available or where it can be moved to a project site easily without transportation issues and we are working to develop structured transactions that include securing options to feedstock resources including coal and biomass. The success of our projects and those of our customers will depend on the supply of low rank coal and coal waste. If a source of low cost coal or coal waste for these projects cannot be obtained effectively, our business and operating results could be seriously affected.

    

Decreased cost or increased availability for natural gas in Australia, Poland, China and other regions where we develop projects could have an impact on our business and results of operation.

 

We compete with producers of other low-cost fuels used for electricity generation, such as natural gas. Declines in the price of natural gas, or continued low natural gas prices, could cause demand for coal-based energy to decrease and adversely affect the price of syngas and related projects. Sustained periods of low natural gas prices or other fuels may also cause utilities to phase out or close existing coal-fired power plants or reduce construction of new coal-fired power plants.  In addition, competition provided by new methods of extracting natural gas could hurt our business in Australia, China and elsewhere around the world.  All of this could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

 

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The termination of our license agreement with GTI or any of our joint venture agreements or licensing agreements may materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.

 

The GTI Agreement, our joint ventures in China, our licensing and related service business and our business verticals are essential to us and our future development. With the exercise of our first extension of our agreement in May 2016, the GTI Agreement terminates on August 31, 2026, but may be terminated by GTI upon certain events of default if not cured by us within specified time periods. In addition, after the second ten-year extension period provided under the GTI Agreement, which is exercisable at our option, we cannot assure you that we will succeed in obtaining an extension of the term of the license at a royalty rate that we believe to be reasonable or at all. Our joint venture agreements do not terminate for many years, but, may be terminated earlier due to certain events of bankruptcy or default, and, in the case of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, if the joint venture does not establish positive net income within 24 months of formation. Termination of any of our joint ventures or other key business relationships would require us to seek another collaborative relationship in that territory. We cannot assure you that a suitable alternative third party would be identified, and even if identified, we cannot assure you that the terms of any new relationship would be commercially acceptable to us. In addition, any of our license agreements could be terminated by our customer if we default under the terms of the agreement and any such termination could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

A portion of our revenues will be derived from the merchant sales of commodities and our inability to obtain satisfactory prices could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

In certain circumstances, we or our partners plan to sell methanol, glycol, DME, synthetic gasoline, SNG, ammonia, hydrogen, nitrogen, elemental sulphur, ash, acetic acid, propionic acid and other commodities into the merchant market. These sales may not be subject to long term offtake agreements and the price will be dictated by the then prevailing market price. Revenues from such sales may fluctuate and may not be consistent or predictable. In particular, the market for commodities such as methanol is currently under significant pressure and we are unsure of how much longer this will continue. Our business and financial condition would be materially adversely affected if we are unable to obtain satisfactory prices for these commodities or if prospective buyers do not purchase these commodities.

 

We are dependent on key personnel who would be difficult to replace.

 

Our performance is substantially dependent on the continued services and on the performance of our senior management and other key personnel. Our performance also depends on our ability to retain and motivate our officers, directors and key employees. The loss of the services of any of our executive officers or other key employees could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Although we have employment and consulting arrangements, with other members of senior management, and third parties, as a practical matter, those agreements will not assure the retention of those resources and we may not be able to enforce all of the provisions in any such agreements, including the non-competition provisions. We are also dependent on our joint ventures and platform companies having the necessary senior management to maintain operations. Our future success also depends on our ability to identify, attract, hire, train, retain and motivate other highly skilled technical, managerial, marketing and customer service personnel. Competition for personnel in jurisdictions where we operate is intense, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully attract, integrate or retain sufficiently qualified personnel. In addition, because substantially all of our operations are currently outside the U.S., we will be required to retain personnel, particularly our key technical personnel, who are willing to travel, sometimes for long periods of time, to foreign locations.

 

Payment of severance benefits could strain our cash flow.

 

Certain members of our senior management have employment agreements that provide for substantial severance payments. In the event we terminate the employment of any of these employees, or in certain cases, if such employees terminate their employment with us, such employees will be entitled to receive certain severance and related payments. The need to pay these severance payments could put a strain on our financial resources.

 

We face intense competition. If we cannot gain market share among our competition, we may not earn revenues and our business may be harmed.

 

The business of providing clean energy is highly competitive. In the gasification market, large multi-national industrial corporations that are better capitalized, such as General Electric, Shell, CB&I, Siemens (with entrained flow technologies); Lurgi (with moving bed technology); and smaller Chinese firms offer coal gasification equipment and services which compete with our technology.

 

While our technology can provide superior economics than these technologies in most cases, our size, our availability to the capital markets and the lack of commercial operating experience can make it difficult for us to win orders. In addition, new competitors, some of whom may have extensive experience in related fields or greater financial resources, may enter the market.

 

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Increased competition could result in a loss of contracts and market share. Either of these results could seriously harm our business and operating results. In addition, there are a number of gasification and conventional, non-gasification, coal-based alternatives for producing heat and power that could compete with our technology in specific situations. If we are unable to effectively compete with other sources of energy, our business and operating results could be seriously harmed.

 

Our information technology systems and those of our service providers are subject to our ability to maintain them to avoid cyber security risks and threats.

 

We depend on information technology systems that we manage, and others that are managed by our third-party service and equipment providers, to conduct our operations, and these systems are subject to risks associated with cyber incidents or attacks. It has been reported that unknown entities or groups have mounted cyber-attacks on businesses and other organizations solely to disable or disrupt computer systems, disrupt operations and, in some cases, steal data. Due to the nature of cyber-attacks, breaches to our or our service or equipment providers’ systems could go unnoticed for a prolonged period of time. These cyber security risks could disrupt our operations and result in disruption of our operations, loss of critical data as well as result in higher costs to correct and remedy the effects of such incidents. If our or our service or equipment providers’ systems for protecting against cyber incidents or attacks prove to be insufficient and an incident were to occur, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. Currently, we do not carry insurance for losses related to cyber security attacks and may elect to not obtain such insurance in the future.

 

We may incur substantial liabilities to comply with climate control legislation and regulatory initiatives.

 

Recent scientific studies have suggested that emissions of certain gases, commonly referred to as “greenhouse gases,” may be contributing to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere. In response to such studies, many countries are actively considering legislation, or have already taken legal measures, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels such as coal, is an example of a greenhouse gas. Plants using our technology may release a significant amount of carbon dioxide. Methane is another greenhouse gas.

 

New legislation or regulatory programs that restrict emissions of greenhouse gases in areas in which we conduct business may require us or our customers to obtain additional permits, meet additional control requirements, install additional environmental mitigation equipment, or take other as yet unknown steps to comply with these potential regulations, which could adversely affect our financial performance. Although we plan to use advanced technologies to actively utilize or sequester any greenhouse gas emissions, compliance with any future regulation of greenhouse gases, if it occurs, could be costly and may delay our development of projects. Even if we or our customers obtain all necessary permits, the air quality standards or the interpretation of those standards may change, thus requiring additional control equipment, more stringent permitting requirements, or other measures. Such requirements could significantly increase the operating costs and capital costs associated with any future development, expansion or modification of a plant.

 

Our controls and procedures may fail or be circumvented.

 

Our management regularly reviews and updates our internal control over financial reporting, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures. Any system of controls and procedures, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure or circumvention of our controls and procedures, or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

In fiscal years ending June 30, 2018 and 2017, we did not maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting. Specifically, we identified material weaknesses over management’s review controls over significant accounting estimates and review controls over accounting for non-routine and complex accounting transactions.

 

A material weakness was identified relating to the impairment evaluation of our cost method investments. We did not effectively operate controls over management’s review of the impairment assessment, including its review of certain elements related to the valuation of our cost basis investments. Additionally, management’s assessment identified an additional material weakness in management’s review controls over non-routine and complex accounting transactions that were caused by a lack of segregation of duties over these types of transactions.

 

We are subject to the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. If we are unable to maintain compliance with Section 404 or if the costs related to compliance are significant, our profitability, stock price and results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

 

We are required to comply with the provisions of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 and the related Securities and Exchange Commission’s implementing rules, require that management disclose whether the principal executive officer and principal financial officer maintained internal control over financial reporting that, among other things, provides reasonable assurance that material errors in our external financial reports will be prevented or detected on a timely basis, and that we maintain support for that disclosure that includes evidence of our evaluation of the design and operation of our internal control. We are a small company with international operations, limited financial resources and our finance and accounting staff is very limited.

 

In fiscal years ending June 30, 2018 and 2017, we did not maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting. Specifically, we identified material weaknesses over management’s review controls over significant accounting estimates and review controls over accounting for non-routine and complex accounting transactions.

 

A material weakness was identified relating to the impairment evaluation of our cost method investments. We did not effectively operate controls over management’s review of the impairment assessment, including its review of certain elements related to the valuation of our cost basis investments. Additionally, management’s assessment identified an additional material weakness in management’s review controls over non-routine and complex accounting transactions that were caused by a lack of segregation of duties over these types of transactions.

 

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We cannot be certain that we will be able to successfully maintain the procedures, certification and attestation requirements of Section 404 or that we or our auditors will not identify material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting in the future. If we are unable to maintain compliance with Section 404, investors could lose confidence in our financial statements, which in turn could harm our business and negatively impact the trading price of our common stock.

 

Risks Related to International Operations

 

International operations have uncertain political, economic, and other risks.

 

The majority of our operations are located in China and Australia, and we are looking at development opportunities in other countries as well. As a result, a significant portion of our revenue is subject to the increased political and economic risks and other factors associated with international operations including, but not limited to:

 

    general strikes and civil unrest;
       
    other changes in political climate and energy-related policy and laws;

 

    the risk of war, acts of terrorism, expropriation and resource nationalization, forced renegotiation or modification of existing contracts;

 

    import and export regulations (including in respect of gas);

 

    taxation policies, including royalty and tax increases and retroactive tax claims, and investment restrictions;

 

    price control;

 

    transportation regulations and tariffs;

 

    constrained methanol markets dependent on demand in a single or limited geographical area;

 

    exchange controls, currency fluctuations, devaluation, or other activities that limit or disrupt markets and restrict payments or the movement of funds;

 

    laws and policies of the United States affecting foreign trade, including trade sanctions;

 

    the possibility of being subject to exclusive jurisdiction of foreign courts in connection with legal disputes relating to licenses to operate and concession rights in countries where we currently operate;

 

    the possible inability to subject foreign persons, especially foreign oil ministries and national oil companies, to the jurisdiction of courts in the United States; and

 

    difficulties in enforcing our rights against a governmental agency because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity and foreign sovereignty over international operations.

 

Foreign countries have occasionally asserted rights to assets held by foreign entities. If a country claims superior rights to our assets, our interests could decrease in value or be lost. Various regions of the world in which we operate have a history of political and economic instability. This instability could result in new governments or the adoption of new policies that might result in a substantially more hostile attitude toward foreign investments such as ours. In an extreme case, such a change could result in termination of contract rights and expropriation of our assets. This could adversely affect our interests and our future profitability. The impact that future terrorist attacks or regional hostilities may have on our industry in general, and on our operations in particular, is not known at this time. Uncertainty surrounding military strikes or a sustained military campaign may affect operations in unpredictable ways, including disruptions of feedstock supplies and markets, and the possibility that infrastructure facilities, including production facilities, could be direct targets of, or indirect casualties of, an act of terror or war. We may be required to incur significant costs in the future to safeguard our assets against terrorist activities.

 

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Foreign investment regulations could adversely impact our company and subject us to fines.

 

Many nations, both developing and developed countries, have stringent laws which are related to the investment and re-patriotization of funds from profits within their respective countries and which may inhibit or prevent us from removing funds from the country in which the investment was made and could potentially impact our liquidity.

 

For example, Chinese regulations relating to outbound investment activities, in particular, round-tripping investments by Chinese residents may increase our administrative burden, restrict our overseas and cross-border investment activity or otherwise adversely affect the implementation of our acquisition strategy. If Chinese residents, who are beneficial holders of our shares, make or have previously made direct or indirect round tripping investments through a SPV which falls within the scope of the registration under the SAFE Circular [2014] 37 (SAFE Circular [2014] 37 Relating to Foreign Exchange Administration of Offshore Investment, Financing and Round tripping Investment by Domestic Residents utilizing Special Purpose Vehicles), the Chinese residents must make foreign exchange registration for their offshore investments, otherwise, the Chinese residents may be ordered to return the capital to China and be imposed a fine by SAFE for such misconduct. At the time of applying for SAFE registration (including any change registration), the foreign-invested enterprises that do not constitute round tripping investment enterprises will be required to represent that its foreign shareholder is not directly or indirectly held by any Chinese residents; the foreign-invested enterprises that constitute round tripping investment enterprises will be required to disclose the actual controlling person of its foreign shareholder. Any false or misleading representations may result in administrative liabilities imposed on the onshore entities and their legal representatives. We cannot provide any assurances that all of our stockholders who are Chinese residents will make or obtain any applicable registrations or approvals required by these SAFE regulations. The failure or inability of our Chinese resident stockholders to comply with the registration procedures set forth in the SAFE regulations may subject our Chinese subsidiaries to fines and legal sanctions, restrict our cross-border investment activities, or limit the ability to distribute dividends to or obtain foreign-exchange dominated loans from our company. Given that SAFE [2014] Circular 37 is a newly issued regulation, certain aspects therein still remain in uncertainty. As it is uncertain how the SAFE regulations will be interpreted or implemented, we cannot predict how these regulations will affect our business operations or future strategy. For example, we may be subject to a more stringent review and approval process with respect to our foreign exchange activities, such as remittance of dividends and obtaining foreign currency denominated borrowings, which may harm our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, if we decide to acquire a Chinese domestic company, we cannot assure you that we or the owners of such company, as the case may be, will be able to obtain the necessary approvals or complete the necessary filings and registrations required by the SAFE regulations. This may restrict our ability to implement our acquisition strategy and could adversely affect our business and prospects.

 

In relation to our Australian operations, the Australian Government regulates investments by foreign persons in certain companies, trusts, businesses and land under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act (“FATA”). This regime requires notification of the proposed acquisition to the Australian Treasurer, through the Foreign Investment Review Board (“FIRB”) and obtaining a no objections notification (“FIRB approval”) in respect of certain investments made by foreign persons. Under the FATA, we are considered a foreign person. Similarly, due to our ownership position in AFE, AFE will also be considered a foreign person under the FATA. This means that if we or AFE decide to acquire an Australian company, trust, business or interest in Australian land (which includes an interest in mining and production tenements), such an acquisition may require FIRB approval if it meets the relevant FATA thresholds. Also, due to the Australia - United States Free Trade Agreement, United States investors are considered "agreement country investors" under the FATA. The “agreement country investors” are subject to much higher FATA thresholds which means that United States investors can make significantly larger investments without needing to seek FIRB approval. However, we can only benefit from these higher FATA thresholds if we use entities incorporated or established in United States to directly make the proposed investment. The Treasurer will only grant FIRB approval if he can be satisfied that the proposed investment is not contrary to the Australian national interest. We cannot provide any assurances that we or AFE, as the case may be, will be able to obtain the necessary FIRB approvals in relation to proposed acquisitions that meet the FATA thresholds. However, rejections of proposed investments are rare.

 

Furthermore, depending on the proportion of our shares that are beneficially held by government-related entities at any one time, we, and in turn AFE, may be considered a foreign government investor under the FATA. Foreign government investors are subject to lower FATA thresholds and greater scrutiny by FIRB in relation to their proposed acquisitions. We cannot assure you that we will always be able to accurately identify whether we are a foreign government investor under the FATA.

 

Failure to obtain FIRB approval when required or otherwise comply with the FATA may subject us to fines and a range of legal sanctions, including orders requiring us to dispose of the relevant interest (in relation to interests that have been acquired without FIRB approval). This may restrict our ability to implement our acquisition strategy and could adversely affect our business and prospects.

 

In our areas of operation, the projects we and our customers intend to build are subject to rigorous environmental regulations, review and approval. We cannot assure you that such approvals will be obtained, applicable requirements will be satisfied or approvals, once granted, will be maintained.

 

Our operations are subject to stringent laws and regulations governing the discharge of materials into the environment, remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, sitting of facilities or otherwise relating to environmental protection. Numerous governmental agencies, such as various Chinese, Polish and Australian authorities at the municipal, state/provincial or central government level and similar regulatory bodies in other countries, issue regulations to implement and enforce such laws, which often require difficult and costly compliance measures that carry substantial potential administrative, civil and criminal penalties or may result in injunctive relief for failure to comply. These laws and regulations may require the acquisition of a permit before construction and/or operations at a facility commence, restrict the types, quantities and concentrations of various substances that can be released into the environment in connection with such activities, limit or prohibit construction activities on certain lands lying within wilderness, wetlands, ecologically sensitive and other protected areas and impose substantial liabilities for pollution. We believe that we are in substantial compliance with current applicable environmental laws and regulations. Although to date we have not experienced any material adverse effect from compliance with existing environmental requirements, we cannot assure you that we will not suffer such effects in the future or that projects developed by our partners or customers will not suffer such effects.

 

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Although we have been successful in obtaining the permits in China, any retroactive change in policy guidelines or regulations, or an opinion that the approvals that have been obtained are inadequate, could require us to obtain additional or new permits, spend considerable resources on complying with such requirements or delay commencement of construction. Other developments, such as the enactment of more stringent environmental laws, regulations or policy guidelines or more rigorous enforcement procedures, or newly discovered conditions, could require us to incur significant capital expenditures.

 

Our projects and projects of our customers are subject to an extensive governmental approval process which could delay the implementation of our business strategy.

 

Selling syngas, methanol, glycol and other commodities is highly regulated in many markets around the world, as will be projects in our business verticals. We believe these projects will be supported by the governmental agencies in the areas where the projects will operate because coal-based technologies, which are less burdensome on the environment, are generally encouraged by most governments. However, the regulatory environment is often uncertain and can change quickly, often with contradictory regulations or policy guidelines being issued. In some cases, government officials have different interpretations of such regulations and policy guidelines and project approvals that are obtained could later be deemed to be inadequate. Furthermore, new policy guidelines or regulations could alter applicable requirements or require that additional levels of approval be obtained. If we or our customers and partners are unable to effectively complete the government approval process in China, Poland, Australia, and other markets in which we intend to operate, our business prospects and operating results could be seriously harmed.

 

Foreign laws may not afford us sufficient protections for our intellectual property, and we may not be able to obtain patent protection outside of the United States.

 

Certain nations that we operate in may not grant us certain intellectual property rights that are customarily granted in more developed legal systems. Patent law reform in the United States and other countries may also weaken our ability to enforce our patent rights or make such enforcement financially unattractive. For example, Australia has enacted the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act, which provides higher standards for obtaining patents. These reforms could result in increased costs to protect our intellectual property or limit our ability to patent our products in these jurisdictions. In addition, despite continuing international pressure on the Chinese government, intellectual property rights protection continues to present significant challenges to foreign investors and, increasingly, Chinese companies. Chinese commercial law is relatively undeveloped compared to the commercial law in our other major markets and only limited protection of intellectual property is available in China as a practical matter. Although we have taken precautions in the operations of our Chinese subsidiaries and in our joint venture agreements (including as to the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture to which we have transferred the exclusive right to our technology within the joint venture territory) to protect our intellectual property, any local design or manufacture of products that we undertake in China could subject us to an increased risk that unauthorized parties will be able to copy or otherwise obtain or use our intellectual property, which could harm our business. We may also have limited legal recourse in the event we encounter patent or trademark infringement. Uncertainties with respect to the Chinese legal system may adversely affect the operations of our Chinese subsidiaries. China has put in place a comprehensive system of intellectual property laws however, incidents of infringement are common and enforcement of rights can, in practice, be difficult. If we are unable to manage our intellectual property rights, our business and operating results may be seriously harmed.

 

We could be adversely affected by violations of the FCPA and similar laws in connection with our foreign operations.

 

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and similar other corruption laws generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Our corporate policies mandate compliance with these laws. We operate in many parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. Despite our training and compliance program, we cannot assure you that our internal control policies and procedures always will protect us from reckless or negligent acts committed by our employees or our respective agents. Violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could disrupt our business and result in a material adverse effect on our business and operations. We may be subject to competitive disadvantages to the extent that our competitors are able to secure business, licenses or other preferential treatment by making payments to government officials and others in positions of influence or using other methods that United States or other corruption laws and regulations prohibit us from using.

 

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In order to effectively compete in some foreign jurisdictions, we utilize local agents and seek to establish joint ventures with local operators or strategic partners. Although we have procedures and controls in place to monitor internal and external compliance, if we are found to be liable for FCPA violations (either due to our own acts or our inadvertence, or due to the acts or inadvertence of others, including actions taken by our agents and our strategic or local partners, even though our agents and partners are not subject to the FCPA), we could suffer from civil and criminal penalties or other sanctions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

 

Our results of operations would be negatively affected by potential currency fluctuations in exchange rates with foreign countries.

 

Currency fluctuations, devaluations and exchange restrictions may adversely affect our liquidity and results of operations. Exchange rates are influenced by political or economic developments the United States, China or elsewhere and by macroeconomic factors and speculative actions. In some countries, local currencies may not be readily converted into U.S. dollars or other hard currencies or may only be converted at government-controlled rates, and, in some countries, the transfer of hard currencies offshore has been restricted from time to time. Very limited hedging transactions are available in China to reduce our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. To date, we have not entered into any hedging transactions in an effort to reduce our exposure to foreign currency exchange risk. While we may decide to enter into hedging transactions in the future, the availability and effectiveness of these hedges may be limited may not be able to successfully hedge our exposure.

Fluctuations in exchange rates can have a material impact on our costs of construction, our operating expenses and the realization of revenue from the sale of commodities. We cannot assure you that we will be able to offset any such fluctuations and any failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, our financial statements are expressed in U.S. dollars and will be negatively affected if foreign currencies, such as the RMB, or the Australian dollar (“AUD”), or the Polish Zloty (“PLN”) depreciate relative to the U.S. dollar. In addition, our currency exchange losses may be magnified by exchange control regulations in China or other countries that restrict our ability to convert into U.S. dollars.

 

Risks related to our Australian Platform

 

Estimating the quantity and quality of mineral resources is an inherently uncertain process.

 

Estimating the quantity and quality of mineral resources is an inherently uncertain process and any reserve estimates that we may receive from AFE related to the Pentland resource or from BFR in the future are and will be estimates and may not prove to be an accurate indication of the quantity and/or grade of mineralization that AFE or BFR has identified or that they will be able to extract, process and sell.

 

Mineral reserve estimates are expressions of judgement based on knowledge, experience and industry practice. Mineral reserve estimates are necessarily imprecise and depend to some extent on interpretations and geological assumptions, the application of sampling techniques, estimates of commodity prices, cost assumptions, and statistical inferences which may ultimately prove to have been unreliable.

 

The inclusion of mineral reserve estimates should not be regarded as a representation that these amounts can be economically exploited and investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on mineral reserve estimates, particularly inferred resource estimates, which are highly uncertain.

