Shares in waste-collector Renewi (RWI) drop 12% to 48p, their lowest level this decade, after the company’s latest trading update reveals further problems with its ATM hazardous-waste treatment plant.
The ATM plant in Moerdijk, south of The Hague, is one of the largest centres of its type in Europe.
Since August 2017 the plant has been running at reduced capacity as the regulators made repeated inspections of the treated soil. The company was expecting to resume normal production shortly.
However, yesterday the regulator requested further analysis before it would agree to future soil shipments leading Renewi to cut production even further.
HEFTY HIT TO PROFITS
This means knocking €3m a month off operating profits, which is a huge blow given that first half profits for the hazardous-waste unit were just €5.9m.
This is an unwelcome distraction for management which is trying to focus on reducing costs after the mega-merger of Shanks and Van Gansewinkel in February 2017.
Revenues in three of the four divisions are up on last year but operating profits have been already been impacted by the earlier partial shutdown at ATM and there is no telling when the regulators will allow shipments to resume.
Run-ins with environmental regulators are part and parcel of waste processing. Earlier this year Renewi had to modify its Barrow-in-Furness site after the Environment Agency received numerous complaints from local residents.