Taking into account foreign currency fluctuations, the average price of gas sold by GEECL in FY21 was $9.81/ million British thermal units, 5.5% lower than the preceding fiscal.
Great Eastern Energy Corporation (GEECL), which produces coal bed methane (CBM) gas in West Bengal, reported a 64.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) fall in its net profit to $2.4 million in FY21, as it sold lesser volumes of gas amid coronavirus lockdowns at lower prices compared to FY20. The company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, sold 7.9 million standard cubic feet per day (mscfd) CBM gas in the fiscal, down 24.2% annually. Taking into account foreign currency fluctuations, the average price of gas sold by GEECL in FY21 was $9.81/ million British thermal units, 5.5% lower than the preceding fiscal.
The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell 34.8% y-o-y to $13.65 million. GEECL’s net debt at FY21-end stood at $52.4 million, 6.6% lower annually. The debt-to-equity ratio was at 0.58, lower than the level of 0.65 at the end of FY20. The company has been able to reduce its debt coupon rate from 10.32% in FY21 to 9.58% in the ongoing fiscal. “Banks have been impressed with the company’s performance and our disciplined debt servicing record even in difficult times,” GEECL’s CEO Prashant Modi told FE, adding that “we did not even avail the moratorium offered by the government under the coronavirus relief package”.
The company is betting on GAIL’s upcoming Jagdishpur-Haldia-Bokaro- Dhamra pipeline to expand its customer base by connecting the market of Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal. Currently, it supplies gas to the industrial units, mainly in the steel and related sectors, in the Asansol-Durgapur region in southern part of the state. Access to the larger Bengal market is seen to allow the company to take advantage of its significant proven but as yet uncommitted gas reserves. The company is also in the process of starting its shale gas exploration, and is engaging with various vendors for commencing the shale programme.