 

Consequently, mineral reserve estimates are often regularly revised based on actual production experience or new information and are therefore expected to change. Furthermore, should AFE or BFR encounter mineralization or formations different from those predicted by past drilling, sampling and similar examinations, their mineral reserve estimates may have to be adjusted and mining plans, processing and infrastructure may have to be altered in a way that might adversely affect their operations. Moreover, a decline in the price of commodities, increases in production costs, decreases in recovery rates or changes in applicable laws and regulations, including environment, permitting, title or tax regulations, that are adverse to AFE or BFR, may mean the volumes of mineralization that AFE or BFR can feasibly extract may be significantly lower than the original mineral reserve estimates. If it is determined that mining of certain of resources and the reserves derived from them have become uneconomic, this may ultimately lead to a reduction in the quantity of the aggregate resources of AFE and BFR being mined or result in AFE or BFR deciding not to proceed with the project.

 

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Mining exploration and operations are subject to a number of factors which could adversely affect AFE and BFR.

 

The current and future operations of AFE and BFR, including exploration, appraisal, development and possible production activities may be affected by a range of exploration and operating factors, including:

 

·Geological conditions;
·Limitations on activities due to seasonal or adverse weather patterns;
·Alterations to program and budgets;
·Unanticipated operational and technical difficulties encountered in geophysical surveys, drilling, metallurgical laboratory work and production activities;
·Mechanical failure of operating plant and equipment, industrial and environmental accidents, acts of terrorism or political or civil unrest and other force majeure events;
·Industrial action, disputation or disruptions;
·Unavailability of transport or drilling equipment to allow access and geological and geophysical investigations;
·Unavailability of suitable laboratory facilities to complete metallurgical test work investigations;
·Failure of metallurgical testing to determine a commercial viable product;
·Shortages or unavailability of manpower or appropriately skilled manpower;
·Unexpected shortages or increases in the costs of consumables, spare parts, plant and equipment; and / or
·Prevention or restriction of access by reason of inability to obtain consents or approvals.

 

Both AFE and BFR have minimal operating history which could have an adverse effect on the success of their business operations.

 

Prior to the completion of the Callide acquisition, neither AFE or BFR had developed or managed a fully operational mining or processing facility and neither of them has any direct or demonstrated experience in building or operating mining or processing facilities.

 

While their directors and management have substantial experience in the mining and resources industries, there can be no assurance that their projects will experience results similar to those achieved by other companies or projects in which their directors and management have been involved in the past. The financial condition of AFE and BFR will depend upon the commercial viability and profitability of their projects. Neither AFE or BFR can provide any assurance that it will be able to commission or sustain the successful operation of its projects or that they will achieve commercial viability.

 

Our Australian operations are subject to a number of operating risks which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

 

The future operations of AFE and BFR will be subject to operating risks that could result in decreased production which could reduce its revenues. Operational difficulties may impact production volumes, delay or increase the cost of operating for a varying length of time. Such difficulties include (but are not limited to) unexpected maintenance or technical problems; failure of key equipment; depletion of mineral resources; increased or unexpected reclamation costs; interruptions due to transportation delays; industrial and environmental accidents; industrial disputes; unexpected shortages or increases in the costs of consumables and spare parts; availability of water; availability and cost of power and other utilities; fires; adverse weather conditions and other natural disasters. Other difficulties may arise as a result of variations in mining or operating conditions from those projected from drilling, such as geotechnical issues, variations in the amount of waste material, variations in geological conditions and the actions of potential contractors engaged to operate projects including any breach of contract or other action outside the control of AFE or BFR.

 

Unforeseen geological, geotechnical or operational difficulties could also cause a loss of revenue due to lower production than expected, higher operating and maintenance costs and/ or ongoing unplanned capital expenditure to meet production targets. Any such geological conditions may adversely affect the financial performance of AFE and BFR.

 

A failure to obtain access, whether under a contractual arrangement or otherwise, to an adequate supply of capital equipment or consumables for use in their operations could result in delays to the commencement of operations at projects for AFE and BFR, reduced production rates and increased costs.

 

AFE and BFR may consider opportunities for expansion and/or opportunities to acquire other mining and processing rights in the future. There can be no certainty that any expenditures made by them towards the search for, acquisition of or evaluation of mineral deposits or rights will result in commercial discoveries or acquisitions.

 

Failure to obtain necessary licenses or permits could delay or restrict our projects being developed in Australia.

 

Both AFE and BFR are required under applicable local laws and regulations to seek governmental concessions, permits, authorizations, licenses and other approvals, including in connection with its operating, producing, exploration and development activities. We cannot predict whether they will be able to obtain all required permits or other authorizations for its current and future operations. Obtaining, retaining or renewing the necessary governmental concessions, permits, authorizations, licenses (including with respect to environment and water use) and approvals can be a complex and time-consuming process and may involve substantial costs or the imposition of unfavorable conditions. There can be considerable delay in obtaining the necessary permits and other authorizations and in certain cases the relevant government agency may be unable to issue a required permit or other authorization in a timely manner.

 

The duration and success of permit applications are contingent on many factors that are outside of the control of AFE and BFR including objections from local communities, non-government organizations or special interest groups. Failure to obtain a material license or permit in connection with a specific project would adversely impact AFE and BFR.

 

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Mineral exploration involves significant risks which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

 

The exploration of mineral deposits involves significant risks which even a combination of careful evaluation, experience and knowledge will not fully eliminate. While the discovery of a mineral deposit may result in substantial rewards, few properties which are explored are ultimately developed into producing mines. Major expenses may be required to locate and establish ore reserves and to construct mining and processing facilities at a particular site. Whether a mineral deposit will be commercially viable depends on a number of factors, some of which include the particular attributes of the deposit, such as size, quality and proximity to infrastructure; commodity prices which are highly cyclical; and government regulations, including regulations relating to prices, taxes, royalties, land tenure, land use, importing and exporting of minerals and environmental protection. The exact effect of these factors cannot be accurately predicted, but the combination of these factors may result in AFE or BFR not receiving an adequate, or any, return on invested capital for any exploration activities that may be undertaken in the future.

 

Government regulation or policy could impose a significant cost on our Australian operations.

 

Government regulations will impose significant costs on the mining and processing operations of AFE and BFR, and future regulations could increase those costs or limit their ability to operate and produce. The mining and processing industries are subject to increasingly strict regulation with respect to matters such as limitations on land use, employee health and safety, mine permitting and licensing requirements, reclamation and restoration of mining properties, air quality standards, water pollution, protection of human health, plant life and wildlife, the discharge of materials into the environment, surface subsidence from underground mining and the effects of mining on groundwater quality and availability.

 

The possibility exists that new legislation and/or regulations and orders may be adopted that may materially adversely affect the mining operations of AFE and BFR, cost structure and/or their ability of to sell (or, if applicable, export) their products. New legislation or administrative regulations (or new judicial interpretations or administrative enforcement of existing laws and regulations or changes in respect policy or the enactment of policy-related decisions), including proposals related energy policy or to the protection of the environment that would further regulate and tax the industry, may also require AFE, BFR or its customers to change operations significantly or incur increased costs.

 

Environmental regulations impacting the mining industry may adversely affect AFE and BFR.

 

The operations of AFE and BFR are subject to or affected by a wide array of regulations in the jurisdictions where they operate, including those directly impacting mining activities and those indirectly affecting their businesses, such as applicable environmental laws. In addition, new environmental legislation or administrative regulations relating to mining or affecting demand for mined materials, or more stringent interpretations of existing laws and regulations, may require AFE or BFR to significantly change or curtail their operations. The high cost of compliance with environmental regulations may discourage them from expanding existing mines or developing new mines and may also cause customers to limit or even discontinue their mining operations. As a result of these factors, our Australian projects could be adversely affected by environmental regulations directly or indirectly impacting the mining industry. Any reduction in demand as a result of environmental regulations could have a material adverse effect on the business, financial condition or results of operations of AFE and BFR.

 

Failure to obtain necessary native title or Aboriginal cultural heritage consents and approvals could delay or restrict our projects being developed in Australia.

 

Both AFE and BFR are required under applicable local laws and regulations to seek authorizations and consents from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in relation to native title (where it has not been extinguished) and Aboriginal cultural heritage, including in connection with its operating, producing, exploration and development activities. We cannot predict whether they will be able to obtain all required authorizations and consents for its current and future operations. Obtaining, retaining or renewing the necessary authorizations and consents can be a complex and time-consuming process and may involve substantial costs or the imposition of unfavorable conditions. There can be considerable delay in obtaining the necessary authorizations and consents. However, where consents and authorizations are not provided by agreement, there are fallback options available under the native title “right to negotiate” process and the statutory process for development of cultural heritage management plans.

 

The duration and success of authorization and consent processes are contingent on many factors that are outside of the control of AFE and BFR. Failure to obtain an authorization or consent in connection with a specific project would adversely impact AFE and BFR.

 

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Uncertainty or weaknesses in global economic conditions could adversely impact coal pricing.

 

The world prices of coal are strongly influenced by international demand and global economic conditions. Uncertainties or weaknesses in global economic conditions could adversely affect our business and negatively impact our financial results. In addition, if another global economic downturn were to occur, we would likely see decreased demand and decreased prices with respect to our Australian projects, resulting in lower revenue levels and decreasing margins. We are not able to predict whether the global economic conditions will continue or worsen and the impact it may have on our operations and the industry in general going forward.

 

Taxation of dividends paid by AFE and BFR could have a negative impact on our shareholders.

 

Australian resident companies are liable for Australian income tax on their taxable income at a corporate tax rate (which is currently 30%). The payment of Australian income tax by an Australian company generates a “franking credit” which, when the company pays a dividend to shareholders, generally flows through to the company’s shareholders.

 

Dividends, to the extent that they are paid by AFE and BFR, may potentially be franked up to 100%. The rate of franking depends on the Australian company’s level of available franking credits. The level of franking may vary over time and dividends may be partially or fully franked or not franked at all.

 

Non-Australian tax resident shareholders who hold shares in an Australian tax resident company may be subject to Australian dividend withholding tax on the ‘unfranked’ component of any dividends paid by the company (unless those shares are held at or through a permanent establishment in Australia). Dividend withholding tax should not apply to non-Australian tax resident shareholders to the extent that the dividend is franked.

 

Where it applies, Australian dividend withholding tax is generally imposed at the rate of 30%, but the rate may be reduced under a double tax treaty between Australia and the jurisdiction where the shareholder is resident. Under the double tax treaty between the United States of America and Australia, the dividend withholding tax rate applicable to dividends paid to US tax residents is reduced to 5% of the gross amount of the unfranked dividend provided the shareholder holds 10% or more of the voting power in the company paying the dividends (where the US tax resident holds less than 10% of the voting power in the company paying the dividends, the dividend withholding tax rate is reduced to 15%).

 

Risks Related to Our Chinese Operations

 

Economic conditions in China could have an adverse impact on the performance of our joint venture partners and, as a result, our results of operations.

 

We may be adversely affected by economic uncertainty in China or the United States, such as may result from the current trade tariff discussions between the U.S. and China or other political tensions, which could create further financial challenges for us and make our Chinese businesses less economic and more difficult to consummate new business.

 

We may have difficulty establishing adequate management, legal and financial controls in China.

 

China historically has been deficient in Western-style management and financial reporting concepts and practices, as well as in modern banking, computer and other control systems. We have limited influence in decision making in our Chinese joint ventures. For example, we changed from the equity method of accounting for our investment in the Yima Joint Venture to the cost method of accounting because we concluded that we are unable to exercise significant influence over the Yima Joint Venture due to, among other things, our limited participation in operating and financial policymaking processes and our limited ability to influence technological decisions.

 

We may have difficulty in hiring and retaining a sufficient number of employees who are qualified to assist us in application of such concepts and practices to work in China.

 

As a result of these factors, we may experience difficulty in establishing management, legal and financial controls, collecting financial data and preparing financial statements, books of account and corporate records and instituting business practices that meet Western standards. This situation can be more challenging in cost method investments where we do not experience significant influence and could have an adverse impact on our results of operations.

 

China’s anti-corruption campaign may adversely impact our Chinese partners and our Chinese joint ventures.

 

The Chinese government initiated a nationwide anti-corruption campaign to improve governance in China. The primary focus of this campaign was largely on state-owned enterprises (“SOE”). Certain of our joint ventures are majority owned by an SOE. If one or more of the senior executives of our SOE joint venture partner or related entities are questioned or come under investigation, this could limit our participation in the on-going operations of the facilities and could adversely affect our realization of our investment in such joint ventures and facilities. This would materially affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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We may have difficulty making distributions and repatriating earnings from our Chinese operations.

 

Under Chinese regulations, wholly foreign-owned enterprises and Sino-foreign equity joint ventures in China may pay dividends only out of their accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with Chinese accounting standards and regulations. The foreign invested company may not distribute profits until the losses of the previous fiscal years have been made up. Additionally, the foreign invested company shall make allocations of after-tax profits to a reserve fund and a bonus and welfare fund for their employees. In the case of a Sino-foreign equity joint venture, in addition to the reserve fund and the bonus and welfare fund, the company shall also make allocations to a venture expansion fund. In the case of a wholly foreign-owned enterprise, the amount to be contributed to the reserve fund shall be no less than 10% of the after-tax profits unless the aggregate amount reaches 50% of the registered capital of the company, at which time the company may stop making allocations to the reserve fund. The amount to be contributed to other funds of a wholly foreign-owned enterprise or any of the above funds of a Sino-foreign equity joint venture may be determined by the board of the company in accordance with the applicable Chinese laws. Any amounts to be contributed to such funds shall be set aside prior to distribution of after-tax profit. If we are unable to make distributions and repatriate earnings from our Chinese operations, it could have a materially adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operation.

 

Increased development of shale gas in China could have an adverse effect on our business.

 

According to a 2014 study published by the EIA, China has the world’s largest technically recoverable shale gas reserve resource, representing approximately 9.2% of the world’s total recoverable shale gas resources. However, given the variation across the world's shale formations in both geology and above-the-ground conditions, the extent to which global technically recoverable shale resources will prove to be economically recoverable is not yet clear. The market effect of shale resources outside the United States will depend on the associated production costs, volumes, and market prices. For example, a potential shale well that costs twice as much and produces half the output of a typical U.S. well would not likely be developed. An increase in the development of shale gas would be a competitive alternative to syngas which is produced by our technology and could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operation if successful.

 

Our operations in China may be adversely affected by evolving economic, political and social conditions.

 

Our operations are subject to risks inherent in doing business internationally. Such risks include the adverse effects on operations from war, international terrorism, civil disturbances, political instability, governmental activities and deprivation of contract and property rights. In particular, since 1978, the Chinese government has been reforming its economic and political systems, and we expect this to continue. Although we believe that these reforms have had a positive effect on the economic development of China and have improved our ability to do business in China, we cannot assure you that these reforms will continue or that the Chinese government will not take actions that impair our operations or assets in China. In addition, periods of international unrest may impede our ability to do business in other countries and could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. Furthermore, changes in China’s economic or political situations could impact the exchange rate of the Chinese Renminbi yuan, which could materially impact our financial positions and our results of operations in China.

 

Chinese regulations of loans and direct investment by offshore entities to Chinese entities may delay or prevent us from utilizing proceeds of funds to make loans or additional capital contributions to our operations in China, which could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.

 

We may make loans or additional capital contributions to our operations in China. Any loans to our Chinese operations are subject to Chinese regulations and approvals. Such loans by us cannot exceed statutory limits and must be registered with the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Exchange or its local counterpart. We may also decide to finance our Chinese operations by means of capital contributions. This capital contribution must be approved by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce or its local counterpart. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain these government registrations or approvals on a timely basis, if at all, with respect to future loans or capital contributions by us to our Chinese operations or any of their subsidiaries. If we fail to receive such registrations or approvals, our ability to capitalize our Chinese operations may be negatively affected, which could adversely and materially affect our liquidity and ability to fund and expand our business.

 

The Chinese government exerts substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities.

 

The Chinese government has exercised and continues to exercise substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through regulation and state ownership. Our ability to operate in China may be harmed by changes in its laws and regulations, including those relating to taxation, import and export tariffs, environmental regulations, land use rights, property and other matters. We believe that our operations in China are in material compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements. However, the central or local governments of the jurisdictions in which we operate may impose new, stricter regulations or interpretations of existing regulations that would require additional expenditures and efforts on our part to ensure our compliance with such regulations or interpretations. Accordingly, government actions in the future, including any decision not to continue to support recent economic reforms and to return to a more centrally planned economy or regional or local variations in the implementation of economic policies, could have a significant effect on economic conditions in China or particular regions thereof and could require us to divest ourselves of any interest we then hold in Chinese properties or joint ventures.

 

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We face risks related to natural disasters and health epidemics in China, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

Our business could be materially adversely affected by natural disasters or the outbreak of health epidemics in China. For example, in May 2008, Sichuan Province suffered a strong earthquake measuring approximately 8.0 on the Richter scale that caused widespread damage and casualties. In addition, in the last decade, China has suffered health epidemics related to the outbreak of avian influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. Any future natural disasters or health epidemics in China could also have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

Uncertainties with respect to the Chinese legal system could limit the legal protections available to you and us.

 

We conduct substantially all of our current business through our operating subsidiaries in China. Our operating subsidiaries are generally subject to Chinese laws and regulations including those applicable to foreign investments in China and, in particular, laws applicable to foreign-invested enterprises. The Chinese legal system is a civil law system based on written statutes. Unlike common law systems, decided legal cases have little precedential value in China. In 1979, the Chinese government began to promulgate a comprehensive system of laws and regulations governing economic matters in general. The overall effect of legislation since 1979 has significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investment in China. However, Chinese laws and regulations change frequently, and the interpretation of laws and regulations is not always uniform, and enforcement thereof can involve uncertainties. For instance, we may have to resort to administrative and court proceedings to enforce the legal protection that we are entitled to by law or contract. However, since Chinese administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting statutory and contractual terms, it may be difficult to evaluate the outcome of administrative court proceedings and the level of law enforcement that we would receive in more developed legal systems. Such uncertainties, including the potential inability to enforce our contracts, could limit legal protections available to you and us and could affect our business and operations. In addition, intellectual property rights and confidentiality protections in China may not be as effective as in the United States or other countries. Accordingly, we cannot predict the effect of future developments in the Chinese legal system, particularly with regard to the industries in which we operate, including the promulgation of new laws. This may include changes to existing laws or the interpretation or enforcement thereof, or the preemption of local regulations by national laws. These uncertainties could limit the availability of law enforcement, including our ability to enforce our agreements with Chinese government entities and other foreign investors.

 

Risks Related to our Common Stock

 

Our historic stock price has been volatile and the future market price for our common stock is likely to continue to be volatile.

 

The public market for our common stock has historically been very volatile. Any future market price for our shares is likely to continue to be very volatile. This price volatility may make it more difficult for our stockholders to sell shares when they want at prices that they find attractive. We do not know of any one particular factor that has caused volatility in our stock price. However, the stock market in general has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of companies. Broad market factors and the investing public’s negative perception of our business may reduce our stock price, regardless of our operating performance.

 

Our common stock is thinly traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market.

 

Although our common stock is traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market, the trading volume has historically been low. We cannot assure investors that trading volume will increase or the volatility of the trading price of our common stock will decrease. We cannot assure investors that a more active trading market will develop even if we issue more equity in the future.

 

The market valuation of our business may fluctuate due to factors beyond our control and the value of the investment of our stockholders may fluctuate correspondingly.

 

The market valuation of clean energy companies, such as us, frequently fluctuate due to factors unrelated to the past or present operating performance of such companies. Our market valuation may fluctuate significantly in response to a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:

 

  Changes in securities analysts’ estimates of our financial performance;

 

  Fluctuations in stock market prices and volumes, particularly among securities of energy companies;

 

  Changes in market valuations of similar companies;

 

  Announcements by us or our competitors of significant contracts, new technologies, acquisitions, commercial relationships, joint ventures or capital commitments;

 

  Variations in our quarterly operating results;

 

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  Fluctuations in coal, oil, natural gas, methanol and ammonia prices;

 

  Loss of a major customer of failure to complete significant commercial contracts;

 

  Loss of a relationship with a partner; and

 

  Additions or departures of key personnel.

 

As a result, the value of your investment in us may fluctuate.

 

Investors should not look to dividends as a source of income.

 

We do not intend to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Consequently, any economic return will initially be derived, if at all, from appreciation in the fair market value of our stock, and not as a result of dividend payments.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

 

None.

 

Item 2. Properties

 

Our corporate office occupies approximately 7,300 square feet of leased office space in Houston, Texas as of June 30, 2018. Over time, additional properties may be required if we develop new projects and add personnel to advance our commercial and technical efforts.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

 

None.

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

 

Not Applicable.

 

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PART II

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Market Price for Common Stock and Stockholders

 

On December 4, 2017, we enacted a 1 for 8 reverse stock split as approved by a special shareholder meeting in November 2017. All share and per share amounts below have been retroactively restated to reflect the impact of the reverse stock split.

 

Our common stock is traded on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol SES. The following table sets forth the range of the high and low sale prices for our common stock for the periods indicated.

 

   Sales Price
   High  Low
Year Ending June 30, 2018:          
First Quarter  $5.44   $2.68 
Second Quarter  $4.32   $2.51 
Third Quarter  $3.87   $2.00 
Fourth Quarter  $3.40   $2.67 
Year Ending June 30, 2017:          
First Quarter  $11.60   $7.76 
Second Quarter  $9.68   $6.16 
Third Quarter  $7.92   $5.64 
Fourth Quarter  $10.24   $4.40 

 

As of September 13, 2018, our authorized capital stock consisted of 200,000,000 shares of common stock and 20,000,000 shares of preferred stock, of which 11,022,283 shares of common stock and no preferred stock were issued and outstanding. As of such date, there were 72 holders of record of our common stock.

 

Dividend Policy

 

We have not paid dividends on our common stock and do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the immediate future as we contemplate that our cash flows will be used for continued growth of our operations. The payment of future dividends, if any, will be determined by our Board of Directors based on conditions then existing including our earnings, financial condition, capital requirements, restrictions in financing agreements, business conditions and other factors.

 

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

 

In July 2015, we agreed with a holder of a warrant exercisable for 173,612 shares of our common stock at $17.28 per share to remit his exercise of the warrant as to 125,000 shares at a reduced exercise price of $8.00 per share. We also issued him a new warrant for 125,000 shares at the original exercise price of $17.28. The warrant holder is an accredited investor and the issuances were made pursuant to exemptions under the Securities Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, including pursuant to Section 4(2). The proceeds of $1.0 million received in August 2015 were used for general corporate purposes.

 

In July 2018, we agreed with a consulting firm to issue restricted shares for services rendered in connection with their consulting agreement with a total aggregate value of $70,500. We issued 22,890 shares of our common stock at $3.08 in relation to the consulting agreement. The issuance was made pursuant to exemptions under the Securities Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, including pursuant to Section 4(2).

 

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

 

The following table sets forth information regarding our existing equity compensation plans as of June 30, 2018.

