US LNG-equipment maker and industrial gases company Chart Industries reported increases in quarterly and annual net profits and logged a record number of new customers.
Chart booked orders with 65 new customers in the final three months of 2020, resulting in record full-year 2020 new customers of 472, of which 109 were in Specialty division.
The company also completed four acquisitions outside the LNG sector related to carbon capture, water treatment and hydrogen as well as making a $15 million investment in carbon-capture company Svante on February 2021.
It additionally acquired Cryo Technologies on February 16, 2021 adding proven hydrogen and helium liquefaction to its portfolio, expanding into specialty markets of $5.75 billion potential.
Chart reported fourth-quarter net income of $269.8M compared with $12.5M in the prior-year quarter.
Chart’s annual profits amounted to $320.1M versus $46.4M in 2019.
“While hydrogen, biogas and carbon capture are the hottest topics right now, LNG is still extremely active, particularly as the cost fundamentals are competitive and infrastructure continues to be built worldwide,” stated Chart.
The Atlanta, Georgia-based company noted that at the end of December 2020, the Government of India stated that there were plans to create a gas infrastructure in India with an investment of $60Bln over the next four years, inclusive of LNG terminals.
“India is just one region where LNG continues to be a good answer for a cost competitive, scalable step in the energy transition,” stated Chart.
The company expects fueling stations and HLNG vehicle tanks for onboard heavy duty trucks to continue around or above 2020 levels throughout 2021, and also expects two small-scale LNG terminals and mid-scale LNG projects to move ahead with final investment decision in 2021.
Chart recorded a full-year record for fueling station orders of 71 stations, up 18.3 percent over 2019.
“The fourth quarter of 2020 capped a strong year in unprecedented times, thanks to the entire Chart team,” said Jill Evanko, Chart’s Chief Executive and President.
“In 2020, we made significant progress in penetrating the global high growth markets of clean energy, specialty and repair and service as evidenced by 472 new customers and 33 long-term agreements,” added Evanko.
“The combination of strong free cash flow, strategic investments, record backlog and operational execution resulted in multiple full year 2020 and fourth quarter 2020 records,” stated the CEO.
“More importantly, the performance puts us in position to make 2021 a breakthrough year for our business as we serve our global energy and industrial gas customers’ growing and changing needs,” said Evanko.
Chart generated $60.2 of net cash provided by operating activities, resulting in $49.6M of free cash flow, the second highest cash flow quarter in the company’s history.
“Hydrogen continues to be our hottest specialty market, with record orders ($38M) and backlog ($39M) in 2020,” said Chart.
“We expect over 70 percent in hydrogen sales growth in 2021 when compared to 2020,” it added.
“We have completed a memorandum of understanding with Matrix Service Company for standardized small-scale hydrogen offerings and a joint development agreement with Ballard Power Systems to jointly develop integrated system solutions,” explained Chart.
“This includes a fuel cell engine with onboard liquid hydrogen storage and vaporization for the transportation industry, with a focus on heavy-duty applications including buses, trucks, rail and marine vessels,” the company stated.