Tony Hughes and Peter Eagle
Tony Hughes (left) with Peter Eagle, Managing Director of Platinum Energy Solutions

“The thing most lacking in these unprecedented circumstances is certainty.

None of us know exactly how the world, or the world of business is going to look a year from now.

The most likely outcome is that Covid-19 will be controlled and a vaccine to prevent a similar outbreak will be on the horizon.

At that point, we will surely see a rapid economic recovery, but until such certainty returns, the financial markets will continue to be volatile, with investments remaining at risk.

The future of the property market is also unclear but any long-lasting recession (or even potential depression) would create a huge downward pressure on prices and investor returns.

Among all this uncertainty we take comfort from the fact that our investments at Platinum Assets Ltd., especially Platinum Energy Solutions, and those of our clients, are in essential infrastructure that the country will rely on in the future.

We are funding renewable energy projects and small, clean and efficient peak period power plants that will keep the country going when sun, wind and waves are unable to produce enough electricity to meet demand.

Work on a 20 Megawatt (Mw) gas fired peaking plant at Southbrook Farm in Sudbrook, South Monmouthshire, Wales, is going ahead as planned. With the construction team observing all the Government instructions on social distancing and safe working.

Grant support for this £12 million project – considered one of national importance by the Welsh Assembly – is already assured, with permission to operate for 30 years is also in place.

In addition, Cummins, the specialist company producing the gas turbines, is classed as an essential operation and with much of the process robotic, we are expecting delivery on time to ensure an October commissioning of the plant.

Indeed, in a message to employees, Cummins European Vice President said ‘Our operations are included under essential work, meaning that we are still open and need everyone to attend work, where it is not possible to work from home.  For those still coming into our sites, we will continue practicing social distancing and implementing other safety measures.’

Meanwhile, Platinum Assets Ltd. we are using this time to plan our next two projects – an 80Mw gas peaking plant in Immingham, Hull and 40MW gas peaking plant in Pencoed South Wales.

Planning applications for clean and renewable power projects hit a four year high in 2019 as the drive to meet rising demand for low-carbon energy gathered pace.  There were 269 in all, according to an analysis of government data by infrastructure consultants – px Group.  That’s up from 204 in 2018, 185 in 2017 and 154 in 2016— a 75% increase in just three years.

Those investing in these opportunities can benefit from fixed rate returns, which offer at least some certainty in these very uncertain times.”