 

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   Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

 

Plan Category

 

 

 

 

 

Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights

(a)

 

Weighted average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights

(b)

 

Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in column (a))

(c)

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders (1)   1,730,569(2)  $7.07    342,808 
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders   606,021(3)  $10.03     
Total as of June 30, 2018   2,336,590   $7.84    342,808 
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

(1)Consists of the 2015 Long-term Incentive Plan and the Amended and Restated 2005 Incentive Plan.
(2)Of the total 2,625,000 shares under 2015 Long-term Incentive Plan and the Amended and Restated 2005 Incentive Plan, options to acquire 1,720,732 shares of commons stock and 9,837 shares of unvested restricted stock were outstanding at June 30, 2018.
(3)As of June 30, 2018, warrants to acquire up to 606,021 shares of our common stock were outstanding to third-party companies working with the company in different capacities (Market Development Consulting Group, Inc. and ILL-Sino Development).

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and other financial information included elsewhere in this annual report. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this annual report, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business and related financing, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. You should review the “Risk Factors” section of this annual report for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis.

 

On December 4, 2017, we enacted a 1 for 8 reverse stock split as approved by a special shareholder meeting in November 2017. All share and per share amounts in the consolidated financial statements and this discussion and analysis have been retroactively restated to reflect the reverse stock split.

 

Business Overview

 

We are a global clean energy company that owns proprietary technology, SES Gasification Technology (“SGT”), for the low-cost and environmentally responsible production of synthesis gas (referred to as the “syngas”). Syngas produced from SGT is a mixture of primarily hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane, and is used for the production of a wide variety of high-value clean energy and chemical products, such as substitute natural gas, power, methanol and fertilizer. Our current focus has been primarily on commercializing our technology outside China through the regional business platforms we have created with partners in Australia, Australian Future Energy Pty Ltd (“AFE”), and in Poland, SES EnCoal Energy sp. zo. o (“SEE”). Through AFE and SEE we believe we are developing energy and resource projects with the necessary commercial and financing structures to deliver attractive financial results. Our business model is to create value growth through AFE and SEE via the generation of earnings, from the licensing of our proprietary technology and the sale of proprietary equipment into those project developments, and through income from earned or carried equity ownership in resource and clean energy production facilities that utilize our technology. AFE and SEE endeavor to link long-term access to low-cost coal or renewable resources to the projects they develop as well as secure long-term contracts for product off-take thereby establishing the commercial and financing foundation for those projects.

 

Through AFE and SEE we have established local expertise with knowledge of the markets and government influences in those regions and who have the expertise required for project development, project financing, and fundraising to deliver financial results for the platforms.

 

Results of Operations

 

Year Ended June 30, 2018 (“Current Year”) Compared to the Year Ended June 30, 2017 (“Prior Year”)

 

Unless noted below, the results of operations are comparing Current Year results of continuing operations with the Prior Year results from continuing operations.

 

Revenue. Total revenue was $1.5 million for the Current Year as compared to $0.2 million for the Prior Year. The increase was primarily due to $0.9 million of payments of past due invoices related to technical consulting and engineering services provided to our Yima Joint Venture during the construction and commissioning period, due to uncertainty of receipts from the Yima Joint Venture, we only record revenues upon receipt of payment, $0.2 million related to our collection of past due invoices from our Tianwo-SES Joint Venture in conjunction with our transfer of ownership, $0.1 million related to services provided to AFE and $0.3 million from a third-party paid feasibility study. Prior Year revenue related to a third-party paid engineering study.

 

Related party consulting revenue was $1.2 million for the Current Year as compared to $0.1 million for the Prior Year, which primarily resulted from technical consulting and engineering services provided to AFE, and the past due invoices collected during the Current Year from our Yima and Tianwo-SES joint ventures.

 

Costs of sales and operating expenses. Costs of sales and operating expenses was $0.4 million during the Current Year compared to $0.1 million costs of sales and operating expenses for the Prior Year, which resulted from costs incurred for engineering services provided to customers.

 

General and administrative expenses. General and administrative expenses was $6.5 million during the Current Year as compared to $8.6 million during the Prior Year. The decrease of $2.1 million was due primarily to the reduction of employee related compensation costs, professional fees and other general and administrative expenses.

 

Stock-based expense. Stock-based expense decreased by $0.4 million to $1.3 million for the Current Year compared to $1.7 million for the Prior Year. This decrease is primarily due to a lower stock price effect on the stock warrants and options issued during the Current Year as compared with the Prior Year.

 

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Depreciation and amortization expense. Depreciation and amortization expense was $37,000 for the Current Year compared with $66,000 for the Prior Year. Which primarily relates to the amortization of our global patents.

 

Impairments. Impairment was $3.5 million for the Current Year as compared to $17.7 million for the Prior Year. We evaluated the conditions of the Yima Joint Venture to determine whether other-than-temporary decrease in value had occurred in the Current Year. We determined that there were triggering events that were other-than-temporary in the Current Year as production levels in the fourth quarter reduced the annual production below expectations which resulted in a net increase in the working capital deficit and the debt levels of the joint venture. An impairment analysis led to the conclusion that the investment in the Yima Joint Venture was impaired in the Current Year and, therefore, we recorded a $3.5 million impairment in the Current Year. In the Prior Year, management determined there were triggering events, such as the lower than expected production levels and the increased debt levels as compared to the previous year, which indicated a continued cash flow concern for the joint venture. During the Prior Year, management determined that these triggering events related to its Yima Joint Venture investment were other-than-temporary in nature and therefore management conducted an impairment analysis. The impairment analysis led to the conclusion that our investment in the Yima Joint Venture was impaired and therefore we recorded a $17.7 million impairment in the Prior Year.

 

Equity in losses of joint venture. The equity in losses of joint venture was $0.7 million during the Current Year as compared to $0.3 million in the Prior Year, which primarily relates to our 39% share of the start -up losses incurred by AFE.

 

Gain on fair value adjustments of derivative liabilities. The net gain on fair value adjustments of derivative liabilities was approximately $0.1 million for the Current Year compared with zero for the Prior Year, which resulted from the lower fair market value for our warrants issued to the debentures investors and the placement agent as of June 30, 2018 versus the fair market value as of the issuance date of October 24, 2017. The change in the derivative liability was primarily due to movements in the Company’s stock price. Other changes in the assumptions related to the passage of time, interest rate fluctuations and stock market volatility.

 

Foreign currency gain (losses). Foreign currency gain was $143,000 for the Current Year as compared to foreign currency loss of $71,000 for the Prior Year. The Current Year gain of $143,000 foreign currency gain resulted from the 2% appreciation of the Chinese Renminbi yuan (“RMB”) to the U.S. dollar during the Current Year.

 

Other gain: The other gain was $1.7 million for the Current Year as compared to zero for the Prior Year, which was primarily due to the restructuring of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture. The Tianwo-SES Joint Venture is accounted for under the equity method. The Company’s contribution in the formation of the venture was the TUCA, which is an intangible asset granting certain exclusive rights to our gasification technology. As such, the Company did not record a carrying value of the investment in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture at the inception of the venture. In August 2017, the Company entered into a Restructuring Agreement and received $1.7 million related to its transfer of ownership, reducing its ownership from 35% to 25% and final transfer and registration of shares with local government authorities was completed in December 2017. The $1.7 million gain was deferred in August and recognized upon the completed registration process in December 2017, as the joint venture has no carrying value and therefore the $1.7 million received related to the transfer of ownership resulted in a gain.

 

Income (Loss) from discontinued operations. Gain from discontinued operations was zero for the Current Year as compared to a gain from discontinued operations of $1.9 million for the Prior Year and related to our deconsolidation of the ZZ Joint Venture.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

As of June 30, 2018, we had $7.1 million in cash and cash equivalents and $6.4 million of working capital. As of November 14, 2018, we had $4.0 million in cash and cash equivalents. In addition to the cash and cash equivalents, we have approximately another $0.3 million in Chinese bank acceptance notes, which are similar to certificates of deposits, and have maturity dates greater than 90 days but less than one year. Of the $4.0 million in cash and cash equivalents, $2.6 million resides in the United States or easily accessed foreign countries and approximately $1.4 million resides in China. We are seeking to strengthen our financial position through new strategic partnering opportunities and we may consider a full range of financing options to create the most value for us which may include divestiture of assets such as our Yima Joint Venture, our Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and our technology. If we cannot raise required funds on acceptable terms, we may further reduce our expenses. We believe that with the strategies above, we can continue to operate for the next twelve months, assuming we can successfully transfer the funds currently in China to the U.S. Based on the historical negative cash flows that the Company has incurred, the continued limited cash inflows in the period subsequent to year end and the uncertain nature of the ability to transfer the cash that resides in China, there is substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

 

We currently plan to use our available cash for: (i) securing orders and tasks associated with our overall business strategy; (ii) additional working capital investments or shareholder loans into AFE or SEE to support the growth of those strategic businesses; (iii) growing our technology IP portfolio and securing technology partners or collaborations that help us improve our ability to commercialize and implement SGT; (iv) paying the interest related to the Debentures; (v) general and administrative expenses; and (vi) working capital and other general corporate purposes.

 

On October 24, 2017, we entered into a securities purchase agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”) with certain accredited investors (the “Purchasers”) for the purchase of $8.0 million in principal amount of Senior Secured Debentures (“Debentures”). The Debentures have a term of 5 years with an interest rate of 11% that adjusts to 18% per annum in the event the Company defaults on an interest payment. The Debentures require that dividends received from BFR are used to pay down the principal amounts of outstanding debentures. Additionally, we issued warrants to purchase 1,000,000 shares of common stock at $4.00 per common share. The Purchase Agreement and the Debentures contain certain customary representations, warranties and covenants. There are no financial metric covenants related to the Debentures. The transaction was approved by a special committee of our board of directors due to the fact that certain board members were Purchasers. Interest on the outstanding balance of Debentures is payable quarterly commencing on January 1, 2018 (or next business day) and all unpaid principal and interest on the Debentures will be due on October 23, 2022.

 

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The net offering proceeds to the Company from the sale of the Debentures and warrants, after deducting the placement agent’s fee and associated costs and expenses, was approximately $7.4 million, not including the proceeds, if any, from the exercise of the warrants issued in this the offering. As compensation for its services, we paid T.R. Winston & Company, LLC (the “Placement Agent”): (i) a cash fee of $0.56 million (representing an aggregate fee equal to 7% of the face amount of the Debentures); and (ii) a warrant to purchase 70,000 shares of common stock, 7% of the shares issued to the Purchasers (the “Placement Agent Warrant”). We also reimbursed certain expenses of the Placement Agent.

 

The warrants and the Placement Agent Warrants are exercisable into shares of the Company’s common stock at any time at an exercise price of $4.00 per common share (subject to adjustment). The warrants and the Placement Agent Warrants will terminate five years after they become exercisable. The warrants and the Placement Agent Warrants contain provisions providing for the adjustment of the purchase price and number of shares into which the securities are exercisable in certain events.

 

The Debentures are guaranteed by the U.S. subsidiaries of the Company, as well as the Company’s British Virgin Islands subsidiary, pursuant to a Subsidiary Guarantee, in favor of the holders of the Debentures by the subsidiary guarantors, party thereto, as well as any future subsidiaries which the Company forms or acquires. The Debentures are secured by a lien on substantially all the assets of the Company and the subsidiary guarantors, other than their equity ownership interest in the Company’s foreign subsidiaries, pursuant to the terms of the Purchase Agreement among the Company, the subsidiary guarantors and the holders of the Debentures.

 

On May 13, 2016, we entered into an At The Market Offering Agreement (the “Offering Agreement”) with T.R. Winston & Company (“T.R. Winston”) to sell, from time to time, shares of our common stock having an aggregate sales price of up to $20.0 million through an “at the marketing offering” program under which T.R. Winston would act as sales agent, which we refer to as the ATM Offering. The shares that may be sold under the Offering Agreement, if any, would be issued and sold pursuant to the Company’s $75.0 million universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3 that was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 21, 2016. We had no obligation to sell any of our common stock under the Offering Agreement. The Offering Agreement expired in April 2018.

 

Notwithstanding the above, we have very limited financial and human resources necessary to fully develop and execute on all of our business opportunities. We can make no assurances that AFE, SEE and our other business operations including our expected share of dividends from BFR will provide us with sufficient and timely cash flows to continue our operations. We are seeking to strengthen our financial position through new strategic partnering activities and we may choose to raise additional capital through equity and debt financing to strengthen our balance sheet to support our delivery of potential new orders for our technology and for our corporate general and administrative expenses. We may consider a full range of financing options to create the most value for us which may include divestiture of assets such as our Yima Joint Venture, our Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and our technology. We cannot provide any assurance that any financing will be available to us in the future on acceptable terms or at all. Any such financing could be dilutive to our existing stockholders. If we cannot raise required funds on acceptable terms, we may further reduce our expenses and we may not be able to, among other things, (i) maintain our general and administrative expenses at current levels including retention of key personnel and consultants; (ii) successfully implement our business strategy, including continuing to deliver our technology to customers and partners pursuant to licenses; (iii) make additional capital contributions to our joint ventures; (iv) fund certain obligations as they become due; (v) respond to competitive pressures or unanticipated capital requirements; or (vi) repay our indebtedness. In addition, the Company may elect to sell certain of its investments as a source of cash to develop additional projects or for its general corporate purposes.

 

The following summarized the sources and uses of cash during the Current Year:

 

  Operating Activities:  During the Current Year, we used $6.1 million in cash for operating activities compared to $8.5 million during the Prior Year.  These funds were utilized to develop our technical licensing and related services and our general and administrative expenses.

 

  Investing Activities:  During the Current Year, we had a net source of cash of $1.1 million in investing activities, which included $1.7 million proceeds from the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture share transfer, and $0.6 million additional investment in AFE and SEE.  During the Prior Year, we used $0.4 million in investing activities for investing in AFE; used $5,000 for capital expenditures; and used $12,000 related to our ZZ Joint Venture restructuring.

 

  Financing Activities:  For the Current Year, we had a net source of cash of $7.2 million as compared to a net source of cash of $0.1 million in the Prior Year.  During the Current Year, we received net proceeds of $7.4 million from issuance of the debentures and paid legal fees of $0.2 million related to issuance costs of our Debentures.  During the Prior Year, we received proceeds of $0.1 million from the exercise of stock options.

 

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Project Accounting

 

Australian Future Energy Pty Ltd

 

We account for our investment in AFE under the equity method. Our ownership of 38% makes us the second largest shareholder. We also maintain a seat on the board of directors which allows us to have significant influence on the operations and financial decisions, but not control, of the company. On June 30, 2018, we owned approximately 38% of AFE and the carrying value of our investment in AFE was approximately zero and $39,000 as of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017 respectively.

 

Batchfire Resources Pty Ltd

 

We account for our investment in BFR under the cost method due to our limited investment and lack of significant influence. At the time of the spin-off, the carrying amount of our investment in AFE was reduced to zero through equity losses. As such, the value of the investment in BFR post spin-off was also zero. On June 30, 2018, our ownership in BFR was approximately 11% and the carrying value of our investment in BFR was zero as of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017.

 

SES EnCoal Energy sp. z o. o.

 

We account for our investment in SEE under the equity method. Our ownership of 50% makes us an equal shareholder and we also maintain two of the four seats on the board of directors which allows us to have significant influence on the operations and financial decisions, but not control, of the company. On June 30, 2018, as an equal shareholder, our ownership was 50% of SEE and the carrying value of our investment in SEE was approximately $36,000 and zero as of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017, respectively.

 

Yima Joint Venture

 

The Yima Joint Venture is accounted for under the cost method of accounting. Our conclusion to account for this joint venture under this methodology is based upon our historical lack of significant influence in the Yima Joint Venture. The lack of significant influence was determined based upon our interactions with the Yima Joint Venture related to our limited participation in operating and financial policymaking processes coupled with our limited ability to influence decisions which contribute to the financial success of the Yima Joint Venture. The carrying value of our Yima Joint Venture investment as of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017 was approximately $5.0 million and $8.5 million respectively.

 

Tianwo-SES Clean Energy Technologies Limited

 

The Tianwo-SES Joint Venture is accounted for under the equity method. Our initial capital contribution in the formation of the venture was the TUCA, which is an intangible asset. As such, we did not record a carrying value at the inception of the venture. The carrying value of our investment in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture was zero as of both June 30, 2018 and 2017. As such in December 2017, the proceeds related to the transfer of shares, 11.15 million RMB (approximately $1.7 million) was recorded as a gain when the final transfer of shares with local government authorities was completed.

 

Under the equity method of accounting, losses in the venture are not recorded if the losses cause the carrying value to be negative and there is no requirement of the Company to contribute additional capital. As we are not required to contribute additional capital, we have not recognized losses in the venture, as this would cause the carrying value to be negative. Had we recognized our share of the losses related to the venture, we would have recognized losses of approximately $0.5 million and $1.5 million for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively, and $3.4 million from inception to date.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

The preparation of financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or “GAAP”, requires our management to make certain estimates and assumptions which are inherently imprecise and may differ significantly from actual results achieved. We believe the following are our critical accounting policies due to the significance, subjectivity and judgment involved in determining our estimates used in preparing our consolidated financial statements. We evaluate our estimates and assumptions used in preparing our consolidated financial statements on an ongoing basis utilizing historic experience, anticipated future events or trends and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. The resulting effects of changes in our estimates are recorded in our consolidated financial statements in the period in which the facts and circumstances that give rise to the change in estimate become known.

 

We believe the following describes significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements:

 

Revenue Recognition

 

Revenue from sales of products and sales of equipment are recognized when the following elements are satisfied: (i) there are no uncertainties regarding customer acceptance; (ii) there is persuasive evidence that an agreement exists; (iii) performance or delivery has occurred; (iv) the sales price is fixed or determinable; and (v) collectability is reasonably assured.

 

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Technology licensing revenue is typically received over the course of a project’s development as milestones are met. We may receive upfront licensing fee payments when a license agreement is entered into. Typically, the majority of a license fee is due once project financing and equipment installation occur. We recognize license fees as revenue when the license fees become due and payable under the license agreement, subject to the deferral of the amount of the performance guarantee. Fees earned for engineering services, such as services that relate to integrating our technology to a customer’s project, are recognized using the percentage-of-completion method.

 

Accounting for Variable Interest Entities and Financial Statement Consolidation Criteria

 

The joint ventures which we have entered into may be considered a variable interest entity, (“VIE”). We consolidate all VIEs where we are the primary beneficiary. This determination is made at the inception of our involvement with the VIE and is continuously assessed. We consider qualitative factors and form a conclusion that we, or another interest holder, has a controlling financial interest in the VIE and, if so, whether it is the primary beneficiary. In order to determine the primary beneficiary, we consider who has the power to direct activities of the VIE most significantly impacts the VIE’s performance and has the obligation to absorb losses from or receive benefits of the VIE that could be significant to the VIE. We do not consolidate VIEs where we are not the primary beneficiary. We account for these unconsolidated VIEs using either the equity method if we have significant influence but not control, or cost method and include our net investment on our consolidated balance sheet. Under the equity method, our equity interest in the net income or loss from our unconsolidated VIEs is recorded in non-operating income/expense on a net basis on our consolidated statements of operations. In the event of a change in ownership, any gain or loss resulting from an investee share issuance is recorded in earnings. Controlling interest is determined by majority ownership interest and the ability to unilaterally direct or cause the direction of management and policies of an entity after considering any third-party participation rights.

 

Investment in Joint Ventures.

 

We have equity investments in various privately held entities. We account for these investments either under the equity method or cost method of accounting depending on our ownership interest and level of influence in each joint venture. Investments accounted for under the equity method are recorded based upon the amount of our investment and adjusted each period for our share of the investee's income or loss. Investments are reviewed for changes in circumstance or the occurrence of events that suggests other-than-temporary event where our investment may not be recoverable.

 

Impairment Evaluation of Long-Lived Assets

 

We evaluate our long-lived assets and specifically identified intangibles, when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. When we believe an impairment condition or "triggering event" may have occurred, we are required to estimate the undiscounted future cash flows associated with a long-lived asset or group of long-lived assets at the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of the cash flows of other assets and liabilities for long-lived assets that are expected to be held and used. If we determine that the undiscounted cash flows from an asset to be held and used are less than the carrying amount of the asset, or if we have classified an asset as held for sale, we estimate fair value to determine the amount of any impairment charge.

 

The following summarizes some of the most significant estimates and assumptions used in evaluating if we have an impairment charge.

 

Undiscounted Expected Future Cash Flows. In order to estimate future cash flows, we consider historical cash flows and changes in the market environment and other factors that may affect future cash flows. To the extent applicable, the assumptions we use are consistent with forecasts that we are otherwise required to make (for example, in preparing our other earnings forecasts). The use of this method involves inherent uncertainty. We use our best estimates in making these evaluations and consider various factors, including forward price curves for energy, feedstock costs, and other operating costs. However, actual future market prices and project costs could vary from the assumptions used in our estimates, and the impact of such variations could be material.

 

Fair Value. Generally, fair value will be determined using valuation techniques such as the present value of expected future cash flows. We will also discount the estimated future cash flows associated with the asset using a single interest rate representative of the risk involved with such an investment. We may also use different valuation models, such as Black-Scholes, to assist in the determining the value of certain options or in valuing the optionality of investments in equity. We may also consider prices of similar assets, consult with brokers, or employ other valuation techniques. We use our best estimates in making these evaluations; however, actual future market prices and project costs could vary from the assumptions used in our estimates, and the impact of such variations could be material.

 

Off Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

In October 2017, we amended and extended the lease agreement for our corporate offices in Houston, Texas which now expires on January 31, 2019.

 

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Recently Issued Accounting Standards

 

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued ASU No. 2014-09, which creates Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 606, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers,” and supersedes most existing U.S. GAAP revenue recognition guidance. In summary, the core principle of Topic 606 provides a single principles-based, five-step model to be applied to all contracts with customers. The five steps are to identify the contract(s) with the customer, to identify the performance obligations in the contract, to determine the transaction price, to allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract and to recognize revenue when performance obligations are satisfied. Revenue will be recognized when promised goods or services are transferred to the customer in an amount that reflects the consideration expected in exchange for those goods and services. Companies are allowed to select between two transition methods: (1) a full retrospective transition method with the application of the new guidance to each prior reporting period presented, or (2) a retrospective transition method that recognizes the cumulative effect on prior periods at the date of adoption together with additional footnote disclosures. The amendments in ASU No. 2014-09 are effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within that reporting period, and early application is not permitted. In March 2016 and April 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-08 and ASU No. 2016-10, respectively. The amendments in ASU No. 2016-08 and ASU No. 2016-10 do not change the core principle of ASU No. 2014-09, but instead clarify the implementation guidance on principle versus agent considerations and identify performance obligations and the licensing implementation guidance, respectively. We have decided to use modified retrospective basis as our method of adoption and will adopt the standard on July 1, 2018. The new ASU will have no impact on our historically reported consolidated financial statements as the Company’s revenue recorded in the comparison periods have been analyzed and would be recorded similarly under the new standard. Timing of revenues related to license fees in the future will be affected as receipt and the satisfying of the performance obligations may differ. There were no license revenues for the comparison years.

