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Viridis Energy opens merchants division

viridisNovember 20, 2013, Vancouver, B.C. – Viridis Energy Inc. has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Viridis Merchants Inc., to arrange transactions between buyer and sellers of alternative energy, including wood pellets.


November 20, 2013
By Viridis Energy

viridisNovember 20, 2013, Vancouver, B.C. –
Viridis Energy Inc. has formed a wholly owned subsidiary,
Viridis Merchants Inc., to arrange transactions between buyer and sellers of
alternative energy, including wood pellets. 

The company has hired commodities trading specialist Jesse Harte as managing director, Wholesale Division of Viridis Merchants. Doug Middleton, who
currently manages the U.S. brokerage business for Viridis, has been appointed managing director, Retail Division of Viridis Merchants. Christopher Robertson,
Viridis’ CEO, will also serve as president of Viridis Merchants.

“The wood pellet
industry represents a classic merchandising opportunity in its early stages. Viridis
intends to expand its brokerage business, which currently utilizes several
third party producers, to include locational differentials, supply and demand
imbalances and aggregation opportunities to increase its overall participation,”
said Robertson. “In addition to brokering transactions between buyers and
sellers, Viridis intends to augment its production capacity, currently approaching
200,000 tons per year from its Okanagan Pellet and Scotia Atlantic Biomass Companies,
with third party suppliers’ products of equal quality to develop additional
brands in the residential market.”

Robertson added, “Since
the business model is that of a broker, the gross margins generated from
Viridis Merchants are expected to be lower than our core business; however, the
operating margins should be significantly higher since there are minimal incremental
operational costs associated with the business.”

Harte joins
Viridis Energy with over 25 years’ experience in the physical and financial
commodities markets. He has recently been involved in the crude oil,
carbon, power, and biomass sectors. He spent six years with the Royal Bank of
Scotland’s (RBS) trading units, most recently as global head of commodities sales, where he led the firm’s global commodities futures platform, which
included commodities financing.  Harte also served as a senior vice
president of RBS Sempra Commodities, during which he implemented its merchant
biomass business. Prior to RBS Harte traded for Duke Energy Merchants, was
a senior vice president energy products for Daiwa Securities; and president of
Bay Area Petroleum, an energy brokerage firm. He received a Bachelor of
Science degree in Agricultural Resource Economics from the University of Maine
and served as a member of the New York Mercantile Exchange’s board of directors
between 1999 and 2005.

"The market for
brokering wood pellets and other renewable energy commodities is in its
developing stage. Commercial users of wood pellets, such as energy producers,
are securing sources of wood pellets to fill co-firing needs mandated by recent
legislature. This is a prime opportunity for Viridis to secure its position as
a leading source of wood pellets and other renewable energy sources,” said Harte.

Commenting on the new appointments, Robertson said, “The retail division of Viridis Merchants has been largely
developed by Doug Middleton over the past five years as he has built a
solid presence in the northeast US residential space. The addition of Jesse
allows us to expand on that to include both the European and Asian markets in
both wholesale and retail, which I
believe will contribute to the company’s financial results in the 2014.”

 


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