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Vista Int’l Technologies: One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure
Published Tuesday, December 23, 2014 by Fred Zucker
Every American puts out about 4.5 pounds of “waste” every day, whether from leftover food or discarded papers. While Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WM) and other companies used to simply bury the trash in landfills, many of them now look to extract value from the waste by recycling it, putting it into a product cycle, or extracting energy from the waste using a variety of techniques.

Vista International Technologies Inc. (OTC: VVIT) provides clean, dependable, cost-competitive waste-to-energy and renewable energy solutions. By partnering with government, community, industry, and financial partners, the company’s technology recovers usable energy from materials generally considered as waste, which are currently destined for landfills or other disposal venues.

Tire Processing

Vista operates in the tire processing space as the only waste tire processing and storage facility licensed by the State of Texas in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area. This “cash cow” business has excellent margins and considerable competitive barriers to entry. In addition to a tipping fee received for accepting waste tires, the company generates additional revenue through sales of tire-derived fuel (“TDF”) and other processed tire material for use in diverse end markets, ranging from earthwork to steel recycling to cement kilns and other heat-intensive processes.

Currently, the company is expanding revenues generated by its tire processing operations by increasing the throughput of incoming tires, as well as expanding TDF and other processed tire material sales to new and existing customers. The ongoing production of TDF is also reducing the amount of tire material stored on-site, thereby reducing long-term environmental liability exposure. As of last quarter, the entire operation is cash flow positive.

Thermal Gasifier™

Vista may have a significant presence in the tire processing business, but its true potential lies in commercializing the latest generation of its Thermal Gasifier™ technology. With the ability to accept nearly any solid carbon-based input, the three-stage gasification technology efficiently converts municipal waste into thermal energy, steam, and/or electricity. The technology passes the most stringent EPA emissions regulations and produces an ash byproduct that has multiple commercial uses. Put more simply, the Thermal Gasifier can effectively and efficiently produce clean “green” energy while reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills by up to 90%.

Prior to 2000, the company sold approximately 15 first-generation Thermal Gasifiers around the world. Three second-generation products were sold in Ireland and Italy in 2002 and 2004, respectively. And now, management is building its first third-generation unit that will be used in a pilot Waste To Energy (WTE) project in the U.S. This new generation of units has significant advantages over the earlier models with regard to operating efficiency and stack emissions.

Looking Ahead

Vista International reported revenue that increased 35% to $231,100 last quarter, as it swung to an operating profit of $101,700. Over the past few quarters the company has effectively leveraged its tire operations to strengthen the company, significantly reduced its remediation, overhead, and operating expenses, and increased revenue from both operating segments. But again, the stock’s real potential lies in the near future with its upcoming plans to expand Thermal Gasifier operations.

The completion of the Thermal Gasifier pilot project, expected in early 2015, should provide a significant catalyst to the company and its overall prospects. In conjunction with these efforts, the company has also started to develop a carbon credit portfolio, which will provide additional assets to the company’s balance sheet and/or provide financing for future projects, as the carbon credit market matures. With the pilot project in place, management believes that it will be able to finish development of additional municipal waste projects currently in its pipeline – every one of which will make a significant impact on the company’s bottom line.

For more information, see the company’s website at www.vvit.us.