 

In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-01, which requires an entity to: (i) measure equity investments at fair value through net income, with certain exceptions for those accounted for under the equity method, those that result in consolidation and certain other investments; (ii) present in OCI the changes in instrument-specific credit risk for financial liabilities measured using the fair value option: (iii) present financial assets and financial liabilities by measurement category and form of financial asset; (iv) calculate the fair value of financial instruments for disclosure purposes based on an exit price and : (v) assess a valuation allowance on deferred tax assets related to unrealized losses of AFS debt securities in combination with other deferred tax assets. The update provides an election to subsequently measure certain nonmarketable equity investments at cost less any impairment and adjusted for certain observable price changes. This guidance is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017. We are evaluating what impact the adoption of this guidance will have on our financial statements and financial disclosures.

 

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, which creates ASC Topic 842, “Leases.” This update increases transparency and comparability among organizations by recognizing lease assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet and disclosing key information about leasing arrangements. This guidance is effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018. We are evaluating what impact, if any, the adoption of this guidance will have on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-15, which provides additional clarity on the classification of specific events on the statement of cash flows. These events include: debt prepayment and extinguishment costs, settlement of zero-coupon debt instruments, contingent consideration payments made after a business combination, proceeds from settlement of insurance claims, distributions received from equity method investees, and beneficial interests in securitization transactions. The update is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those annual reporting periods, with early application permitted. The new accounting standard addresses presentation in the statement of cash flows only and we do not expect the standard to have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

In February 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-05 which to clarify the scope and application of Subtopic 610-20, “Other Income– Gains and Losses from the Derecognition of Nonfinancial Assets”. The standard clarifies that a parent transferring its ownership interest in a consolidated subsidiary is within the scope of the accounting standard if substantially all the fair value of the assets within that subsidiary are nonfinancial assets. The standard also clarifies that the derecognition of all businesses and nonprofit activities should be accounted for in accordance with the derecognition and deconsolidation guidance. The standard also eliminates the exception in the financial asset guidance for transfers of investments (including equity method investments) in real estate entities. An entity is required to apply the amendments in this update at the same time that it applies the amendments in revenues from contracts with customers. The standard is effective beginning after December 15, 2017 and may be applied retrospectively to each period presented or through a cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings at the date of adoption. We do not expect the standard to have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-09, which amends ASC Topic 718, “Compensation – Stock Compensation”. This amendment provides guidance about which changes to the terms or conditions of a share-based payment award require an entity to apply modification accounting. The standard is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, with early adoption permitted, including adoption for interim periods. This standard must be applied prospectively upon adoption. We do not expect the standard to have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

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In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-07, which expands the scope of Topic 718, “Compensation – Stock Compensation”, to include share-based payment transactions for acquiring goods and services from non-employees. An entity should apply the requirements of Topic 718 to non-employee awards except for specific guidance on inputs to an option pricing model and the attribution of cost.  This amendment specify that Topic 718 applies to all share-based payment transactions in which a grantor acquires goods or services to be used or consumed in a grantor's own operations by issuing share-based payment awards.  This amendment also clarifies that Topic 718 does not apply to share-based payments used to effectively provide (1) financing to the issuer or (2) awards granted in conjunction with selling goods or services to customers as part of a contract accounted for under Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. The standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within that fiscal year.  We do not expect the standard to have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risk

 

Not applicable.

 

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

   Page
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm   46 
      
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm   47 
      
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of June 30, 2018 and 2017   48 
      
Consolidated Statements of Operations for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017   49 
      
Consolidated Statements of Other Comprehensive Loss for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017   50 
      
Consolidated Statement of Equity for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017   51 
      
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017   52 
      
Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements   53 

 

 

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc.

 

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. and its subsidiaries (the Company) as of June 30, 2018, the related consolidated statements of operations, other comprehensive income, stockholders' equity and cash flows for the year then ended, and the related notes to the consolidated financial statements (collectively, the financial statements). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of June 30, 2018, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

Emphasis of a Matter

The accompanying financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern. As discussed in Note 1 to the financial statements, the Company has suffered recurring losses from operations and has limited cash resources. This raises substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern. Management's plans in regard to these matters also are described in Note 1. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

 

Basis for Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audit, we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company's internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

 

Our audit included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audit also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

/s/ RSM US LLP

 

We have served as the Company's auditor since 2017.

 

Houston, Texas

November 14, 2018

 

46

 

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

To Board of Directors and Stockholders

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc.

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheet of Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (the “Company”) as of June 30, 2017, and the related consolidated statements of operations, other comprehensive loss, equity and cash flows for the year then ended. These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements based on our audit.

 

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. Our audit included consideration of internal control over financial reporting as a basis for designing audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion. An audit also includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts of disclosures in the consolidated financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall consolidated financial statement presentation. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. as of June 30, 2017, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for the year then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

 

/s/ BDO USA, LLP

Houston, Texas

October 25, 2017, except for the effects of the reverse stock split discussed in Note 2(a), as to which the date is November 14, 2018.

 

47

 

 

SYNTHESIS ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

(In thousands, except par value amounts)

 

   June 30,
2018
  June 30,
2017
ASSETS          
Current assets:          
Cash and cash equivalents  $7,071   $4,988 
Accounts receivable – related party, net   287    167 
Prepaid expenses and other currents assets   719    539 
Inventory       42 
           
Total current assets   8,077    5,736 
           
Property, plant and equipment, net   10    24 
Intangible asset, net   1,038    984 
Investment in joint ventures   5,036    8,539 
Other long-term assets   153    43 
           
Total assets  $14,314   $15,326 
           
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY          
Current liabilities:          
Accrued expenses and accounts payable  $1,681   $1,765 
           
Total current liabilities   1,681    1,765 
           
Senior secured debenture principal   8,000     
Less unamortized discount and debt issuance costs   (2,610)    
Total senior secured debenture   5,390     
           
Derivative liabilities   1,964     
           
Total long-term liabilities   7,354     
           
Total liabilities  $9,035   $1,765 
           
Commitment and contingencies (Note 14)          
           
Stockholders’ equity:          
           
Preferred stock, $0.01 par value- 20,000 shares authorized – no shares issued and outstanding        
Common stock, $0.01 par value: 200,000 shares authorized: 10,999 and 10,930 shares issued and outstanding, respectively   110    109 
Additional paid-in capital   265,066    263,809 
Accumulated deficit   (260,068)   (250,464)
Accumulated other comprehensive income   244    831 
Total stockholders’ equity to SES stockholders   

5,352

    14,285 
Noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries   

(73

)   (724)
           
Total stockholders’ equity   

5,279

    13,561 
           
Total liabilities and equity  $14,314   $15,326 

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

48

 

 

SYNTHESIS ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.

Consolidated Statements of Operations

(In thousands, except per share amounts)

 

   Year Ended June 30,
   2018  2017
Revenue:      
Technology licensing and related services  $269   $51 
Related party consulting services   1,238    100 
Total revenue   1,507    151 
           
Costs and Expenses:          
Costs of sales   413    142 
General and administrative expenses   6,450    8,622 
Stock-based expense   1,258    1,701 
Depreciation and amortization   37    66 
Impairments   

3,500

    17,700 
Total costs and expenses   

11,658

    28,231 
Operating loss   (10,151)   (28,080)
           
Non-operating income (expense):          
Equity in losses of joint ventures   (715)   (342)
Gain on fair value adjustments of derivative liabilities   126     
Foreign currency gain (losses), net   143    (71)
Interest expense   (869)    
Interest income   43    13 
Other gain   1,689     
Net loss before income tax provision   (9,734)   (28,480)
Income tax benefit/(provision)   129     
Net loss from continuing operations   (9,605)   (28,480)
Income/(loss) from discontinued operations       1,929 
           
Net Loss   (9,605)   (26,551)
Less: net loss attributable to non-controlling interests   (1)   

(28

)
           
Net loss attributable to SES stockholders  $(9,604)  $(26,523)
           
Net income/(loss) attributable to SES stockholders:          
From continuing operations   (9,604)   (28,461)
From discontinued operations       1,938 
           
Net loss attributable to SES stockholders  $(9,604)  $(26,523)
           
Net income/(loss) per share (Basic and diluted):          
From continuing operations  $(0.88)  $(2.61)
From discontinued operations       0.18 
           
Net loss per share attributable to SES stockholders  $(0.88)  $(2.43)
           
Weighted average common shares outstanding:          
Basic and diluted   10,964    10,893 

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

49

 

 

SYNTHESIS ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.

Consolidated Statements of Other Comprehensive Loss

(In thousands)

 

   Year Ended June 30,
   2018  2017
Net loss  $(9,605)  $(26,551)
Cumulative translation adjustment   (189)   (245)
Gain on disposition of investment in subsidiary   254     
Deconsolidation of ZZ Joint Venture       (1,655)
Comprehensive loss   (9,540)   (28,451)
Less:          
Comprehensive gain attributable to noncontrolling interests   

651

    

640

 
Comprehensive loss attributable to the Company  $(10,191)  $(29,091)

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

 

 

SYNTHESIS ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.

Consolidated Statements of Equity

(In thousands)

 

  

Common Stock

       

Accumulated

Other

 

Non-

   
  

 

Shares

 

Common

Stock

 

Additional

Paid-in Capital

 

Accumulated

Deficit

 

Comprehensive

Income

 

controlling

Interest

 

 

Total

                      
Balance at June 30, 2016   10,873   $105   $261,990   $(223,941)  $3,399   $(1,364)  $40,189 
                                    
Net loss               (26,523)       

(28

)   (26,551)
Currency translation adjustment from continued                                   
Operations                   (245)       (245)
Deconsolidation of ZZ Joint Venture                   (2,323)   668    (1,655)
Stock-based expense   34    2    1,699                1,701 
Exercise of stock options   23    2    120                122 
Balance at June 30, 2017   10,930   $109   $263,809   $(250,464)  $831   $(724)  $13,561 
                                    
Net loss               (9,604)       

(1

)   (9,605)
Currency translation adjustment from continued                                   
Operations                   (189)       (189)
Gain on disposition of investment in subsidiary                   (398)   652    254 
Stock-based expense   69    1    1,257                1,258 
Exercise of stock options                            
Balance at June 30, 2018   10,999   $110   $265,066   $(260,068)  $244   $

(73

)  $

5,279

 

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

51

 

 

SYNTHESIS ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

(In thousands)

 

   Year Ended June 30,
   2018  2017
Cash flows from operating activities:          
Net loss  $(9,605)  $(26,551)
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:          
Stock-based expense   1,258    1,701 
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment   15    15 
Amortization of debenture issuance cost   265     
Amortization of intangible and other assets   22    51 
Impairments   

3,500

    17,700 
Gain on fair value adjustment of derivative   (126)    
Net gain on discontinued operations       (1,929)
Gain on investment   (311)    
Other gains   (1,689)    
Equity in losses of joint ventures   715    342 
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:          
Accounts receivable - related party, net   (272)   (140)
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   (172)   279 
Inventory   43    1 
Other long-term assets   (185)   (100)
Accrued expenses and payables   422    118 
Net cash used in operating activities   (6,120)   (8,513)
           
Cash flows from investing activities:          
Capital expenditures       (5)
Proceeds from Tianwo-SES Joint Venture share transfer   1,689     
Cash transferred in connection with deconsolidation       (12)
Equity investment in joint ventures   (562)   (380)
Net cash used in investing activities   1,127    (397)
           
Cash flows from financing activities:          
Gross proceeds from issuance of debenture   8,000     
Payments on debenture issuance cost   (786)    
Proceeds from exercise of stock options, net       122 
Net cash provided by financing activities   7,214    122 
           
Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents   2,221    (8,788)
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year   4,988    13,807 
Effect of exchange rates on cash   (138)   (31)
Cash and cash equivalents, end of year  $7,071   $4,988 
           
Supplemental Disclosures:          
Cash paid for interest expense during the year:  $384   $ 

 

Non-cash investing activities during the year ended June 30, 2018

The company exchanged $150,000 of accounts receivable for $150,000 additional investment in AFE for the year ended June 30, 2018.

The company issued a total of 1,000,000 shares of warrants as discount to the debenture with a total fair value of approximately $2.0 million on the date of issuance.

The company issued a total of 70,000 shares of warrants to the placement agency with a total fair value of approximately $0.1 million on the date of issuance.

Non-cash investing activities during the year ended June 30, 2017

There were no non-cash investing activities related to the year ended June 30, 2017.

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

52

 

 

SYNTHESIS ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.

Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements

 

Note 1 — Business and Liquidity

 

(a) Organization and description of business

 

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (referred to herein as “we”, “us” and “our”), together with its wholly-owned and majority-owned controlled subsidiaries is a global clean energy company that owns proprietary technology, SES Gasification Technology (“SGT”), for the low-cost and environmentally responsible production of synthesis gas (referred to as the “syngas”). Syngas produced from SGT is a mixture of primarily hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane and is used for the production of a wide variety of high-value clean energy and chemical projects such as substitute natural gas, power, methanol, and fertilizer. Our current focus has been primarily on commercializing our technology outside China through the regional business platforms we have created with partners in Australia, Australia Future Energy Pty Ltd (“AFE”), and in Poland, SES EnCoal Energy sp. zo. o (“SEE”). Through AFE and SEE we believe we are developing energy and resource projects with the necessary commercial and financing structures to deliver attractive financial results. Our business model is to create value growth through AFE and SEE via the generation of earnings, from the licensing of our proprietary technology and the sale of proprietary equipment into those project developments, and through income from earned or carried equity ownership in resource and clean energy production facilities that utilize our technology. AFE and SEE endeavor to link long-term access to low-cost coal or renewable resources to the projects they develop as well as secure long-term contracts for product off-take thereby establishing the commercial and financing foundation for those projects.

 

We operate our business from our headquarters located in Houston, Texas and our offices in Shanghai, China. Additionally, our partnership companies AFE and SEE have independent operations in Brisbane, Australia and Warsaw, Poland respectively.

 

(b) Liquidity and Management’s Plan

 

As of June 30, 2018, we had $7.1 million in cash and cash equivalents and $6.4 million of working capital. On October 24, 2017, we received net proceeds of approximately $7.4 million related to the sale of $8.0 million of Senior Secured Debentures (“Debentures”). The Debentures have a term of 5 years with an interest rate of 11% that adjusts to 18% per annum in the event the Company defaults on an interest payment. The Debentures require that dividends received from Batchfire Resources Pty Ltd (“BFR”) are used to pay down the principal amounts of outstanding Debentures. Additionally, we issued warrants to purchase 1,000,000 shares of common stock at $4.00 per common share (shares and price adjusted for 1 for 8 reverse stock split effective December 4, 2017, see Note 2 Summary of Significant Accounting Policies(a) Reverse Stock Split). The Debentures transaction is discussed further in Note 6 – Senior Secured Debentures.

 

As of November 14, 2018, we had $4.0 million in cash and cash equivalents. In addition to the cash and cash equivalents, we have approximately another $0.3 million in Chinese bank acceptance notes, which are similar to certificates of deposits, and have maturity dates greater than 90 days but less than one year. Of the $4.0 million in cash and cash equivalents, $2.6 million resides in the United States or easily access foreign countries and approximately $1.4 million resides in China. We are seeking to strengthen our financial position through new strategic partnering opportunities and we consider a full range of financing options to create the most value for us which may include divestiture of assets such as our Yima Joint Venture, our Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and our technology. If we cannot raise required funds on acceptable terms, we may further reduce our expenses. We believe that with the strategies above, we can continue to operate for the next twelve months, assuming we can successfully transfer the funds currently in China to the U.S. Based on the historical negative cash flows that the Company has incurred, the continued limited cash inflows in the period subsequent to year end and the uncertain nature of the ability to transfer the cash that resides in China, there is substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

 

We currently plan to use our available cash for: (i) securing orders and tasks associated with our overall business strategy; (ii) additional working capital investments or shareholder loans into AFE or SEE to support the growth of those strategic businesses; (iii) growing our technology IP portfolio and securing technology partners or collaborations that help us improve our ability to commercialize and implement SGT; (iv) paying the interest related to the Debentures; (v) general and administrative expenses; and (vi) working capital and other general corporate purposes.

 

We currently have very limited financial and human resources to fully develop and execute on all of our business opportunities. We can make no assurances that AFE, SEE and our other business operations including our expected share of dividends from BFR will provide us with sufficient and timely cash flows to continue our operations. We are seeking to strengthen our financial position through new strategic partnering activities and we may choose to raise additional capital through equity and debt financing to strengthen our balance sheet to support our delivery of potential new orders for our technology and for our corporate general and administrative expenses. We may consider a full range of financing options to create the most value for us which may include divestiture of assets such as our Yima Joint Venture, our Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and our technology. We cannot provide any assurance that any financing will be available to us in the future on acceptable terms or at all. Any such financing could be dilutive to our existing stockholders. If we cannot raise required funds on acceptable terms, we may further reduce our expenses and we may not be able to, among other things, (i) maintain our general and administrative expenses at current levels including retention of key personnel and consultants; (ii) successfully implement our business strategy, including continuing to deliver our technology to customers and partners pursuant to licenses; (iii) make additional capital contributions to our joint ventures; (iv) fund certain obligations as they become due; (v) respond to competitive pressures or unanticipated capital requirements; or (vi) repay our indebtedness. In addition, we may elect to sell certain investments as a source of cash to develop additional projects or for general corporate purposes. See “Note 8 – Risks and Uncertainties.”

 

53

 

 

Note 2 — Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

 

(a) Reverse Stock Split

On December 4, 2017, we enacted a 1 to 8 reverse stock split as approved by a special stockholder meeting in November 2017. All share and per share amounts in the consolidated financial statements have been retroactively restated to reflect the reverse stock split.

 

(b) Basis of presentation and principles of consolidation, prior period corrections, deconsolidation of ZZ Joint Venture

 

Basis of presentation and principles of consolidation. The consolidated financial statements are in U.S. dollars. Non-controlling interests in consolidated subsidiaries in the consolidated balance sheets represents minority stockholders’ proportionate share of the equity in such subsidiaries. All significant intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

 

Immaterial prior period corrections. During the preparation of the consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended June 30, 2018, we identified certain errors in our historical financial statements. These errors relate to (in thousands):

 

(i)The conversion of our Yima Joint Venture investment from the equity method to the cost method in 2013 should have included the reclassification of the related accumulated comprehensive income to the basis of our investment. This reclassification would have resulted in a reduction of impairments of the investment recorded in periods prior to our 2017 financial statements by $3,187. We decreased the balance of accumulated deficit and accumulated other comprehensive income at June 30, 2017 and 2016 by $3,187 to correct for this error.
(ii)The allocation of losses to the noncontrolling interests in our subsidiary Synthesis Energy Systems Investments, Inc. (“SESI”), should have excluded certain charges contractually agreed to with the noncontrolling interest shareholder. At June 30, 2016, we increased accumulated deficit and noncontrolling interest by $190; at June 30, 2017, we increased accumulated deficit and noncontrolling interest by $477 and for the year ended June 30, 2017, we increased losses attributable to SES stockholders and decreased losses allocated to the noncontrolling interest by $287.

 

We have assessed these misstatements and concluded that they were not material to any of the previously issued consolidated financial statements, however, these adjustments would be material to the current year financial statements if corrected in the current year. These prior period error corrections have been corrected in the consolidated financial statements reported herein as of and for the year ended June 30, 2017.

 

Deconsolidation of ZZ Joint Venture. As discussed in Note 4-Current Projects, in August 2016, the Company announced that it and Shandong Hai Hua Xuecheng Energy Co. Ltd. (“Xuecheng Energy”) entered into a Definitive Agreement to restructure the ZZ Joint Venture. The agreement took full effect when the registration with the government was completed on October 31, 2016. During the second quarter of fiscal 2017, the Company deconsolidated the ZZ Joint Venture and began accounting for its investment in the ZZ Joint Venture under the cost method. For purposes of these financials, the Company has classified all operations related to the ZZ Joint Venture as discontinued operations for all periods presented and have classified all assets and liabilities related to the ZZ Joint Venture as assets/liabilities of discontinued operations as of June 30, 2016.

 

Disposition of investment in subsidiary. In November 2017, we received the authority registration change notice for the share transfer of all of our interest in our Golden Concord Limited Joint Venture. This joint venture has essentially been dormant since June 2013. Upon receiving the approved share transfer, we recognized the elimination of all remaining balances outstanding related to this investment which resulted in a gain of $0.3 million.

 

(c) Accounting for Variable Interest Entities and Financial Statement Consolidation Criteria

 

We have equity investments in various privately held entities. We account for these investments either under the equity method or cost method of accounting depending on our ownership interest and the level of our influence in each joint venture. Investments accounted for under the equity method are recorded based upon the amount of our investment and adjusted each period for our share of the investee's income or loss. Cost method investments are recorded at cost less any impairments. All investments are reviewed for changes in circumstance or the occurrence of events that suggest an other than temporary event where our investment may not be recoverable.

 

The joint ventures which we have entered into may be considered a variable interest entity, (“VIE”). We consolidate all VIEs where we are the primary beneficiary. This determination is made at the inception of our involvement with the VIE and is continuously assessed. We consider qualitative factors and form a conclusion that we, or another interest holder, has a controlling financial interest in the VIE and, if so, whether it is the primary beneficiary. In order to determine the primary beneficiary, we consider who has the power to direct activities of the VIE that most significantly impacts the VIE’s performance and has the obligation to absorb losses from or the right to receive benefits of the VIE that could be significant to the VIE. We do not consolidate VIEs where we are not the primary beneficiary. We account for these unconsolidated VIEs using either the equity method if we have significant influence but not control, or the cost method and include our net investment on our consolidated balance sheet.  Under the equity method, our equity interest in the net income or loss from our investments are recorded in non-operating income/expense on a net basis on its consolidated statements of operations. In the event of a change in ownership, any gain or loss resulting from an investee share issuance is recorded in earnings. Controlling interest is determined by majority ownership interest and the ability to unilaterally direct or cause the direction of management and policies of an entity after considering any third-party participatory rights. Our investments are as follows:

 

54

 

 

We have determined that AFE (as defined in Note 4 – Current ProjectsAustralian Future Energy Pty Ltd) is a VIE that we are not the primary beneficiary as other shareholders have a 62% ownership interest and we are not the largest shareholder or have the power to direct the activities of the VIE. We account for our investment in AFE under the equity method. The carrying value of our investment in AFE at June 30, 2018 was zero and approximately $39,000 at June 30, 2017.

 

We have determined that BFR (as defined in Note 4 – Current ProjectsBatchfire Resources Pty Ltd) is a VIE that we are not the primary beneficiary as other shareholders have more than an 89% ownership interest nor do we have the power to direct the activities of the VIE. We account for our investment in BFR under the cost method. At the time of the spin-off from AFE, the carrying value of our investment in AFE was reduced to zero through equity losses. As such, the value of our investment in BFR was also zero. The carrying value of our investment in BFR at both June 30, 2018 and 2017 was zero.

