Chart Industries, the US LNG equipment and industrial gases company, reported record first quarter orders, contributing to the highest backlog of $934.1M and including orders with 105 new customers with LNG at front and centre.
Orders in the first three months of 2021 amounted to $417.2M and were the highest in the history of the Atlantic, Georgia-based company when excluding Big LNG.
Chart reported net income of $26.1M in the quarter to the end of March, a three-fold increase on the $8.5M posted in the first three months of 2020.
The company said 2021 orders were driven by broad based demand, including a recovery in certain end markets, continued demand for clean products and a combination of larger liquefaction orders for LNG and hydrogen or numerous smaller orders.
Chart posted quarterly sales of $288.5M, in line expectations when considering typical seasonality as well as the timing shift from the first quarter 2021 to the second quarter 2021 of approximately $10M of shipments.
These were primarily ISO container orders from China that were shipped in March 2021, though the revenue is recognized in April 2021, as well as $5M of revenue from the Venture Global Calcasieu Pass LNG project in Louisiana based on the delivery schedule.
The quarterly sales were 4.5 percent lower than the $301.9M achieved in the prior-year quarter.
“Record orders (excluding Big LNG) across the broader business in the first quarter 2021, coupled with continued execution on profitability set us up early (and often) for a very strong second half of 2021,” stated Jill Evanko, Chart’s Chief Executive and President.
“We are seeing immediate benefit from our strategic inorganic investments in the order book as reflected in our record backlog, and the momentum in the clean revolution - clean energy, clean water, clean food and clean industrial - is just getting started,” added Evanko.
Chart noted among the earnings highlights the $47M order from New Fortress Energy, the LNG-for-power company based in New York, for its “Fast LNG” project, a 1.4 million tonnes per annum liquefier vessel.
Chart additionally commented on the expansion of LNG fuel for trucking in Europe and Asia and the subsequent demand for Chart equipment.
LNG for trucks
“Since January 2021, night-time transit for diesel Euro IV trucks on the Inntal motorway in Austria is not allowed, so LNG trucks allow business owners to continue to transport goods overnight,” explained Chart.
“For example, OMV Turkey is using LNG trucks (with Chart fuel tanks) and there is increasing activity for LNG trucks and buses in locations such as Japan and India,” added the company.
Chart said full-year 2021 sales were expected to be around $1.36 billion to $1.41Bln, inclusive of $21M of Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass revenue ($5M of equipment remaining to ship) as well as $30M of expected 2021 revenue from the acquisition of Cryo Technologies.
This is an increase over the prior full year 2021 sales guidance of $1.32Bln to $1.38Bln as a result of the strong first-quarter order book.
This includes specific liquefaction projects for Plug Power (hydrogen) and New Fortress Energy (FastLNG) and commercial opportunities increasing from investments and acquisitions completed in the past six months.
“There is no additional Big LNG revenue included in our outlook although we believe at least one new order will be received during the year,” added Chart.