A Look Behind What’s Driving Earnings For: Sakai Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (TSE:4078), Unitika Ltd. (TSE:3103)

LNR | March 17, 2019

In trying to determine the current valuation of Sakai Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (TSE:4078) shares, we note that the Book to Market ratio of the shares stands at 1.895758. It’s commonly accepted that a Book to Market ratio greater than one indicates that the shares might be undervalued.  The book to market ratio has some limitations in certain industries however where intangible assets (such as knowledge) often are not represented on a balance sheet. The ratio is calculated by dividing the market price per share by book value per share.

Spotlight

You’ve reached a certain point in the evolution of your company and you know it’s time to invest in a CPQ system. But buyer beware: There’s a certain misconception around CPQ systems as being plug-in devices or turnkey-ready overlays of your existing infrastructure, or a simple app you sign up for and that’s it. Yes—the best ones do not require heavy IT resources to get them up and running. But even the best ones require certain things to happen to make their implementation and rollout successful, and most companies, despite the best-laid plans, usually get torpedoed by one of the following issues.

Spotlight

You’ve reached a certain point in the evolution of your company and you know it’s time to invest in a CPQ system. But buyer beware: There’s a certain misconception around CPQ systems as being plug-in devices or turnkey-ready overlays of your existing infrastructure, or a simple app you sign up for and that’s it. Yes—the best ones do not require heavy IT resources to get them up and running. But even the best ones require certain things to happen to make their implementation and rollout successful, and most companies, despite the best-laid plans, usually get torpedoed by one of the following issues.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Aemetis Signs Agreement With Cathay Pacific to Supply 38 Million Gallons of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Aemetis | September 20, 2022

Aemetis, Inc. a renewable fuels company focused on negative carbon intensity products, announced the volume of an offtake agreement that has been signed with Cathay Pacific Airways Limited for 38 million gallons of blended sustainable aviation fuel to be delivered over the 7 year term of the agreement. Sustainable aviation fuel provides significant environmental benefits compared to petroleum jet fuel, including a lower lifecycle carbon footprint and reduced contrails. The blended sustainable aviation fuel to be supplied under this agreement is 40% SAF and 60% Petroleum Jet A to meet international blending standards. The supply agreement with Aemetis builds on Cathay Pacific’s ongoing commitment towards meeting its net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050. Cathay Pacific plans to use SAF for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The agreement also underlines oneworld Alliance’s commitment to collectively source SAF. Cathay Pacific is a founding member of the oneworld Alliance. Cathay Pacific is the home airline of Hong Kong, offering scheduled passenger and cargo services to destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and Africa. The Cathay Pacific Group also comprises low-cost airline HK Express and express freighter airline Air Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific is a member of the Swire Group and is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE). The sustainable aviation fuel is expected to be produced by the Aemetis renewable jet/diesel plant under development on a 125 acre former U.S. Army Ammunition production plant site in Riverbank, California. The blended sustainable aviation fuel is scheduled to begin deliveries to Cathay Pacific in 2025. “The use of sustainable aviation fuel by Cathay Pacific is another step by the oneworld Alliance toward lowering the environmental impact of aviation. Sustainable aviation fuel is an immediate solution to the decarbonization of air travel and cargo flights, without requiring extensive new fueling infrastructure or the expensive replacement of planes.” Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis Powered by 100% renewable electricity, the Aemetis Carbon Zero production plant design utilizes renewable hydrogen. The renewable hydrogen is used to hydrotreat vegetable and other renewable oils to produce renewable aviation and diesel fuel. To further reduce carbon intensity, the Aemetis Carbon Zero design includes capturing CO2 from the production plant and injecting the compressed CO2 into a sequestration well at the Riverbank site. The project is designed to permanently store an estimated 300,000 metric tonnes of CO2 each year from the plant. About Aemetis Aemetis has a mission to transform renewable energy with below zero carbon intensity transportation fuels. Aemetis has launched the Carbon Zero production process to decarbonize the transportation sector using today’s infrastructure. .

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Piedmont Lithium Selects Tennessee for New Lithium Hydroxide Project