 

We have determined that SEE (as defined in Note 4 – Current ProjectsSES EnCoal Energy sp. z o. o) is a VIE that we are not the primary beneficiary as the ownership of the company is split between two equal shareholders, each with a 50% ownership interest. We have the power to influence but not direct the activities of the VIE. We account for our investment in SEE under the equity method. The initial capitalization of the company was funded in January 2018 with additional funding in March 2018. The carrying value of our investment in SEE at June 30, 2018 and 2017 was approximately $35,000 and zero respectively.

 

We have determined that the Yima Joint Venture (as defined in Note 4 – Current ProjectsYima Joint Venture) is a VIE of which Yima, our joint venture partner, is the primary beneficiary since they have a 75% ownership interest in the Yima Joint Venture and the power to direct the activities of the VIE that most significantly influence the VIE’s performance. We have also determined that our 25% ownership interest does not allow us to influence the activities of the VIE. We account for our investment in the Yima Joint Venture under the cost method. The carrying value of our investment in Yima Joint Venture at June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017 was approximately $5.0 million and $8.5 million respectively. See Note 4 – Current Projects – Yima Joint Venture for a further discussion of our accounting method.

 

We have determined that the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture (as defined in Note 4- Current ProjectsTianwo-SES Clean Energy Technologies Limited) is a VIE of which STT, the largest joint venture partner, is the primary beneficiary since SST has a 50% ownership interest in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and has the power to direct the activities of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture that most significantly influence its performance. We account for our investment in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture under the equity method. Because of losses sustained by the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, the carrying value of this joint venture is zero at both June 30, 2018 and 2017. See Note 4 – Current Projects - Tianwo-SES Clean Energy Technologies Limited for a further discussion of our accounting method.

 

Prior to August 2016, we determined that the ZZ Joint Venture (as defined in Note 4 – Current ProjectsSynthesis Energy Systems (Zao Zhuang) New Gas Company Ltd. was a VIE and determined that the Company was the primary beneficiary. As noted in Note 5, in August 2016, the Company announced that it and Xuecheng Energy entered into a Definitive Agreement to restructure the ZZ Joint Venture. The agreement took full effect when the registration with the government was completed on October 31, 2016. During the second quarter of fiscal 2017, the Company deconsolidated the ZZ Joint Venture and began accounting for our investment in the ZZ Joint Venture under the cost method. The carrying value of this investment is zero at both June 30, 2018 and 2017.

 

(d) Revenue Recognition

 

Revenue from sales of services, products, and equipment are recognized when the following elements are satisfied: (i) there are no uncertainties regarding customer acceptance; (ii) there is persuasive evidence that an agreement exists; (iii) performance or delivery has occurred; (iv) the sales price is fixed or determinable; and (v) collectability is reasonably assured. The Company records revenue net of any applicable value-added taxes.

 

We may receive upfront licensing fee payments when a license agreement is entered into.  Typically, the majority of a license fee is due once project financing and equipment installation occur. We recognize license fees for the use of our gasification systems as revenue when the license fees become due and payable under the license agreement, subject to the deferral of the amount of the performance guarantee.  No license fee revenue was recorded in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018. Fees earned for engineering services, such as services that relate to integrating our technology to a customer’s project, are recognized using the percentage-of-completion method or as services are provided. Estimates are used in calculating the performance guarantees and also used in the percentage-of-completion method calculations as discussed in (e) Use of estimates below. Revenues of $250,000 related to percentage of completion projects and $1,257,000 related to services provided or due to uncertainty when collected were recorded in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

 

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(e) Use of estimates

 

The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“U.S. GAAP”) requires management to make estimates that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Management considers many factors in selecting appropriate operational and financial accounting policies and controls, and in developing the assumptions that are used in the preparation of these consolidated financial statements. Management must apply significant judgment in this process. Among the factors, but not fully inclusive of all factors that may be considered by management in these processes are: the range of accounting policies permitted by U.S. GAAP; management’s understanding of the Company’s business for both historical results and expected future results; the extent to which operational controls exist that provide high degrees of assurance that all desired information to assist in the estimation is available and reliable or whether there is greater uncertainty in the information that is available upon which to base the estimate; expectations of the future performance of the economy, both domestically, and globally, within various areas that serve the Company’s principal customers and suppliers of goods and services; expected rates of exchange, sensitivity and volatility associated with the assumptions used in developing estimates; and whether historical trends are expected to be representative of future trends. The estimation process at times may yield a range of potentially reasonable estimates of the ultimate future outcomes and management must select an amount that lies within that range of reasonable estimates based upon the risks associated with the variability that might be expected from the future outcome and the factors considered in developing the estimate. Management attempts to use its business and financial accounting judgment in selecting the most appropriate estimate, however, actual amounts could and will differ from those estimates.

 

(f) Fair value measurements

 

Accounting standards require that fair value measurements be classified and disclosed in one of the following categories:

 

Level 1 Unadjusted quoted prices in active markets that are accessible at the measurement date for identical, unrestricted assets or liabilities;
   
Level 2 Quoted prices in markets that are not active, or inputs that are observable, either directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the asset or liability; and
   
Level 3 Prices or valuation techniques that require inputs that are both significant to the fair value measurement and unobservable (i.e., supported by little or no market activity).

 

The Company’s financial assets and liabilities are classified based on the lowest level of input that is significant for the fair value measurement. The following table summarizes the assets of the Company measured at fair value as of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017 (in thousands):

 

   June 30, 2018
   Level 1  Level 2  Level 3  Total
Assets:            
Certificates of Deposit  $   $50(1)  $   $50 
Money Market Funds   4,345(2)           4,345 
Non-recurring Investment in Yima Joint Venture           5,000    5,000 
                     
Liabilities:                    
Derivative liabilities  $   $   $1,964   $1,964 

 

   June 30, 2017
   Level 1  Level 2  Level 3  Total
Assets:            
Certificates of Deposit  $   $50(1)  $   $50 
Money Market Funds   3,927(2)           3,927 
Non-recurring Investment in Yima Joint Venture           8,500    8,500 

 

(1) Amount included in current assets on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets.

(2) Amount included in cash and cash equivalents on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets.

There were no liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of June 30, 2017.

 

The following table sets forth the changes in the estimated fair value for our Level 3 classified derivative liabilities (in thousands):

 

Derivative liabilities balance - June 30, 2017  $ 
Issuance of warrants - debenture   1,837 
Down round protection provision   253 
Change in fair value   (126)
Derivative liabilities balance – June 30, 2018  $1,964 

 

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The carrying values of the certificates of deposit and money market funds approximate fair value, which were estimated using quoted market prices for those or similar investments. The carrying value of other financial instruments, including accounts receivable and accounts payable approximate their fair values due to the short maturities on those instruments. Our Debentures are recorded at face value of $8.0 million and fair value is unable to be determined. The derivative liabilities are measured at fair value using a Monte Carlo simulation valuation methodology (See also Note 7 – Derivative Liabilities for more details related to valuation and assumptions of the Company’s derivative liabilities).

 

(g) Derivative Instruments

 

We currently do not use derivative instruments to hedge exposures to cash flow, market or foreign currency risks. We account for derivatives in accordance with ASC 815, which establishes accounting and reporting for derivative instruments and hedging activities, including certain derivative instruments embedded in other financial instruments or contracts and requires recognition of all derivatives on the balance sheet at fair value, regardless of hedging relationship designation.

 

(h) Cash and cash equivalents

 

The Company considers all highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less to be cash equivalents.

 

(i) Accounts receivable and allowance for doubtful accounts

 

Accounts receivable are stated at historical carrying amounts net of allowance for doubtful accounts. We establish provisions for losses on accounts receivable if it is determined that collection of all or part of an outstanding balance is not probable. Collectability is reviewed regularly, an allowance is established or adjusted, as necessary. As of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018 and 2017, no allowance for doubtful accounts was necessary.

 

(j) Property, plant, and equipment

 

Property, plant and equipment are stated at cost, net of accumulated depreciation. Depreciation is computed by using the straight-line method at rates based on the estimated useful lives of the various classes of property, plant and equipment. Estimates of useful lives are based upon a variety of factors including durability of the asset, the amount of usage that is expected from the asset, the rate of technological change and the Company’s business plans for the asset. Leasehold improvements are amortized on a straight-line basis over the shorter of the lease term or estimated useful life of the asset. Should the Company change its plans with respect to the use and productivity of property, plant and equipment, it may require a change in the useful life of the asset or incur a charge to reflect the difference between the carrying value of the asset and the proceeds expected to be realized upon the asset’s sale or abandonment. Expenditures for maintenance and repairs are expensed as incurred and significant major improvements are capitalized and depreciated over the estimated useful life of the asset.

 

(k) Intangible assets

 

Intangible assets with indefinite useful lives are not amortized but instead are tested annually for impairment, or immediately if conditions indicate that impairment could exist. Intangible assets with definite useful lives are amortized over their estimated useful lives and reviewed for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. Substantial judgment is necessary in the determination as to whether an event or circumstance has occurred that may trigger an impairment analysis and in the determination of the related cash flows from the asset. Estimating cash flows related to long-lived assets is a difficult and subjective process that applies historical experience and future business expectations to revenues and related operating costs of assets. Should impairment appear to be necessary, subjective judgment must be applied to estimate the fair value of the asset, for which there may be no ready market, which often times results in the use of discounted cash flow analysis and judgmental selection of discount rates to be used in the discounting process. If the Company determines an asset has been impaired based on the projected undiscounted cash flows of the related asset or the business unit, and if the cash flow analysis indicates that the carrying amount of an asset exceeds related undiscounted cash flows, the carrying value is reduced to the estimated fair value of the asset. We evaluated such intangibles for impairments and did not record an impairment for the year ended June 30, 2018.

 

(l) Impairment of long-lived assets

 

We evaluate our long-lived assets, such as property, plant and equipment, construction-in-progress, and specifically identified intangibles, when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. When we believe an impairment condition may have occurred, it is required to estimate the undiscounted future cash flows associated with a long-lived asset or group of long-lived assets at the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of the cash flows of other assets and liabilities for long-lived assets that are expected to be held and used. If we determine that the undiscounted cash flows from an asset to be held and used are less than the carrying amount of the asset, or if we have classified an asset as held for sale, we estimate fair value to determine the amount of any impairment charge.

 

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We evaluated the conditions of the Yima Joint Venture to determine whether other-than-temporary decrease in value had occurred as of June 30, 2018 and 2017. As of June 30, 2018, management determined there was a triggering event related to the value of its investment in the Yima Joint Venture. Lower production levels in the fourth quarter reduced the annual production below expectations which resulted in a net increase in the working capital deficit and the debt levels of the joint venture. At June 30, 2017, management determined that there were triggering events related to the value of its investment and these were the lower than expected production levels and the increased debt levels as compared to the previous year, which indicated a continued cash flow concern for the joint venture. Management determined these events in both years were other-than-temporary in nature and therefore conducted an impairment analysis utilizing a discounted cash flow fair market valuation and a Black-Scholes Model-Fair Value of Optionality used in valuing companies with substantial amount of debt where a discounted cash flow valuation may be inadequate for estimating fair value with the assistance of a third-party valuation expert. In this valuation, significant unobservable inputs were used to calculate the fair value of the investment. These inputs included forecasted methanol and coal prices, calculated discount rates and discount for lack of marketability as the majority owner is a state-owned entity in China, volatility analysis and information received from the joint venture. The valuation led to the conclusion that the investment in the Yima Joint Venture was impaired as of June 30, 2018 and, therefore, we recorded a $3.5 million impairment for the year ended June 30, 2018. The previous valuation concluded there was an impairment which resulted in a $17.7 million impairment for the year ended June 30, 2017. The carrying value of our Yima investment as of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017 was approximately $5.0 million and $8.5 million respectively. We continue to monitor the Yima Joint Venture and could record an additional impairment in the future if operating conditions deteriorate or if the cash flow situation worsens.

 

(m) Income taxes

 

Deferred tax liabilities and assets are determined based on temporary differences between the basis of assets and liabilities for income tax and financial reporting purposes. The deferred tax assets and liabilities are classified as long-term asset or long-term liability. Valuation allowances are established when necessary based upon the judgment of management to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount expected to be realized and could be necessary based upon estimates of future profitability and expenditure levels over specific time horizons in tax jurisdictions. We recognize the tax benefits from an uncertain tax position when, based on technical merits, it is more likely than not the position will be sustained on examination by the taxing authorities.

 

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) was signed into law. The Act provides for numerous significant tax law changes and modifications with varying effective dates, which include reducing the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, creating a territorial tax system, broadening the tax base, and allowing for immediate capital expensing of certain qualified property. Due to losses recorded in past years and the fact we have offset our net deferred tax assets with a valuation allowance, the Act will have a minimal effect. The Act however does allow for Alternative Minimum Tax (“AMT”) to be refundable over subsequent periods. The tax benefit of approximately $129,000 was recorded for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018 includes previously paid AMT tax amounts we paid in past years which are refundable under the Act.

 

(n) Foreign currency translation

 

Certain of the Company’s foreign subsidiaries utilize the local currency as their functional currency. Assets and liabilities of these foreign subsidiaries are translated into U.S. dollars at period-end rates of exchange, and income and expenses are translated at average exchange rates during the period. Adjustments resulting from translating financial statements into U.S. dollars are reported as cumulative translation adjustments and are shown as a separate component of other comprehensive loss. Gains and losses from foreign currency transactions are included in the calculation of net loss.

 

(o) Stock-based expense

 

The Company has a stock-based compensation plan under which stock-based awards have been granted to employees and non-employees. Stock-based expense is accounted for in accordance with ASC 718, “Compensation – Stock Compensation.” We establish fair values for our equity awards to determine its cost and recognize the related expense over the appropriate vesting periods. We recognize expense for stock options, stock warrants, and restricted stock awards. The fair value of restricted stock awards is based on the market value as of the date of the awards, and for stock-based awards vesting based on service period, the value of the portion of the award that is ultimately expected to vest is recognized as expense over the requisite service period on a straight-line basis for each separately vesting portion of the award as if the award was, in substance, multiple awards. See Note 15 – EquityStock-Based Awards for additional information related to stock-based expense.

 

Note 3 — Recently Issued Accounting Standards

 

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued ASU No. 2014-09, which creates Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 606, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers,” and supersedes most existing U.S. GAAP revenue recognition guidance. In summary, the core principle of Topic 606 provides a single principles-based, five-step model to be applied to all contracts with customers. The five steps are to identify the contract(s) with the customer, to identify the performance obligations in the contract, to determine the transaction price, to allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract and to recognize revenue when performance obligations are satisfied. Revenue will be recognized when promised goods or services are transferred to the customer in an amount that reflects the consideration expected in exchange for those goods and services. Companies are allowed to select between two transition methods: (1) a full retrospective transition method with the application of the new guidance to each prior reporting period presented, or (2) a retrospective transition method that recognizes the cumulative effect on prior periods at the date of adoption together with additional footnote disclosures. The amendments in ASU No. 2014-09 are effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within that reporting period, and early application is not permitted. In March 2016 and April 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-08 and ASU No. 2016-10, respectively. The amendments in ASU No. 2016-08 and ASU No. 2016-10 do not change the core principle of ASU No. 2014-09, but instead clarify the implementation guidance on principle versus agent considerations and identify performance obligations and the licensing implementation guidance, respectively. We have decided to use modified retrospective basis as our method of adoption and will adopt the standard on July 1, 2018. The new ASU will have no impact on our historically reported consolidated financial statements as the Company’s revenue recorded in the comparison periods have been analyzed and would be recorded similarly under the new standard. Timing of revenues related to license fees in the future will be affected as receipt and the satisfying of the performance obligations may differ. There were no license fee revenues for the comparison years. See also Note 2 (e) Revenue Recognition for current revenue recognition policy.

 

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In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-01, which requires an entity to: (i) measure equity investments at fair value through net income, with certain exceptions for those accounted for under the equity method, those that result in consolidation and certain other investments; (ii) present in OCI the changes in instrument-specific credit risk for financial liabilities measured using the fair value option: (iii) present financial assets and financial liabilities by measurement category and form of financial asset; (iv) calculate the fair value of financial instruments for disclosure purposes based on an exit price and : (v) assess a valuation allowance on deferred tax assets related to unrealized losses of AFS debt securities in combination with other deferred tax assets. The update provides an election to subsequently measure certain nonmarketable equity investments at cost less any impairment and adjusted for certain observable price changes. This guidance is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017. We are evaluating what impact the adoption of this guidance will have on our financial statements and financial disclosures.

 

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, which creates ASC Topic 842, “Leases.” This update increases transparency and comparability among organizations by recognizing lease assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet and disclosing key information about leasing arrangements. This guidance is effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018. We are currently evaluating what impact, if any, the adoption of this guidance will have on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-15, which provides additional clarity on the classification of specific events on the statement of cash flows. These events include: debt prepayment and extinguishment costs, settlement of zero-coupon debt instruments, contingent consideration payments made after a business combination, proceeds from settlement of insurance claims, distributions received from equity method investees, and beneficial interests in securitization transactions. The update is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those annual reporting periods, with early application permitted. The new accounting standard addresses presentation in the statement of cash flows only and we do not expect the standard to have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

In February 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-05 which to clarify the scope and application of Subtopic 610-20, “Other Income– Gains and Losses from the Derecognition of Nonfinancial Assets.” The standard clarifies that a parent transferring its ownership interest in a consolidated subsidiary is within the scope of the accounting standard if substantially all the fair value of the assets within that subsidiary are nonfinancial assets. The standard also clarifies that the derecognition of all businesses and nonprofit activities should be accounted for in accordance with the derecognition and deconsolidation guidance. The standard also eliminates the exception in the financial asset guidance for transfers of investments (including equity method investments) in real estate entities. An entity is required to apply the amendments in this update at the same time that it applies the amendments in revenues from contracts with customers. The standard is effective beginning after December 15, 2017 and may be applied retrospectively to each period presented or through a cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings at the date of adoption. We do not expect the standard to have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-09, which amends ASC Topic 718, “Compensation – Stock Compensation”. This amendment provides guidance about which changes to the terms or conditions of a share-based payment award require an entity to apply modification accounting. The standard is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, with early adoption permitted, including adoption for interim periods. This standard must be applied prospectively upon adoption. We do not expect the standard to have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-07, which expands the scope of Topic 718, “Compensation – Stock Compensation”, to include share-based payment transactions for acquiring goods and services from non-employees. An entity should apply the requirements of Topic 718 to non-employee awards except for specific guidance on inputs to an option pricing model and the attribution of cost.  This amendment specify that Topic 718 applies to all share-based payment transactions in which a grantor acquires goods or services to be used or consumed in a grantor's own operations by issuing share-based payment awards.  This amendment also clarifies that Topic 718 does not apply to share-based payments used to effectively provide (1) financing to the issuer or (2) awards granted in conjunction with selling goods or services to customers as part of a contract accounted for under Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. The standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within that fiscal year.  We do not expect the standard to have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or financial disclosures.

 

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Note 4 — Current Projects

 

Australian Future Energy Pty Ltd

 

In February 2014, we established AFE together with an Australian company, Ambre Investments PTY Limited (“Ambre”). AFE is an independently managed Australian business platform established for the purpose of building a large-scale, vertically integrated business in Australia based on developing, building and owning equity interests in financially attractive and environmentally responsible projects that produce low cost syngas as a competitive alternative to expensive local natural gas and LNG.

 

On June 9, 2015, we entered into a Master Technology Agreement (the “MTA”) with AFE which was later revised on May 10, 2017 (as described below). Pursuant to the MTA, we have conveyed certain exclusive access rights to our gasification technology in Australia focusing on promotion and use of our technology in projects. AFE is the exclusive operational entity for business relating to our technology in Australia and AFE owns no rights to sub-license our technology. AFE will work with us on project license agreements for use of our technology as projects are developed in Australia. In return for its work, AFE will receive a share of any license fee we receive for project licenses in Australia.

 

On May 10, 2017, we entered into a project technology license agreement with AFE in connection with a project being developed by AFE in Queensland Australia. AFE intends to form a subsidiary project company and assign the project technology license agreement to that company and that company will assume all of the obligations of AFE thereunder. Pursuant to the project technology license agreement, we granted a non-exclusive, license to use our technology at the project to manufacture syngas and to use our technology in the design of the facility. In consideration, the project technology license agreement calls for a license fee to be finalized based on the finalized plant capacity and a separate fee of $2.0 million for the delivery of a process design package. License fees shall be paid as project milestones are reached throughout the planning, construction and first five years of plant operations. The success and timing of the project being developed by AFE will affect if and/or when we will be able to receive all of the payments from this license agreement. However, there can be no assurance that AFE will be successful in developing this or any other project.

 

If AFE makes, whether patentable or not, improvements relating to our technology, they grant to us and our affiliates, an irrevocable royalty free right to use or license such improvements and agrees to make such improvements available free of charge.

 

AFE provides indemnity to us for damages resulting from the use of the technology in a manner other than as contemplated by the license, while we indemnify AFE to the extent that the intellectual property associated with the technology is found to infringe on the rights of a third party. Either party may terminate the license in connection with a material breach by the other party or the other party’s bankruptcy. AFE may also terminate if we fail to diligently commence the process design package as contemplated by the license. We also provide a guarantee of all obligations under the license. If we are unable to fulfil our obligations under this agreement, AFE may terminate the agreement and be entitled to a full, irrevocable, and unencumbered license for the duration of its project to use without any further payment to us.

 

AFE has evaluated multiple project opportunities and is currently focused on three projects, all in the state of Queensland, targeted to produce a combination of syngas and methane for industrial fuel gas plus ammonia and electric power.

 

In 2016, AFE completed the creation and spin-off of BFR (as discussed below) as a separate standalone company which acquired and operates the Callide thermal coal mine in Queensland.

 

In August 2017, AFE completed the acquisition of a mine development lease related to the 266-million-ton resource near Pentland, Queensland through AFE’s wholly owned subsidiary, Great Northern Energy Pty Ltd.

 

For our ownership interest in AFE, we have been contributing cash and engineering support for AFE’s business development while Ambre contributed cash and services. Additional ownership in AFE has been granted to the AFE management team and staff individuals providing services to AFE. In January 2017, we elected to increase our ownership interest in AFE by contributing approximately $0.4 million of cash. In August 2017 and March 2018, we elected to make additional contributions of $0.47 million and $0.16 million respectively to assist AFE with developing its business in Australia.

 

We account for our investment in AFE under the equity method. Our ownership of 38% makes us the second largest shareholder. We also maintain a seat on the board of directors which allows us to have significant influence on the operations and financial decisions, but not control, of the company. On June 30, 2018, we owned approximately 38% of AFE and the carrying value of our investment in AFE was zero as of June 30, 2018 and approximately $39,000 as of June 30, 2017.

 

The following summarizes unaudited condensed financial information of AFE as of and for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 (in thousands):

 

 
 
 
 
Year ended
June 30,
   2018  2017
Total assets  $421   $525 
Total equity   (158)   (130)
Net loss   (1,777)   (870)

 

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Batchfire Resources Pty Ltd

 

As a result of AFE’s early stage business development efforts associated with the Callide coal mine in Central Queensland, Australia, AFE created BFR. BFR was a spin-off company for which ownership interest was distributed to the existing shareholders of AFE and to the new BFR management team in December 2015. BFR is registered in Australia and was formed for the purpose of purchasing the Callide thermal coal mine from Anglo-American plc (“Anglo-American”). The Callide mine is one of the largest thermal coal mines in Australia and has been in operation for more than 20 years.

 

In October 2016, BFR stated that it had received investment support for the acquisition from Singapore-based Lindenfels Pte, Ltd, a subsidiary of commodity traders Avra Commodities. The acquisition of the Callide thermal coal mine from Anglo-America was completed in October 2016.

 

In January 2018, the Minister of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy approved BFR’s mining lease application through to 2043 for Callide coal mine’s Boundary Hill South Project. BFR is implementing its mining plan at Callide intended to lower the per unit mining costs and deliver profitable financial results.

 

We account for our investment in BFR under the cost method due to our limited investment and lack of significant influence. At the time of the spin-off, the carrying amount of our investment in AFE was reduced to zero through equity losses. As such, the value of the investment in BFR post spin-off was also zero. On June 30, 2018, our ownership in BFR was approximately 11% and the carrying value of our investment in BFR was zero as of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017.

 

SES EnCoal Energy sp. z o.o

 

In October 2017, we entered into agreements with Warsaw-based EnInvestments sp. z o.o. Under the terms of the agreements, we and EnInvestments are equal shareholders of SEE and SEE will exclusively market, develop, and commercialize projects in Poland which utilize our technology, services, and proprietary equipment and we share with SEE a portion of the technology license payments, net of fees, we receive from Poland. The goal of SEE is to establish efficient clean energy projects that provide Polish industries superior economic benefits as compared to the use of expensive, imported natural gas and LNG, while providing energy independence through our technological capabilities to convert the wide range of Poland’s indigenous coals, coal waste, biomass and municipal waste to valuable syngas products.  SEE has developed a pipeline of projects and together with us is actively working with Polish customers and partners to complete necessary project feasibility, permitting, and SGT technology agreement steps required prior to starting construction on the projects.

 

Tauron Wytwarzanie S.A. (“Tauron”), has contracted Poland’s Institute of Coal Chemistry (“IChPW”) to complete a detailed preliminary design assessment and economic study for the conversion of its 200MW conventional power boilers to clean syngas which would be Poland’s first SGT facility.

 

For our ownership interest in SEE, we have been contributing cash and assisting in the development of SEE. SEE was initially funded in January 2018 with a cash contribution of approximately $6,000 and an additional funding in March 2018 of approximately $76,000.

 

We account for our investment in SEE under the equity method. Our ownership of 50% makes us an equal shareholder and we also maintain two of the four seats on the board of directors which allows us to have significant influence on the operations and financial decisions, but not control, of the company. On June 30, 2018, as an equal shareholder, our ownership was 50% of SEE and the carrying value of our investment in SEE was approximately $36,000 and zero as of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017, respectively.

 

Yima Joint Venture

 

In August 2009, we entered into joint venture contracts and related agreements with Yima Coal Industry Group Company (“Yima”), replacing the prior joint venture contracts entered in October 2008 and April 2009. The joint ventures were formed for each of the gasification, methanol/methanol protein production, and utility island components of the plant (collectively the “Yima Joint Venture”). The joint venture contracts provided that we and Yima contribute equity of 25% and 75%, respectively, to the Yima Joint Venture. The remaining capital for the project construction has been funded with project debt obtained by the Yima Joint Venture. Yima agreed to guarantee the project debt in order to secure debt financing from domestic Chinese banking sources. We agreed to pledge to Yima our ownership interests in the joint ventures as security for our obligations. In the event that the necessary additional debt financing is not obtained, Yima agreed to provide a loan to the joint venture to satisfy the remaining capital needs of the project with terms comparable to current market rates at the time of the loan. Yima also agreed to provide coal to the project at preferential pricing under a side-letter agreement related to the JV contracts. To date, Yima has not provided coal at preferential price to the project and we do not believe Yima will do so in the future.

 

The term of the joint venture commenced June 9, 2009 at the time each joint venture company obtained its business operating license and shall end 30 years after the business license issue date, June 8, 2039. As discussed below, in November 2016, as part of an overall corporate restructuring plan, these joint ventures were combined into a single joint venture.

 

We continue to own a 25% interest in the Yima Joint Venture and Yima owns a 75% interest. Notwithstanding this, in connection with an expansion of the project, we have the option to contribute a greater percentage of capital for the expansion, such that as a result, we could expand through contributions, at our election, up to a 49% ownership interest in the Yima Joint Venture.

 

Despite initiating methanol production in December 2012, the Yima Joint Venture’s plant continued its construction through the beginning of 2016. In March 2016, the Yima Joint Venture completed the required performance testing of the SGT systems and successfully issued its Performance Test Certificate, which is the point that we considered the plant to be completed.

 

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During the quarter ended June 30, 2016, the Yima Joint Venture commenced an organizational restructuring to better streamline the operations. This restructuring effort the included combining the three joint ventures into a single operating entity and obtaining a business operating license and was completed in November 2016.

 

In December 2017 and January 2018, on-going development cooperation and discussions with the Yima Joint Venture management resulted in the joint venture agreeing to pay various costs incurred by us during the construction and commissioning period of the facility in the amount of approximately 16 million Chinese Renminbi yuan, (“RMB”). As of June 30, 2018, we have received 6.15 million RMB (approximately $0.9 million) of payments from the Yima Joint Venture related to these costs. Additional payments may be forthcoming. Due to uncertainty, revenues will be recorded upon receipt of payment.

 

Since 2014, we have accounted for this joint venture under the cost method of accounting. Our conclusion to account for this joint venture under this methodology is based upon our historical lack of significant influence in the Yima Joint Venture. The lack of significant influence was determined based upon our interactions with the Yima Joint Venture related to our limited participation in operating and financial policymaking processes coupled with our limited ability to influence decisions which contribute to the financial success of the Yima Joint Venture. Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, the Yima Joint Venture is to be governed by a board of directors consisting of eight directors, two of whom were appointed by us and six of whom were appointed by Yima. Although we maintain two seats on the board of directors, the board does not meet on a regular basis and management, who has been appointed by Yima has acted alone without board approval in many cases. In 2016, the board began holding periodic meetings beginning in April 2016 and again in July 2016 with the last meeting being held in January 2017. Discussions at these meetings generally have not included policy decisions, but rather served a more ceremonial function. Yima’s parent company, Henan Energy Chemistry Group Company (“Henan Energy”) restructured the management of the Yima Joint Venture under the direction of the Henan Coal Gasification Company (“Henan Gasification”), which is an affiliated company reporting directly to Henan Energy. Henan Gasification currently has full authority of day to day operational and personnel decisions at the Yima Joint Venture. Therefore, we concluded, and continue to believe, that we do not have significant influence in the matters of the Yima Joint Venture and the cost method is the appropriate accounting method. This consideration has been and continues to be monitored on a quarterly basis to assess whether that conclusion remains appropriate.

 

The Yima Joint Venture experienced certain cash flow concerns resulting primarily from a series of third-party bank loans due during calendar year 2016, an extended shutdown of the plant, and a need for interim shareholder loans from Yima, the 75% shareholder of the Yima Joint Venture. Yima successfully refinanced amounts which were due in October 2016. In addition to this refinancing, Yima completed an internal restructuring of its third-party loans in 2017. As of June 30, 2018, the Yima Joint Venture’s third-party loans balance was approximately 91.9 million RMB, approximately $13.8 million with $3.8 million due in October 2018 and $3.0 million due in March 2019, $5.1 million due in April 2019 and $1.9 million due in April 2020. The $3.8 million which came due in October 2018 is currently being negotiated for extension and final outcome is unknown at this time.

 

We evaluated the conditions of the Yima Joint Venture to determine whether other-than-temporary decrease in value had occurred as of June 30, 2018 and 2017. At June 30, 2018, management determined there was a triggering event related to the value of its investment. Lower production levels in the fourth quarter reduced the annual production below expectations which resulted in a net increase in the working capital deficit and the debt level of the joint venture. At June 30, 2017, management determined that there were triggering events related to the value of its investment and these were the lower than expected production levels and the increased debt levels as compared to the previous year, which indicated a continued cash flow concern for the joint venture. Management determined these events in both years were other than temporary in nature and therefore conducted an impairment analysis utilizing a discounted cash flow fair market valuation and a Black-Sholes Model-Fair Value of Optionality used in valuing companies with substantial amounts of debt where a discounted cash flow valuation may be inadequate for estimating fair value with the assistance of a third-party valuation expert. In this valuation, significant unobservable inputs were used to calculate the fair value of the investment (see Note 2 – (f) Use of Estimates). These inputs included forecasted methanol and coal prices, calculated discount rates and discount for lack of marketability as the majority owner is a state-owned entity in China, volatility analysis and information received from the joint venture. The valuation led to the conclusion that the investment in the Yima Joint Venture was impaired as of June 30, 2018 and, therefore, we recorded a $3.5 million impairment for the year ended June 30, 2018. The previous valuation concluded there was an impairment which resulted in a $17.7 million impairment for the year ended June 30, 2017.

 

The carrying value of our Yima Joint Venture investment as of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017 was approximately $5.0 million and $8.5 million respectively. We continue to monitor the Yima Joint Venture and could record additional impairments in the future if operating conditions deteriorate or if the cash flow situation worsens.

 

Tianwo-SES Clean Energy Technologies Limited

 

Joint Venture Contract

 

In February 2014, SES Asia Technologies Limited, one of our wholly owned subsidiaries, entered into a Joint Venture Contract (the “JV Contract”) with Zhangjiagang Chemical Machinery Co., Ltd., which subsequently changed its legal name to Suzhou Thvow Technology Co. Ltd. (“STT”), to form Tianwo-SES Clean Energy Technologies Limited, (“Tianwo-SES Joint Venture”). The purpose of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture is to establish the Company’s gasification technology as the leading gasification technology in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory (which is China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mongolia and Malaysia) by becoming a leading provider of proprietary equipment and engineering services for the technology. The scope of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture is to market and license our gasification technology via project sublicenses; procurement and sale of proprietary equipment and services; coal testing; and engineering, procurement and research and development related to the technology. STT contributed 53.8 million RMB (approximately $8.0 million) in April 2014 and was required to contribute an additional 46.2 million RMB (approximately $6.8 million) within two years of such date for a total contribution of 100 million RMB (approximately $14.8 million) in cash to the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture in return for a 65% ownership interest in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture. The second capital contribution from STT of 46.2 million RMB (approximately $6.8 million) was not paid by STT in April 2016 as required by the initial JV Contract. As part of a restructuring of the agreement described below, the obligation for payment of additional registered capital was removed.

 

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We have contributed certain exclusive technology sub-licensing rights into the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture for the territory pursuant to the terms of a Technology Usage and Contribution Agreement (the “TUCA”) entered into among the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, STT and us on the same date and further described in more detail below. This resulted in an original ownership of 35% of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture by SES. Under the JV Contract, neither party may transfer their interests in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture without first offering such interests to the other party.

 

In August 2017, we entered into a restructuring agreement of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture (“Restructuring Agreement”). The agreed change in share ownership, reduction in the registered capital of the joint venture, and the final transfer of shares with local government authorities was completed in December 2017. In this restructuring, an additional party was added to the JV Contract, upon receipt of final government approvals, The Innovative Coal Chemical Design Institute (“ICCDI”) has become a 25% owner of Tianwo-SES, we have decreased our ownership to 25% and STT has decreased its ownership to 50%. ICCDI previously served as general contractor and engineered and constructed all three projects for the Aluminum Corporation of China. We received 11.15 million RMB (approximately $1.7 million) from ICCDI as a result of this restructuring. In conjunction with the joint venture restructuring, we also received 1.2 million RMB (approximately $180,000) related to outstanding invoices for services we had provided to the Tianwo SES Joint Venture.

 

In addition to the ownership changes described above, Tianwo-SES is now managed by a board of directors (the “Board”) consisting of eight directors, four appointed by STT, two appointed by ICCDI and two appointed by us. All significant acts as described in the JV Contract require the unanimous approval of the Board.

 

The JV Contract also includes a non-competition provision which requires that the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture be the exclusive legal entity within the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory for the marketing and sale of any gasification technology or related equipment that utilizes low quality coal feedstock. Notwithstanding this, STT retained the right to manufacture and sell gasification equipment outside the scope of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture within the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory. In addition, we retained the right to develop and invest equity in projects outside of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture within the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory. As a result of the Restructuring Agreement, we have further retained the right to provide gasification technology licenses and to sell proprietary equipment directly into projects in the joint venture territory provided we have an equity interest in the project. After the termination of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, STT and ICCDI must obtain written consent from us to market development of any gasification technology that utilizes low quality coal feedstock in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory.

 

The JV Contract may be terminated upon, among other things: (i) a material breach of the JV Contract which is not cured, (ii) a violation of the TUCA, (iii) the failure to obtain positive net income within 24 months of establishing the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture or (iv) mutual agreement of the parties.

 

Tianwo-SES Joint Venture unaudited financial data

 

The following table presents summarizes unaudited financial information for the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture (in thousands):

 

   Year Ended
June 30,
Income Statement data:  2018  2017
Revenue  $109   $3,709 
Operating loss   (1,686)   (3,470)
Net loss   (1,686)   (4,303)

 

   As of June 30,
Balance sheet data:  2018  2017
Current assets  $5,151   $6,016 
Noncurrent assets   1,376    5,565 
Current liabilities   4,011    3,696 
Noncurrent liabilities        
Equity   2,516    7,885 

 

The Tianwo-SES Joint Venture is accounted for under the equity method. Our initial capital contribution in the formation of the venture was the TUCA, which is an intangible asset. As such, we did not record a carrying value at the inception of the venture. The carrying value of our investment in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture was zero as of both June 30, 2018 and 2017. As such in December 2017, the proceeds related to the transfer of shares, 11.15 million RMB (approximately $1.7 million) was recorded as a gain when the final transfer of shares with local government authorities was completed.

 

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Under the equity method of accounting, losses in the venture are not recorded if the losses cause the carrying value to be negative and there is no requirement of the Company to contribute additional capital. As we are not required to contribute additional capital, we have not recognized losses in the venture, as this would cause the carrying value to be negative. Had we recognized our share of the losses related to the venture, we would have recognized losses of approximately $0.5 million and $1.5 million for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively, and $3.4 million from inception to date.

 

TUCA

 

Pursuant to the TUCA, we have contributed to the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture certain exclusive rights to our gasification technology in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory, including the right to: (i) grant site specific project sub-licenses to third parties; (ii) use our marks for proprietary equipment and services; (iii) engineer and/or design processes that utilize our technology or our other intellectual property; (iv) provide engineering and design services for joint venture projects and (v) take over the development of projects in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory that have previously been developed by us and our affiliates. As a result of the Restructuring Agreement, ICCDI was added as a party to the TUCA, but all other material terms remained the same.

 

The Tianwo-SES Joint Venture will be the exclusive operational entity for business relating to our technology in the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture territory, except for projects in which SES has an equity ownership position. For these projects, as a result of the Restructuring Agreement, SES can provide technology and equipment directly with no obligation to the joint venture. If the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture loses exclusivity due to a breach by us, STT and ICCDI are to be compensated for direct losses and all lost project profits. We were also required to provide training for technical personnel of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture through the second anniversary of the establishment of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, which has now passed. We will also provide a review of engineering works for the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture. If modifications are suggested by us and not made, the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture bears the liability resulting from such failure. If we suggest modifications and there is still liability resulting from the engineering work, it is our liability.

 

Any party making improvements, whether patentable or not, relating to our technology after the establishment of the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture, grants to the other party an irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty free right to use or license such improvements and agrees to make such improvements available to us free of charge. All such improvements shall become part of our technology and both parties shall have the same rights, licenses and obligations with respect to the improvement as contemplated by the TUCA.

 

The Tianwo-SES Joint Venture is required to establish an Intellectual Property Committee, with two representatives from the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and two from SES. This Committee shall review all improvements and protection measures and recommend actions to be taken by the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture in furtherance thereof. Notwithstanding this, each party is entitled to take actions on its own to protect intellectual property rights. As of June 30, 2018, that committee was yet to be formed.

 

Any breach of or default under the TUCA which is not cured on notice entitles the non-breaching party to terminate. The Tianwo-SES Joint Venture indemnifies us for misuse of our technology or infringement of our technology upon rights of any third party.

 

Synthesis Energy Systems (Zao Zhuang) New Gas Company Ltd.

 

In July 2006, we entered into a cooperative joint venture contract with Shandong Hai Hua Xuecheng Energy Co. Ltd. (“Xuecheng Energy”) which established Synthesis Energy Systems (Zao Zhuang) New Gas Company Ltd., (“the ZZ Joint Venture”). The ZZ Joint Venture’s primary purpose was to develop, construct and operate a syngas production plant utilizing SGT in Zao Zhuang City, Shandong Province, China and producing and selling syngas and the various byproducts of the plant.

 

We initially owned 97.6% of the ZZ Joint Venture and Xuecheng Energy owned the remaining 2.4%. In June 2015, we entered into a Share Purchase and Investment Agreement, (the “SPA”), with Rui Feng Enterprises Limited (“Rui Feng”), whereby Rui Feng would acquire a controlling interest in Synthesis Energy Systems Investments Inc. (“SESI”), and a wholly owned subsidiary, which owns our interest in the ZZ Joint Venture.  Under the terms of the SPA, SESI originally agreed to sell an approximately 61% equity interest to Rui Feng in exchange for $10 million.  This amount was to be paid in four installments through December 2016, with the first installment of approximately $1.6 million paid on June 26, 2015. However, Rui Feng did not make any subsequent payments. This resulted in our majority ownership (approximately 88.1%) until we eventually restructured our ownership with Xuecheng Energy.

 

In August 2016, we announced that we and Xuecheng Energy had entered into a definitive agreement to restructure the ZZ Joint Venture. Due to the Chinese government’s widespread initiative to move industry into larger scale, commercial and environmentally beneficial industrial parks, it became clear that the plant was no longer going to be allowed to operate in its current location. As a result, we retain an approximate nine percent ownership in the ZZ Joint Venture asset, and Xuecheng Energy assumed all outstanding liabilities of the ZZ Joint Venture, including payables related to the Cooperation Agreement with Xuecheng Energy signed in 2013. The definitive agreement took full effect when the registration with the government was completed on October 31, 2016. With the closure of this transaction, SES does not anticipate any future liabilities related to the ZZ Joint Venture.

 

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During the second quarter of fiscal 2017, we deconsolidated the ZZ Joint Venture and began accounting for our investment in ZZ Joint Venture under the cost method. The carrying value of our investment in the ZZ Joint Venture was zero at both June 30, 2018 and 2017.

 

Note 5 — Discontinued Operations

 

As discussed in Note 4, in August 2016, the Company reached a definitive agreement with Xuecheng Energy to reduce its ownership in the ZZ Joint Venture to approximately 9%. The definitive agreement took full effect in October 2016, when the government approved our transfer. The ZZ Joint Venture was deconsolidated during the quarter ended December 31, 2016.

 

The following table provides the results of operations from discontinued operation, the ZZ Joint Venture, for the year ended June 30, 2018, and 2017.

 

   Year Ended
June 30,
Revenue:  2018  2017
Product sales and other –related parties  $   $ 
Technology licensing and related services       168 
           
Total revenue from discontinued operations  $   $168 
           
Net income/(loss) attributable to SES Stockholders:          
From discontinued operations  $   $(380)
From Gain on deconsolidation       2,318 
           
Total Net income/(loss) from discontinued operations:  $   $1,938 

 

The following table provides the major categories of cash flows from discontinued operations, our ZZ Joint Venture, for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017.

 

 
 
 
 
Year Ended
June 30,
   2018  2017
Cash flow from operating activities  $   $ 
Cash flow from investing activities       (16)
Cash flow from financing activities        

 

There are no significant non-cash transactions related to discontinued operations for the year ended June 30, 2018 and 2017.

 

Note 6 — Senior Secured Debentures

 

On October 24, 2017, the Company entered into a securities purchase agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”) with certain accredited investors (the “Purchasers”) for the purchase of $8.0 million in principal amount of Debentures. The Debentures have a term of 5 years with an interest rate of 11% that adjusts to 18% in the event the Company defaults on an interest payment. The Debentures require that dividends received from BFR are used to pay down the principal amounts of outstanding Debentures. Additionally, we issued warrants to purchase 1,000,000 shares of common stock at $4.00 per common share. The Purchase Agreement and the Debentures contain certain customary representations, warranties and covenants. There are no financial metric covenants related to the Debentures. The transaction was approved by a special committee of our board of directors due to the fact that certain board members were Purchasers. Interest on the outstanding balance of Debentures is payable quarterly commencing on January 2, 2018, all unpaid principal and interests on the Debentures will be due on October 23, 2022.

 

The net offering proceeds to the Company from the sale of the Debentures and warrants, after deducting the placement agent’s fee and associated costs and expenses, was approximately $7.4 million, not including the proceeds, if any, from the exercise of the warrants issued in this offering. As compensation for its services, we paid T.R. Winston & Company, LLC (the “Placement Agent”): (i) a cash fee of $0.56 million (representing an aggregate fee equal to 7% of the face amount of the Debentures); and (ii) a warrant to purchase 70,000 shares of common stock, 7% of the shares issued to the Purchasers (the “Placement Agent Warrants”). We also reimbursed certain expenses of the Placement Agent. The fair market value of the warrants was approximately $137,000 at the time of issuance and recorded as debt issuance cost. A total of approximately $1.0 million debt issuance cost was recorded as a result and is being amortized to interest expense over the term of the Debentures by using effective interest method beginning in October 2017.

 

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The warrants and Placement Agent Warrants contain provisions providing for the adjustment of the purchase price and number of shares into which the securities are exercisable in the certain events. Also, under certain events, the Company shall, at the holder’s option, purchase the warrants from the holder by paying the holder an amount in cash based on a Black Scholes Option Pricing Model for remaining unexercised warrants. Under U.S. GAAP, this potential cash transaction requires the Company to record the fair market value of the warrants as a liability as opposed to equity. Management used a Monte Carlo Simulation method to value the warrants with Anti-Dilution Protection with the assistance of a third-party valuation expert. To execute the model and value the warrants, certain assumptions were needed as noted below:

 

Valuation Date:   October 24, 2017 
Warrant Expiration Date:   October 31, 2022 
Total Number of Warrants Issued:   1,000,000 
Contracted Conversion Ratio:   1:1 
Warrant Exercise Price (USD)   4.00 
Next Capital Raise Date:   October 31, 2018 
Threshold exercise price post Capital raise:   2.51 
Spot Price (USD):   3.28 
Expected Life (Years):   5.0 
Volatility:   66.0%
Volatility (Per-period Equivalent):   19.1%
Risk Free Interest Rate:   2.04%
Risk Free Rate (Per-period Equivalent):   0.17%
Nominal Value (USD Mn):   4.0 
No of Shares on conversion (Mn):   8.0 

 

The results of the valuation exercise valued the warrants issued at $1.9528 per share, or $2.0 million in total.