Piedmont Lithium | September 05, 2022

Piedmont Lithium a leading global developer of lithium resources critical to the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain, today announced the selection of Etowah, Tennessee in McMinn County as the location of the Company’s planned 30,000 metric ton per year LHP­2 lithium hydroxide operation. With a planned completion and start of production in 2025, the Company believes Tennessee Lithium will be the largest lithium hydroxide processing facility constructed in the United States. The Project is expected to convert spodumene concentrate sourced principally from Piedmont’s international project investments to significantly expand the U.S. supply of lithium hydroxide, a key component in the manufacturing of EV batteries. “Companies like Piedmont Lithium choose to call Tennessee home because of our unmatched workforce and strong business climate,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “I thank this company for its investment in McMinn County and commitment to create nearly 120 manufacturing jobs for Tennesseans.” “We are excited to announce the site of our newest project and partnership with the City of Etowah in McMinn County, and the State of Tennessee, as we advance our strategic goal of becoming a leading lithium supplier in the United States. We are humbled by the warm welcome we have received from our new partners, and we look forward to making Piedmont an integral part of the Etowah and McMinn County communities as we develop Tennessee Lithium together for our mutual success.” Keith Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer of Piedmont Lithium Piedmont’s Tennessee Lithium facility should be among the first lithium hydroxide plants built with the innovative Metso:Outotec process. This process eliminates the acid-leaching of spodumene and the production sodium sulfate waste, which will make Tennessee Lithium one of the world’s most sustainable lithium hydroxide operations. Tennessee Lithium’s production target of 30,000 tpy of lithium hydroxide will complement the Company’s planned Carolina Lithium operation to bring our estimated total U.S.-based production capacity of 60,000 tpy by 2026. Current total U.S. production of lithium hydroxide is just 15,000 tpy. “The rapid electrification of the automotive market has led to massive investments in electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery production in the United States, creating a critical need for lithium hydroxide produced in the U.S.,” said Phillips. “Our Tennessee Lithium operation should play an important role in helping to mitigate supply shortages in the American EV industry and battery supply chain, particularly in the wake of recent legislation incentivizing the use of domestically sourced critical materials and providing tax credits for U.S. producers.” The Project’s location in Tennessee was selected for its cooperative government relations, access to excellent infrastructure including rail, road and river transportation, a talented workforce, a constructive business climate, as well as its proximity to the battery and automotive plants being constructed by prospective customers, and the Company’s headquarters and Carolina Lithium project, both in Gaston County, North Carolina. Front-End Engineering Design (“FEED”) for Tennessee Lithium will be performed by Kiewit and Primero. Kiewit Corporation, ranked 3rd in Engineering News Record’s 2022 Top 400 Contractors, is a U.S. based construction company and a leading Engineer, Procure, and Construct (“EPC”) firm. Primero Group is a specialized design-build firm with strong lithium industry know-how that has supported Piedmont’s development since early 2018. FEED will conclude in H1 2023 and position Piedmont to sign an EPC contract for the construction of Tennessee Lithium upon completion of permitting and project financing activities. As part of FEED, Kiewit and Primero are expected to complete a DFS for Tennessee Lithium by the end of 2022. “Site selection and FEED award are important 2022 milestones toward potential first production from Tennessee Lithium in 2025,” said Piedmont Lithium EVP and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Brindle. “We’re pleased to align ourselves with top-tier contractors Kiewit and Primero and, having announced our site selection, we will proceed to develop the relevant permit applications for the Project. Tennessee Lithium is expected to share many attributes with our planned Carolina Lithium operations, including the use of the core Metso:Outotec technology package. In conjunction with FEED, the Kiewit and Primero teams should leverage the work we’ve accomplished over the past several years to deliver a definitive feasibility study of Tennessee Lithium by the end of this year. We hope to break ground here in Etowah on the earliest practically achievable timeline.” Based on prior studies, Piedmont plans to invest approximately $600 million in the development of the operation. The Tennessee Lithium Project is expected to drive significant economic activity and create approximately 120 new, direct jobs. About Piedmont Lithium Piedmont Lithium is developing a world-class, multi-asset, integrated lithium business focused on enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in North America. Our goal is to become one of the largest lithium hydroxide producers in North America by processing spodumene concentrate produced from assets where we hold an economic interest. Our projects include our wholly-owned Carolina Lithium and LHP-2 Projects in the United States and partnerships in Quebec with Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) and in Ghana with Atlantic Lithium (AIM:ALL). 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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Albemarle Announces New Global Business Unit Alignment

Albemarle Corporation | September 06, 2022

Albemarle Corporation a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry announced that it will realign its Bromine and Lithium global business units (GBU) into a new corporate structure designed to better meet customer needs and foster talent required to deliver in a competitive global environment. The move follows the recent announcement of the company's decision to reorganize Catalyst under a to-be-named, wholly owned subsidiary. Albemarle's two core global business units will become Albemarle Specialties: This GBU will include the current Bromine business as well as the Lithium Specialties business in the current Lithium business. This new GBU will focus on the company's suite of bromine and highly specialized lithium solutions which benefit from complementary competencies in organic chemistry, application knowledge, and process technology. Netha Johnson, current president of Bromine, will become president of Albemarle Specialties. Albemarle Energy Storage: This GBU will include the Hydroxide, Carbonate, Battery Grade Metal, and Advanced Energy Storage businesses in the current Lithium business. This new GBU will focus on the markets, customers, resources, production, and advanced metals research needed to advance lithium-ion battery evolution and the global energy transition. Eric Norris, current president of the Lithium, will become president of Albemarle Energy Storage. "These changes reflect Albemarle's focus on growing our business, our people, and our value by being agile in providing innovative solutions that anticipate customer needs and meet the markets of tomorrow." Albemarle CEO Kent Masters Organizational changes for Albemarle Specialties and Albemarle Energy Storage are expected to be effective January 1, 2023. Beginning in 2023, the company will financially report through the following segments: energy storage, specialties, and catalysts. About Albemarle Albemarle Corporation is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine, and refining catalysts. We think beyond business as usual to power the potential of companies in many of the world's largest and most critical industries, such as energy, electronics, and transportation. We actively pursue a sustainable approach to managing our diverse global footprint of world-class resources. In conjunction with our highly experienced and talented global teams, our deep-seated values, and our collaborative customer relationships, we create value-added and performance-based solutions that enable a safer and more sustainable future. We regularly post information to www.albemarle.com, including notification of events, news, financial performance, investor presentations and webcasts, non-GAAP reconciliations, SEC filings and other information regarding our company, our businesses, and the markets we serve.

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