 

The total proceeds received are first allocated to the fair value of all the derivative instruments, the remaining proceeds, are then allocated to the Debentures, resulting in the Debentures being recorded at a discount from the face value.

 

The Company recorded $8.0 million as the face value of the debentures and a total of $1.9 million as discount of Debentures and $0.1 million as debt issuance cost for warrants issued to investors and placement agent, which will be amortized to interest expense over the term of the debenture beginning October 2017, this resulted in a charge to interest expense of $0.3 million for the year ended June 30, 2018.

 

The effective annual interest rate of the debentures is approximately 18% after considering this $1.9 million discount related to the Debentures.

 

The warrants and the Placement Agent Warrants are exercisable into shares of the Company’s common stock at any time at an exercise price of $4.00 per common share (subject to adjustment). The warrants and the Placement Agent Warrants will terminate five years after they become exercisable. The warrants and the Placement Agent Warrants contain provisions providing for the adjustment of the purchase price and number of shares into which the securities are exercisable in the certain events.

 

The Debentures are guaranteed by the U.S. subsidiaries of the Company, as well as the Company’s British Virgin Islands subsidiary, pursuant to a Subsidiary Guarantee, in favor of the holders of the Debentures by the subsidiary guarantors, party thereto, as well as any future subsidiaries which the Company forms or acquires. The Debentures are secured by a lien on substantially all of the assets of the Company and the subsidiary guarantors, other than their equity ownership interest in the Company’s foreign subsidiaries, pursuant to the terms of the Purchase Agreement among the Company, the subsidiary guarantors and the holders of the Debentures.

 

Note 7 — Derivative Liabilities

 

The warrants issued to the Debenture investors and the Placement Agent contain provisions providing for the adjustment of the purchase price and number of shares into which the securities are exercisable under certain events. Under certain events, the Company shall, at the holder’s option, purchase the warrants from the holder by paying the holder an amount in cash based on a Black Scholes Option Pricing Model for remaining unexercised warrants. ASC 815, which establishes accounting and reporting standards for derivative instruments including certain derivative instruments embedded in other financial instruments or contracts and requires recognition of all derivatives on the balance sheet at fair value. Management used a Monte Carlo Simulation method to value the warrants with Anti-Dilution Protection with the assistance of a third-party valuation expert to initially record the fair value of these derivatives. The third-party valuation expert also assisted management in valuing the derivatives as of December 31, 2017, March 31, 2018 and June 30, 2018 with the changes in the fair value reported as non-operating income or expense.

 

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To execute the model and value the derivatives, certain assumptions were needed as noted below:

 

Assumptions 

At Issuance

October 24, 2017

 

Year Ending

June 30, 2018

Warrant Issue Date:   October 24, 2017    October 24, 2017 
Valuation Date:   October 24, 2017    June 30, 2018 
Warrant Expiration Date:   October 31, 2022    October 31, 2022 
Total Number of Warrants Issued:   1,070,000    1,070,000 
Warrant Exercise Price (USD):   4.00    4.00 
Next Capital Raise Date:(1)   October 31, 2018    June 30, 2019 
Threshold Exercise Price Post Capital Raise:(2)   2.51    2.15 
Spot Price (USD):   3.28    3.28 
Expected Life (Years):   5.0    4.3 
Volatility:   66.0%   65.0%
Volatility (Per-period Equivalent):   19.1%   18.8%
Risk Free Interest Rate:   2.04%   2.71%
Risk Free Rate (Per-period Equivalent):   0.17%   0.22%
           
Nominal Value (USD Mn):   4.3    4.3 
No. of Shares on Conversion (Mn):   1.1    1.1 
Contracted Conversion Ratio:   1:1    1:1 
           
Fair Values (in thousands)          
Fair Value without Anti-Dilution Protection:  $1,837   $1,704 
Fair Value of Embedded Derivative:   253    260 
Fair Value of the Warrants Issued:  $2,090   $1,964 
           
Gain/(Loss) on Fair Value Adjustments to Derivative Liabilities   Not Applicable    126 

 

(1)Next Capital Raise Date was assumed to be within a year of the debt offering and each valuation date. This was assumed as the Company has registered some type of capital raise in every year for the past 3 years. The Company may not have executed the capital raise but did register.
(2)Threshold Exercise Price Post Capital Raise is assumed to be the 52-week low closing price, not to be confused with the 52-week low of the stock price.

 

The change in the derivative liability was mostly due to the Company’s stock price movements. Other changes in assumptions are listed above, some change with the passage time, interest rate fluctuations and stock market volatility.

 

Note 8 — Risks and Uncertainties

 

As discussed in Note 1 – Business and Liquidity - (b) Liquidity, we currently have very limited financial and human resources to fully develop and execute on all of our business opportunities. We are seeking to strengthen our financial position through new strategic partnering opportunities and we consider a full range of financing options to create the most value for us which may include divestiture of assets such as our Yima Joint Venture, our Tianwo-SES Joint Venture and our technology. If we cannot raise required funds on acceptable terms, we may further reduce our expenses. We believe that with the strategies above, we can continue to operate for the next twelve months, assuming we can successfully transfer the funds currently in China to the U.S. Based on the historical negative cash flows that the Company has incurred, the continued limited cash inflows in the period subsequent to year end and the uncertain nature of the ability to transfer the cash that resides in China, there is substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

 

Other than AFE and our Yima Joint Venture, all of our other development opportunities are in the early stages of development and/or contract negotiations.

 

We continue to evaluate the conditions of the Yima Joint Venture to monitor for any impairments in our investment. Yima had lower production levels in the fourth quarter reduced the annual production below expectations which resulted in a net increase in the working capital deficit and the debt level of the joint venture which caused the Company to evaluate its investment for impairment for the year-ended June 30, 2018. Our analysis of our investment in the Yima Joint Venture did result in a further impairment as of June 30, 2018.

 

Our operations are subject to stringent laws and regulations governing the discharge of materials into the environment, remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, sitting of facilities or otherwise relating to environmental protection. Numerous governmental agencies, such as various Chinese, Australian and European Union authorities at the municipal, provincial or central government level and similar regulatory bodies in other countries, issue regulations to implement and enforce such laws, which often require difficult and costly compliance measures that carry substantial potential administrative, civil and criminal penalties or may result in injunctive relief for failure to comply. These laws and regulations may require the acquisition of a permit before construction and/or operations at a facility commence, restrict the types, quantities and concentrations of various substances that can be released into the environment in connection with such activities, limit or prohibit construction activities on certain lands lying within wilderness, wetlands, ecologically sensitive and other protected areas and impose substantial liabilities for pollution. Although to date we have not experienced any material adverse effect from compliance with existing environmental requirements, we cannot assure you that we will not suffer such effects in the future or that projects developed by our partners or customers will not suffer such effects.

 

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For example, in China, developing, constructing and operating gasification facilities is highly regulated. In the development stage of a project, the key government approvals are the project’s environmental impact assessment report, or EIA, feasibility study (also known as the project application report). Approvals in China are required at the municipal, provincial and/or central government levels depending on the total size of the investment in the project. Prior to commencing full commercial operations, we also need additional environmental approvals to ensure that the facility will comply with standards adopted in the EIA.

 

Although we have been successful in obtaining the permits that are required at this stage of our development, any retroactive change in policy guidelines or regulations, or an opinion that the approvals that have been obtained are inadequate, could require us to obtain additional or new permits, spend considerable resources on complying with such requirements or delay commencement of construction. Other developments, such as the enactment of more stringent environmental laws, regulations or policy guidelines or more rigorous enforcement procedures, or newly discovered conditions, could require us to incur significant capital expenditures.

 

Selling syngas, methanol, glycol and other commodities is highly regulated in many markets around the world, as will be projects in our business verticals. We believe these projects will be supported by the governmental agencies in the areas where the projects will operate because coal-based technologies, which are less burdensome on the environment, are generally encouraged by most governments. However, in China and other developing markets, the regulatory environment is often uncertain and can change quickly, often with contradictory regulations or policy guidelines being issued. In some cases, government officials have different interpretations of such regulations and policy guidelines and project approvals that are obtained could later be deemed to be inadequate. Furthermore, new policy guidelines or regulations could alter applicable requirements or require that additional levels of approvals be obtained. In addition, the European Union continues to promote clean energy and climate policies and encouraging a shift away from facilities powered by coal. The Chinese government also continues to encourage newer technologies that can cleanly process coal. Although we do not believe that China’s project approval requirements and slowing of approvals for new coal to methanol and DME projects will invalidate any of our existing permits, our future joint ventures will have to abide by these guidelines. If we or our customers and partners are unable to effectively complete the government approval process in China, Australia, Poland and other markets in which we intend to operate, our business prospects and operating results could be seriously harmed.

 

The Company is subject to concentration of credit risk with respect to our cash and cash equivalents, which it attempts to minimize by maintaining cash and cash equivalents with major high credit quality financial institutions. At times, the Company’s cash balances in a particular financial institution exceed limits that are insured by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or equivalent agencies in foreign countries and jurisdictions such as Hong Kong. As of June 30, 2018, the Company had $7.1 million in cash and cash equivalents (of which $4.9 million is located in the United States).

 

Note 9 — Property, Plant and Equipment

 

Property, plant and equipment consisted of the following (in thousands):

 

   Estimated  June 30,
   useful lives  2018  2017
Furniture and fixtures  2 to 3 years  $243   $243 
Leasehold improvements  Lease term   23    23 
Computer hardware  3 years   336    336 
Computer software  3 years   875    875 
Office equipment  3 years   149    148 
Motor vehicles  5 years   39    38 
       1,665    1,663 
Less: Accumulated depreciation      (1,655)   (1,639)
Net carrying value     $10   $24 

 

Note 10 — Detail of Selected Balance Sheet Accounts

 

Accrued expenses and other payables consisted of the following (in thousands):

 

   June 30,
   2018  2017
Accounts payable — trade  $496   $455 
Accrued payroll, vacation and bonuses   80    107 
Technical consulting, engineering and design services       114 
Deferred revenue   206    50 
GTI royalty expenses due to GTI   250    250 
Interest payable   220     
Other   429    789 
   $1,681   $1,765 

 

 

68

 

 

Note 11 — Intangible Assets

 

GTI License Agreement

 

In November 2009, we entered into an Amended and Restated License Agreement, (the “GTI Agreement”), with the Gas Technology Institute, (“GTI”), replacing the Amended and Restated License Agreement between us and GTI dated August 31, 2006, as amended. Under the GTI Agreement, we maintain our exclusive worldwide right to license the U-GAS® technology for all types of coals and coal/biomass mixtures with coal content exceeding 60%, as well as the non-exclusive right to license the U-GAS® technology for 100% biomass and coal/biomass blends exceeding 40% biomass. We have the right to grant sublicenses, with the approval from GTI, for which we would then owe royalty payments to GTI based on an agreed upon rate schedule. Royalty payments to GTI consist of a minimum annual payment or variable rate payments per the rate schedules dependent upon license agreements, invested equity or carried interests, whichever is higher. The initial term of the contract was for 10 years with two 10-year extensions executable upon notice to GTI. In May 2016, we exercised the first of our 10-year extensions and now maintain the exclusive license through 2026.

 

Through 2026, we and GTI are restricted from disclosing any confidential information (as defined in the GTI Agreement) to any person other than employees of affiliates or contractors who are required to deal with such information, and such persons will be bound by the confidentiality provisions of the GTI Agreement. We have further indemnified GTI and its affiliates from any liability or loss resulting from unauthorized disclosure or use of any confidential information that we receive.

 

While the core of our technology is the U-GAS® system, we have continued to innovate and modify the process to a point where we maintain certain intellectual property rights over SGT. Since the original licensing in 2004, we have maintained a strong relationship with GTI and continue to benefit from the resources and collaborative work environment that GTI provides us.

 

The cost and accumulated amortization of intangible assets were as follows (in thousands):

 

   June 30, 2018   June 30, 2017 
   Gross
Carrying
Amount
  

Accumulated

Amortization

  

Net

   Gross
Carrying
Amount
  

Accumulated

Amortization

  

Net

 
Use rights of U-GAS®  $1,886   $1,886   $   $1,886   $1,886   $ 
Other intangible assets   1,149    111    1,038    1,072    88    984 
Total  $3,035   $1,997   $1,038   $2,958   $1,974   $984 

 

The use rights of U-GAS® have an amortization period of ten years. Amortization expense was zero for the year ended June 30, 2018 as it was fully amortized as of August 2016 and approximately $28,000 for the year ended June 30, 2017. Other intangible assets are primarily patents.

 

Note 12 — Income Taxes

 

For financial reporting purposes, net loss showing domestic and foreign sources was as follows (in thousands):

 

   Year Ended June 30, 
   2018   2017 
Domestic  $(5,174)  $(6,238)
Foreign   (4,560)   (22,242)
Net loss  $(9,734)  $(28,480)

 

Provision for income taxes

 

The effective income tax rate was 2.1% and 0.0% for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 respectively. The following table reconciles the income tax benefit with income tax expense that would result from application of the statutory federal tax rate, 28% and 35% for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively, to loss before income tax expense (benefit) recorded (in thousands):

 

   June 30,
   2018  2017
Net loss before income tax  $(9,734)  $(28,480)
Computed tax benefit at statutory rate   (2,726)   (9,968)
Taxes in foreign jurisdictions with rates different than US   1,210    (810)
Impact of U.S. tax reform   11,633     
Other   895    965 
Deferred Tax Adjustments (1)   10,988      
Valuation allowance   (22,129)   9,813 
Income tax expense/(benefit)  $(129)  $ 

 

(1)Adjustments of $11.0 million relate primarily to prior years in connection with the (i) Yima Joint Venture investment impairment of $8.0 million due to the change to the Mauritius tax rate of 3%; (ii) provisions related to AFE and Tianwo-SES Joint Venture totaling $2.0 million; and (iii) Stock option forfeitures in the amount of $0.6 million. The impact of these changes on the prior year would have resulted in a similar change to the valuation allowance and therefore the net income tax expense/(benefit) recognized in the prior year would not have changed.

 

 

 69 
 

 

Deferred tax assets

 

Net deferred tax assets of continuing operations consisted of the following (in thousands):

 

   June 30,
   2018  2017
Deferred tax assets (liabilities):          
Net operating loss carry forward  $10,594   $16,429 
Warrant FMV Change   (26)    
Depreciation and amortization   1    63 
Stock-based expense   4,506    8,549 
Investment in joint ventures   1,381    13,281 
   Accruals   129    255 
   AMT credit       138 
Subtotal   16,585    38,715 
Valuation allowance   (16,585)   (38,715)
Net deferred assets  $   $ 

 

At June 30, 2018, the Company had approximately $47.5 million of U.S. federal net operating loss (“NOL”) carry forwards, and $2.4 million of China NOL carry forwards. The China NOL carry forwards have expiration dates through 2023 and the U.S. NOL carry forwards begin expiring in 2029.

 

The Company’s tax returns are subject to periodic audit by the various taxing jurisdictions in which the Company operates, which can result in adjustments to its NOLs. There are no significant audits underway at this time.

 

In assessing the Company’s ability to utilize its deferred tax assets, management considers whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Based on the level of historical taxable income and projections for future taxable income over the periods in which the deferred tax assets are deductible, management believes it is more likely than not that the Company will not realize the benefits of these deductible differences. Future changes in estimates of taxable income or in tax laws may change the need for the valuation allowance.

 

The Company and two of its subsidiaries files income tax returns in the U.S. federal jurisdiction, and various states and foreign jurisdictions. Generally, the Company will inventory tax positions related to tax items for all years where the statute of limitations for the assessment of income taxes has not expired. The Company’s open tax years are from June 30, 2009 forward through and including June 30, 2017. Since these periods all have NOL carryforwards, the normal statute of limitations will technically not expire unless and until the NOLs expire or are utilized. As of June 30, 2018, the domestic and foreign tax authorities have not proposed any adjustments to the Company’s material tax positions. The Company establishes reserves for positions taken on tax matters which, although considered appropriate under the regulations, could potentially be successfully challenged by authorities during a tax audit or review. The Company did not have any liability for uncertain tax positions as of June 30, 2018 or 2017.

 

Note 13 — Net Loss Per Share Data

 

Historical net loss per share of common stock is computed using the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding. Basic loss per share excludes dilution and is computed by dividing net loss available to common stockholders by the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding for the period. Stock options, warrants and unvested restricted stock are the only potential dilutive share equivalents the Company had outstanding for the periods presented. For the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, options and warrants to purchase common stock excluded from the computation of diluted earnings per share as their effect would have been anti-dilutive as the Company incurred net losses during those periods. The total number of shares excluded from diluted earnings per share equivalents amounted to approximately 3.4 million for the year ended June 30, 2018 and 2.8 million for the year ended June 30, 2017.

 

Note 14 — Commitments and Contingencies

 

Litigation

 

The Company is currently not a party to any legal proceedings.

 

Operating leases

 

In October 2017, the Company extended its corporate office lease term for an additional 13 months ending January 31, 2019 with rental payments of approximately $18,000 per month (monthly rent changes depending on actual utility usage each month). Consolidated rental expense incurred under operating leases was $0.2 million for the year ended June 30, 2018 and $0.4 million for the year ended June 30, 2017.

 

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Note 15 — Equity

 

Preferred Stock

 

At the Annual Meeting of Stockholders of the Company on June 30, 2015, the Company’s stockholders approved an amendment to the Company’s certificate of incorporation to authorize a class of preferred stock, consisting of 20,000,000 authorized shares, which may be issued in one or more series, with such rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions as shall be fixed by the Company’s board of directors. No shares of preferred stock have been issued or outstanding since approved by the stockholders.

 

Common Stock

 

In July 2015, the Company received proceeds of $1 million in connection with a warrant holder’s offer to amend and exercise his warrants. The warrant holder elected to exercise a total of 125,000 shares of his warrant with exercise price of $17.28 per share at a reduced exercise price of $8.00 per share, providing a total of $1 million in gross proceeds to the Company.

 

On May 13, 2016, we entered into an At The Market Offering Agreement (the “Offering Agreement”) with T.R. Winston & Company (“T.R. Winston”) to sell, from time to time, shares of our common stock having an aggregate sales price of up to $20.0 million through an “at the marketing offering” program under which T.R. Winston would act as sales agent, which we refer to as the ATM Offering. The shares that may be sold under the Offering Agreement, if any, would be issued and sold pursuant to the Company’s $75.0 million universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3 that was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 21, 2016. We had no obligation to sell any of our common stock under the Offering Agreement. The Offering Agreement expired in April 2018.

 

On November 10, 2017 and January 1, 2017, we issued 17,046 shares of common stock and 7,066 shares of common stock respectively to Market Development Consulting Group, Inc. (“MDC”), our investor relations advisor, pursuant to the term of the consulting agreement, as amended on October 28, 2016. The shares were fully vested and non-forfeitable at the time of issuance. The fair value of the common stock was $3.52 per share and $8.48 per share on the date of issuance respectively, and we recorded $60,000 of expense for both the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 related to issuance of these shares.

 

Stock-Based Awards

 

As of June 30, 2018, the Company has outstanding stock option and restricted stock awards granted under the Company’s 2015 Long Term Incentive Plan (the “2015 Incentive Plan”) and Amended and Restated 2005 Incentive Plan (the “2005 Incentive Plan”), under which the Company’s stockholders have authorized a total of 2,625,000 shares of common stock for awards under the 2015 and 2005 Incentive Plan. The 2005 Incentive Plan expired as of November 7, 2015 and no future awards will be made thereunder. As of June 30, 2018, there were approximately 342,808 shares authorized for future issuance pursuant to the 2015 Incentive Plan. Under the 2015 Incentive Plan, we may grant incentive and non-qualified stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock units and other stock-based awards to officers, directors, employees and non-employees. Stock option awards generally vest ratably over a one to four-year period and expire ten years after the date of grant.

 

On April 1, 2017, the Company authorized the issuance of 13,236 shares of restricted stock under the 2015 Incentive Plan to ILL-Sino Development (“ILL-Sino”) according to the term of Amended and Restated Consulting Service Agreement dated April 1, 2014 between the Company and ILL-Sino. The fair value of the restricted stock was approximately $0.1 million based on the market value as of the date of the awards for the year ended June 30, 2017. There were no restricted shares issued to ILL-Sino for the year ended June 30, 2018.

 

Restricted stock activity during the two years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 was as follows:

 

   Restricted stock
outstanding
June 30, 2018
    
Unvested shares outstanding at June 30, 2016   34,387 
Granted   36,729 
Vested   (26,256)
Forfeited   (14,373)
Unvested shares outstanding at June 30, 2017   30,487 
Granted   30,751 
Vested   (51,401)
Forfeited    
Unvested shares outstanding at June 30, 2018   9,837 

 

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Assumptions

 

The fair values for the stock options granted during the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 were estimated at the date of grant using a Black-Scholes-Morton option-pricing model with the following weighted-average assumptions.

 

   Year Ended June 30,
   2018  2017
Risk-free rate of return   2.60%   2.07%
Expected life of award (in years)   5.0    5.0 
Expected dividend yield   0.00%   0.00%
Expected volatility of stock   86%   84%
Weighted-average grant date fair value  $2.34   $4.48 

 

The expected volatility of stock assumption was derived by referring to changes in the historical volatility of the company. We used the “simplified” method for “plain vanilla” options to estimate the expected term of options granted during the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017.

 

Stock option activity during the two years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 were as follows:

 

  

 

 

 

Number of

Stock Options

 

 

Weighted

Average

Exercise

Price

  Weighted
Average
Remaining
Contractual
Term (years)
 

 

Aggregate

Intrinsic

Value

(in millions)

Outstanding at June 30, 2016   1,276,957   $8.26           
Granted   218,942    6.70           
Exercised   (23,000)   5.28           
Cancelled/forfeited   (10,865)   11.36           
Outstanding at June 30, 2017   1,462,034    8.05    5.5   $0.1 
Granted   343,088    3.41           
Exercised                  
Cancelled/forfeited   (84,390)   8.33           
Outstanding at June 30, 2018   1,720,732    7.11    5.4   $0.02 
Exercisable at June 30, 2018   1,552,147    7.48    4.9   $0.02 

 

As discussed in Note 6, on October 24, 2017, in connection with the issuance of the Debentures, the Company issued warrants to purchase 1,000,000 shares of common stock at exercise price of $4.00 per share to the investors and issued to the Placement Agent, for the Debenture offering, warrants to purchase 70,000 shares of common stock at exercise price of $4.00 per share.

 

On each of November 1, 2017 and October 28, 2016, the Company issued a warrant to MDC to acquire 50,000 shares of the Company’s common stock each at an exercise price of $3.52 and $7.60 per share respectively according to the term of the consulting agreement, as amended on October 28, 2016, between the Company and MDC. The fair value of each warrant was estimated to be approximately $0.2 million and 0.3 million respectively.

 

The fair values of the warrants issued to MDC were estimated using a Black-Scholes-Morton option-pricing, and the following weighted-average assumptions for the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017:

 

   Year Ended June 30,
   2018  2017
Risk-free rate of return   2.37%   1.86%
Expected life of award (in years)   10    10 
Expected dividend yield   0.00%   0.00%
Expected volatility of stock   98%   99%
Weighted-average grant date fair value  $3.06   $6.80 

 

Stock warrants activity during the two years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 were as follows:

 

  

 

 

 

Number of

Stock Warrants

 

 

Weighted

Average

Exercise

Price

Outstanding at June 30, 2016   1,239,355   $14.08 
Granted   50,000    7.60 
Exercised        
Cancelled/forfeited        
Outstanding at June 30, 2017   1,289,355    13.84 
Granted   1,120,000    3.98 
Exercised        
Cancelled/forfeited   (733,334)   16.26 
Outstanding at June 30, 2018   1,676,021    6.18 
Exercisable at June 30, 2018   1,676,021    6.18 

 

 72 
 

 

The Company recognizes the stock-based expense related to the Incentive Plans awards and warrants over the requisite service period. The following table presents stock- based expense attributable to stock option awards issued under the Incentive Plans and attributable to warrants and common stocks issued to consulting firms (in thousands):

 

   Year Ended June 30,
   2018  2017
Incentive Plans  $1,045   $1,187 
Common Stock and Warrants   213    514 
Total stock-based compensation expense  $1,258   $1,701 

 

In May 2017, the Company granted stock options exercisable for 30,074 shares and issued 5,538 restricted shares to employees in connection with salary reduction agreements for a six months period from May to October 2017. The fair value of these options and restricted shares was approximately $132,000 and $36,000 at the date of grant. In January 2018, the Company granted additional stock options exercisable for 47,133 shares to employees in connection with salary reduction agreements for a six months period of January to June 2018. The fair value of these options was approximately $92,000 at the date of grant. These options and restricted shares vest ratably over the six-month service period. 

 

As of June 30, 2018, approximately $0.2 million of estimated expense with respect to non-vested stock option and restricted shares awards have yet to be recognized and will be recognized in expense over the remaining weighted average period of approximately 7 months.

 

Note 16 – Segment Information

 

The Company’s reportable operating segments have been determined in accordance with its internal management reporting structure and include SES Foreign Operating, Technology Licensing and Related Services, and Corporate. The SES Foreign Operating reporting segment includes all of the assets, operations and related administrative costs for China and our equity positions and earnings related to our joint ventures including AFE, BFR, the Yima Joint Venture and the Tianwo-SES Joint Venture. The Technology Licensing and Related Services reporting segment includes all of our current operating activities related to our technology group. The Corporate reporting segment includes the executive and administrative expenses of the corporate office in Houston. The Company evaluates performance based upon several factors, of which a primary financial measure is segment operating income or loss.

 

 73 
 

 

The following table presents statements of operations data and assets by segment (in thousands):

 

 

   Year Ended
June 30,
   2018  2017
Revenue:          
SES Foreign Operating  $894   $ 
Technology licensing and related services   613    151 
Corporate        
Total revenue  $1,507   $151 
           
Depreciation and amortization:          
SES Foreign Operating  $10   $10 
Technology licensing and related services        
Corporate   27    56 
Total depreciation and amortization  $37   $66 
           
Impairment loss:          
SES Foreign Operating   3,500    17,700 
Technology licensing and related services        
Corporate        
Total impairment loss  $3,500   $17,700 
           
Operating loss:          
SES Foreign Operating   (3,682)  $(19,339)
Technology licensing and related services   (1,138)   (2,273)
Corporate   (5,331)   (6,468)
Total operating loss  $(10,151)  $(28,080)
           
Equity in losses of joint ventures:          
SES Foreign Operating  $715   $342 
Technology licensing and related services        
Corporate        
Total equity in losses of joint ventures  $715   $342 
           

 

   June 30,
2018
  June 30,
2017
Assets:          
SES Foreign Operating  $7,402   $8,123 
Technology licensing and related services   984    929 
Corporate   5,928    6,274 
Total assets  $14,314   $15,326 

 

 

Note 17 — Subsequent Events

 

On November 5, 2018, a default occurred related to the Purchase Agreement and the Debentures due to the Company failing to timely file this Annual Report on Form 10-K. If the default is not waived by the holders of the Debentures, the holders may have the option to accelerate the principal and interest outstanding and other mandatory charges on the Debentures.

 74 
 

 

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosures

 

Effective November 20, 2017, the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors approved the dismissal of BDO USA, LLP (“BDO”) as our independent registered public accounting firm, and engaged RSM US, LLP (“RSM”) as our independent registered public accounting firm for our fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 and related interim periods. The decision to engage RSM as our independent registered public accounting firm was approved by Audit Committee of our Board of Directors.

 

BDO’s audit reports on the consolidated financial statements of us and our subsidiaries as of June 30, 2017 and 2016 and for each of the years in the two-year period ended June 30, 2017 did not contain any adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope, or accounting principles.

 

During the fiscal years ended June 30, 2017 and 2016 and the subsequent interim period through November 20, 2017, there were no disagreements with BDO on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure, which, if not resolved to the satisfaction of BDO, would have caused BDO to make reference to the subject matter of the disagreement(s) in connection with its reports.

 

During the year ended June 30, 2017, there was a “reportable event” as defined in Regulation S-K, Item 304(a)(1)(v). The Company reported the existence of a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting relating to the preparation and review of the impairment evaluation of its cost method investments, as more fully described in Item 9A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2017, and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the periods ended September 30, 2016, December 31, 2016 and March 31, 2017, and September 30, 2017. The Audit Committee of our Board of Directors, and our Board of Directors, discussed this material weakness with BDO and authorized BDO to respond fully to the inquiries of RSM concerning the material weakness.

 

During the fiscal years ended June 30, 2017 and 2016 and the subsequent interim period prior to the engagement of RSM, we did not consult with RSM regarding either (i) the application of accounting principles to a specific completed or contemplated transaction, or the type of audit opinion that might be rendered on our consolidated financial statements and neither a written report was provided to us or oral advice was provided that RSM concluded was an important factor considered by us in reaching a decision as to the accounting, auditing or financial reporting issue or (ii) any matter that was either the subject of a disagreement as defined in (a)(1)(iv) of Item 304 of Regulation S-K and the related instructions to Item 304 of Regulation S-K or a reportable event as that term is defined in (a)(1)(v) of Item 304 of Regulation S-K.

 

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures

 

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

In accordance with Exchange Act Rule 13a-15 and 15d-15, we carried out an evaluation, under the supervision and with the participation of management, including our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Accounting Officer, of the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures as of the end of the period covered by this report to provide reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed in our reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms. Our disclosure controls and procedures include controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Accounting Officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. Based upon that evaluation, the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Accounting Officer concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective as of June 30, 2018.

 

A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the Company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.  A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

 

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act.  We have performed an evaluation under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Accounting Officer, of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting.  Our management assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of June 30, 2018.  Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting cannot provide absolute assurance of achieving financial reporting objectives. Internal control over financial reporting is a process that involves human diligence and compliance and is subject to lapses in judgment and breakdowns resulting from human failures. Internal control over financial reporting also can be circumvented by collision or improper management override. Because of such limitations, there is a risk that material misstatements may not be prevented or detected on a timely basis by internal control over financial reporting. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions or that the degree of compliance with established policies or procedures may deteriorate. 

 

 75 

 

Our management used the criteria set forth in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) to perform its assessment. Based on this assessment, our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Accounting Officer, concluded, that as of June 30, 2018, our internal controls over financial reporting were not effective as of June 30, 2018.

 

Material Weaknesses. We did not maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting. Specifically, we identified material weaknesses over management’s review controls over significant accounting estimates and review controls over accounting for non-routine and complex accounting transactions.

 

A material weakness was identified relating to the impairment evaluation of our cost method investments. We did not effectively operate controls over management’s review of the impairment assessment, including its review of certain elements related to the valuation of our cost basis investments. Additionally, management’s assessment identified an additional material weakness in management’s review controls over non-routine and complex accounting transactions that were caused by a lack of segregation of duties over these types of transactions.

 

Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

There have been no changes in our internal control over financial reporting during the three months ended June 30, 2018 that have materially affected, or that are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

Item 9B. Other Information

 

None.

 

 

 76 
 

 

PART III

 

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Significant Employees

 

The following table sets forth information concerning our directors, executive officers and significant employees as of June 30, 2018:

 

Name   Age   Position
Lorenzo Lamadrid (1) (2)   67   Chairman of the Board
Robert Rigdon   60   Vice Chairman of the Board
Denis Slavich (1) (2) (3)   78   Director
Harry Rubin (1) (2) (3)   65   Director
Ziwang Xu (3)   61   Director
Brown, Charles (2) (3)   59   Director
Anderson, Robert F.(1)(2)   61   Director
DeLome Fair   55   President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
David Hiscocks   54   Corporate Controller and Corporate Secretary
Wade Taber   43   Vice President of Engineering

 

(1)Member of the Compensation Committee of the Board (the “Compensation Committee”).
(2)Member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
(3)Member of the Audit Committee.

 

Directors

 

Lorenzo Lamadrid. Mr. Lamadrid has been the Chairman of the Board since April 2005. Since 2001, Mr. Lamadrid has been the Managing Director of Globe Development Group, LLC, a firm that specializes in the development of large scale energy, power generation, transportation and infrastructure projects in China and provides business advisory services and investments with a particular focus on China. Mr. Lamadrid was also a director of Flow International Corporation from 2006 until its sale in 2014. He previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Arthur D. Little, a management and consulting company, from 1999 to 2001, as President of Western Resources International, Inc. from 1996 through 1999 and as Managing Director of The Wing Group from 1993 through 1999. The Wing Group was a leading international electric power project-development company that was sold to Western Resources in 1999. Prior to that, he was with General Electric from 1984 to 1993 serving as corporate officer, Vice President and General Manager at GE Aerospace for Marketing and International Operations, and as General Manager of Strategic Planning and Business Development of GE’s International Sector. Prior to joining GE, Mr. Lamadrid was a senior Manager at the Boston Consulting Group where he worked from 1975 to 1984. Mr. Lamadrid’s experience in business development and management is a key attribute for us, and his background in overseas markets has provided him with valuable insights into our international focus.

 

Education: Mr. Lamadrid holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Administrative Sciences from Yale University, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. in Marketing and International Business from the Harvard Business School.

 

Directorships in the past five years: Flow International (2006 to 2014).

 

Robert Rigdon. Mr. Rigdon has been the Vice Chairman of the Board since February 2016. Mr. Rigdon joined us as a director in August 2009, and previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer from March 2009 to February 2016. Prior to that, he served as Chief Operating Officer since November 2008 and as Senior Vice President of Global Development since May 2008, where he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of our current and future coal gasification projects worldwide. From June 2004 until joining us, Mr. Rigdon worked for GE Energy in a variety of capacities, including Manager—Gasification Engineering, Director—IGCC Commercialization, and Director—Gasification Industrials and Chemicals Business. For the 20 years previous to this, Mr. Rigdon worked for Texaco, and later ChevronTexaco, as an engineer and in the Worldwide Power & Gasification group, where he ultimately became Vice President—Gasification Technology for the group. As a result of his three decades working on gasification, Mr. Rigdon is experienced in the operational and marketing strategies that are key to our development and success.

 

Education: Mr. Rigdon is a mechanical engineer with a B.S. from Lamar University.

 

Directorships in the past five years: None, other than our Board.

 

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Denis Slavich. Mr. Slavich has served as a director since November 2005. Mr. Slavich has over 35 years of experience in large scale power generation development. He is currently the Group Strategic Director-Finance of Astrata Group Pte Ltd, a privately held global telematics company headquartered in Singapore, and an international consultant, as well as an advisor and board member for a number of additional firms. He served as a director of China Advanced Construction Materials Group, Inc., a company traded on the NASDAQ, from September 2009 until May 2011. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Slavich was the CFO and director of KMR Power Corporation and was responsible for the development of this international IPP Company that developed projects in Columbia as well as other areas. From 2000 until 2002, he served as Vice President and CFO of Big Machines Inc., a software company. Mr. Slavich also served as acting President for Kellogg Development Corporation, a division of M.W. Kellogg, during 1997. From 1991 to 1995, Mr. Slavich was also a Vice President of Marketing for Fluor Daniel. From 1971 to 1991, Mr. Slavich served in various executive positions at Bechtel Group including Sr. VP, CFO, and director and Sr. VP and division manager of the International Power Division. In addition to his experience in power generation development, Mr. Slavich is experienced in finance and accounting matters and has extensive experience with financial statements.

 

Education: Mr. Slavich received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

 

Directorships in the past five years: Astrata Group (2011 to present) and Leading Edge Technologies (2001 to 2014).

 

Harry Rubin. Mr. Rubin has served as a director since August 2006. Mr. Rubin is currently Chairman of Henmead Enterprises, in which capacity he advises various companies regarding strategy, acquisitions and divestitures. He held board positions at a number of private and public companies such as the A&E Network, RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, the Genisco Technology Corporation and Image-Metrics Plc. He was a founding partner of the Boston Beer Company. In the 12 years prior to 2006, Mr. Rubin held various senior management roles in the computer software industry, including Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Atari, and President of International Operations and Chief Financial Officer for GT Interactive Software. Mr. Rubin entered the computer software business in 1993 when he became Executive VP for GT Interactive Software as a start-up company, played a leadership role in GT’s progression as the company went public in 1995 and became one of the largest industry players. Prior to 1993, he held various senior financial and general management positions at RCA, GE and NBC. Through his various management roles, Mr. Rubin has developed an in-depth knowledge and experience in strategic development that is key to our growth.

 

Education: He is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Business School.

 

Directorships in the past five years: 784 Park Avenue Realty, Inc. (December 2005 to present) and Henmead Enterprises, Inc. (1991 to present).

 

Ziwang Xu. Mr. Xu has served as a director since February 2010. Mr. Xu is currently the Chairman of CXC Capital, Inc. and CXC China Sustainable Growth Fund, companies which he founded in March of 2008 and which are based in Shanghai, China. From November of 2005 until founding CXC, he was a private investor in Shanghai and worked on the development of residential real estate projects. During this same time, he was an Advisory Director for Goldman Sachs in Beijing, China. From 1997 through 2005, he served as a Managing Director and Partner for Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong. He is also currently an Advisor with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a member of the Board of Overseers of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and Vice Chairman, Alumni Association of Economics and Finance, of Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Additionally, he is a member of the Shanghai Comprehensive Economy Studies Council and the Shanghai International Cultural Council. Mr. Xu’s background in overseas markets and his experience in finance matters have provided him with valuable insights into our strategy.

 

Education: He holds a B.A. from East China Normal University and an M.A. in Economics from Fudan University and an M.A. in International Business from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

 

Directorships in the past five years: Shanghai Ruibo New Energy Automobile Technology Company (2010 to present), CXC Capital, Inc. (2008 to present), and Lubao New Energy Company (2007 to present).

 

Charles Brown. Mr. Brown has served as a director since July 2014. Since October 2014, he has served as President and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the board of directors, of Specified Air Solutions. Mr. Brown served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Flow International, Inc., and as a member of its board of directors, from July 2007 through January 2014, when Flow International was merged with and into Waterjet Holdings, Inc. Previously, Mr. Brown was the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Pump, Pool and Spa Divisions at Pentair, Inc. from April 2005 through October 2006. From August 2003 to February 2005, Mr. Brown was the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Pentair Tools Group (which was acquired by Black & Decker Corporation in 2004). Prior to that, Mr. Brown was the President/General Manager of Aqua Glass Corporation, a Masco Corporation company, from 1996 to August 2003. Mr. Brown brings a broad business and management experience to our Board.

 

Education: He holds a B.A. from Cornell University in Economics and Government and an M.B.A. from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

 

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Directorships in the past five years: Specified Air Solutions (October 2014 to present), Flow International (2007-2014) and Waterjet Holdings, Inc. (January 2014 to August 2015).

 

Robert F. Anderson. Mr. Anderson has served as a director since March 2018. Mr. Anderson is a seasoned commercial executive with over 35 years of leading global sales teams for General Electric Corporation and Stewart & Stevenson. Most recently, he served as Vice President, General Electric Packaged Power Inc. and General Manager Fast Power Americas for General Electric from February 2014 to June 2017. Prior to that, he served as General Manager, Global Sales with strategic responsibilities for a worldwide products and services team for GE Aero Energy in their aeroderivative gas turbine product line. In 2010, GE Aero became part of GE Distributed Power and he added General Manager, North America to his responsibilities. Throughout his GE career, he held progressively responsible positions with assignments in Houston, Texas, west Texas and Venezuela. Mr. Anderson brings vast amount of commercial and leadership experience to our Board.

 

Education: He holds a BBA in International Business from the University of Texas and has a Diploma in Spanish Studies from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain.

 

Directorships in the past five years: None, other than our Board.

 

DeLome Fair. Ms. Fair has served as a director since February 2016. Ms. Fair is also our President and Chief Executive Officer, a position she has held since February 2016 and has also acted in the capacity of the Company’s principal financial officer since May 2017. Ms. Fair joined our executive team in December 2014, as Senior Vice President, Gasification Technology, and in March 2015 was additionally named President of SES Technologies, LLC. Ms. Fair has over 25 years of experience in gasification which spans leadership positions with GE Energy and Chevron/Texaco. Prior to joining us, Ms. Fair led GE Energy’s global team of 135 engineers in the U.S., India and China as General Manager, Gasification & Process Systems Technology. In that post, she was responsible for engineering to GE’s global gasification business, including business development support, execution of customer orders, new product development, services, and project management. Previously, Ms. Fair’s expertise in gasification and IGCC technology led to her appointment as GE’s Chief Consulting Engineer for gasification. Her career has also included serving as Product Line Leader, Licensing Manager, and Technology Manager for gasification in both GE and Chevron/Texaco.

 

Education: Ms. Fair received her M.S. and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kansas.

 

Directorships in the past five years: None, other than our Board.

 

Executive Officers and Significant Employees

 

David Hiscocks. Mr. Hiscocks is our Corporate Controller and Corporate Secretary, a position he has held since May 2017. Prior to joining us, he served as Regional Controller-Eastern Hemisphere and Senior Manager of Finance & Administration-New Markets from 2012 to 2016 at Noble Corporation, a worldwide offshore drilling contractor. Prior to Noble, Mr. Hiscocks served in various accounting positions from 1993 to 2012 with Transocean, Inc., a worldwide drilling contractor, and its prior merged companies of GlobalSantaFe Corp. and Santa Fe International Corp. During his tenure there, Mr. Hiscocks served as Country Controller based in Malaysia, Vietnam, Canada, Angola and the various accounting positions in the corporate offices in Dallas and Houston, Texas. Mr. Hiscocks holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Northern Iowa. He is a certified public accountant in the State of Texas.

 

Wade Taber. Mr. Taber is our Vice President of Engineering, a position he has held since January 2016 and is responsible for all of our Engineering, Equipment Sourcing and Operations Support for the Company. From 2007 to 2015, Mr. Taber served as Senior Engineering Manager – Components/Technology Innovation for General Electric, where his accomplishments included more than a dozen patented and trade secret innovations in gasification technology. Mr. Taber received GE’s Corporate Engineering Award for his development and commercialization of GE’s Advanced Chromia Refractory, which doubled refractory life for solid feedstock gasification. His previous positions include Senior Application Engineer – Energy Systems/Gasification with Saint-Gobain Ceramics from 1998 to 2007, where he helped to grow Saint-Gobain’s refractories business by over $5 million in a three-year period. Mr. Taber holds a B.S. degree in Ceramic Engineering/Materials Science from the University of Illinois and has completed several advanced leadership programs at The Browne Centre - University of New Hampshire.

 

Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance

 

Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act requires our directors and executive officers, and persons who own more than 5% of our equity securities, to file initial reports of ownership and reports of changes in ownership of our common stock with the SEC and to furnish us a copy of each filed report.

 

To our knowledge, based solely on review of the copies of such reports furnished to us and written representations that no other reports were required, during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, our officers, directors and greater than 10% beneficial owners timely filed all required Section 16(a) reports.

 

Material Changes in Director Nominations Process

 

There have not been any material changes to the procedures by which shareholders may recommend nominees to our Board.

 

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Audit Committee

 

During the year ended June 30, 2018, the members of the Audit Committee were Ziwang Xu, Harry Rubin, Charles Brown and Denis Slavich who serves as Chairman. The Board has determined that Denis Slavich is an audit committee financial expert under Item 407(d) of Regulation S-K of the SEC. All of the members of the Audit Committee were and are independent within the meaning of Rule 5605 of the NASDAQ Listing Rules. The Audit Committee operates under a written charter adopted by the Board which is available under “Corporate Governance” at the “Investor Center” section of our website at www.synthesisenergy.com. The Audit Committee met eight times during the year ended June 30, 2018.

 

The primary purpose of the Audit Committee is to assist the Board in overseeing: (a) the integrity of our financial statements, (b) our compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, (c) the qualifications and independence of the independent registered public accountants and (d) the performance of our internal auditors (or other personnel responsible for the internal audit function).

 

Code of Ethics

 

We have adopted a Code of Business and Ethical Conduct that applies to all of our employees, as well as each member of our Board. The Code of Business and Ethical Conduct is available under “Corporate Governance” at the “Investor Center” section of our website at www.synthesisenergy.com. We intend to post amendments to or waivers from the Code of Business and Ethical Conduct (to the extent applicable to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer or principal accounting officer) at this location on our website.

 

Corporate Governance

 

The charters for our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and our Code of Business and Ethical Conduct are available under “Corporate Governance” at the “Investor Center” section of our website at www.synthesisenergy.com. Copies of these documents are also available in print form at no charge by sending a request to David Hiscocks, our Corporate Controller and Corporate Secretary, Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc., Three Riverway, Suite 300, Houston, Texas 77056, telephone (713) 579-0600.

 

Item 11. Executive Compensation.

 

Summary Compensation Table 

 

The following table provides information concerning compensation paid or accrued during the fiscal years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 to each person who served as our principal executive officer during the year ended June 30, 2018, and our principal financial officer, to whom we sometimes refer together as our “named executive officers.”

 

Name and
Principal Position
  Year  Salary  Bonus 

Stock
Awards (1)

 

Option
Awards (1)

  Non-Equity
Incentive Plan
Compensation
  All Other
Compensation
  Total
DeLome Fair   2018   $266,667   $   $   $57,500   $   $   $324,167 
President and CEO (2)   2017   $333,333   $30,750   $   $57,500   $   $   $421,583 
(principal executive and principal financial officer)                                        
 
Chris Raczkowsk   2018   $126,044   $   $   $   $   $   $126,044 
President – Asia (3)   2017   $54,667   $   $   $232,833   $   $   $287,500 
 
David Hiscocks   2018   $138,000   $   $   $13,800   $   $   $151,800 
Corporate Controller (principal   2017   $21,635   $   $   $23,589   $   $   $45,224 
accounting officer)(4)                                        
 
Scott Davis   2018   $   $   $   $   $   $   $ 
Former Chief Accounting   2017   $171,554   $   $1,386   $   $