KSI: Welcome to KSI. We want to personally congratulate you on the December announcements of two new $1+ million milestones here in the USA and in China.
KSI: Tell us more about these news releases and the Company's new manufacturer in China.
Riggs Eckelberry: On 3 December, we announced that our Hong Kong subsidiary, OriginClear Hong Kong (OCHK), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to launch sales and manufacturing joint ventures (JV) in the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan). The prospective JV partner is Mr. Ming Xu, an inventor and owner of a ceramic materials factory in mainland China.
Under the MOU, Mr. Xu committed to payments totaling $1 million over two months to purchase the rights to the JV, and has already completed the first payment to OCHK of $150,000.
It’s the best of both worlds: sales coverage in China, and a high-quality manufacturing operation that will set the standard for implementation of our technology.
Globally, we believe this means that our licensees and partners worldwide will have the chance to purchase ISO-reference equipment at the most competitive price. Our technology can be built into existing systems, creating a win-win for all concerned.
Next, we have begun to announce significant wins by our new subsidiary, Progressive Water Treatment Inc. (PWT). Earlier, in October, we announced that a system built by PWT is recovering 700 gallons per minute (gpm) of previously-rejected water at the existing RO treatment plant in Horizon City, Texas. The recovered water is being blended with raw well water for consumption as city drinking water for up to a third of the city’s drinking water’s needs.
Then, on the 10th of December, we announced that PWT had commissioned, or put into operation, a 750 gallon per minute (GPM) Multiple Media Filtration, Softener and Reverse Osmosis (RO) system for a 75,000 barrel-per-day refinery operated by Delek Refining in Tyler, Texas. Valued at more than $1 million, paid before the OriginClear acquisition, the water processing system is PWT’s largest single unit to date, and includes advanced process technologies that are new to the refinery and its operators.
PWT uses the best of breed solutions already in the market, and eventually we expect that it will employ our technology, Electro Water Separation (EWS), where appropriate, once it is generally available. But it will only be one of many outlets for the technology, we believe!
KSI: That is most impressive. China needs to develop its wastewater sector to tackle worsening water pollution. How significant is this for OOIL in revenue production in capturing this market?
Riggs Eckelberry: Adoption of new water treatment technology in developed countries is typically very conservative and slow.
However, we have found very high enthusiasm in the Chinese market. There is high awareness of the extent of the problem in mainland China and the government has begun mandating business owners to effectively and efficiently deal with pollution issues.
To capitalize on this readiness, we created OriginClear Hong Kong (OCHK), our wholly-owned master licensee for China, which is also our business hub for the rest of Asia-Pacific. Our strategy in China is to establish a number of joint ventures there in which OCHK will take a share.
OCHK managing director, Jean-Louis “JL” Kindler, who is also President of the OriginClear Technologies group, and Nicholas Eckelberry, co-founder of OriginClear, have worked for several months to prove the technology in lab demonstrations and develop relationships in China.
KSI: Riggs, please give us a brief history of your company's Water Treatment Technology and how it all started.
Riggs Eckelberry: We began as OriginOil with a mission to help commercialize algae, “the original oil”, and we continue to provide one of the strongest primarily non-chemical platforms for harvesting of algae today.
Then in 2009, we found that our ability to get microscopic particles out of water could also be put to work in the oil fields, and we began to demonstrate our ability to clean up oil and gas wastewater. By 2014, as we began to develop in industrial and agricultural wastewater treatment, we renamed ourselves as OriginClear.
Today, our technology is a breakthrough way to clarify water and neutralize certain hazardous chemicals in it, and we license our technology as well as participating in joint ventures.
KSI: What is your company's ultimate mission?
Riggs Eckelberry: In 2015, with our technology proven and starting to generate revenue, we began to work on the next stage, acquiring companies in the water treatment business. Currently many industrial water users are outsourcing their treatment needs to regionally based water services company. This market today is fragmented and there is an opportunity to acquire those specialized small companies to offer comprehensive water services. Under the guidance of Bill Charneski, OriginClear President, we have completed our first acquisition of a profitable company, and are pursuing more in 2016.
Our vision is for The OriginClear Group™ to become a major U.S. player in the water solutions provider business over the next five years.
To achieve this, we plan to acquire other firms working in the industry, and in parallel, establish our technology throughout the world as the best process for first-stage water clarification.
Our mission, in short, is to make our technology a “best practice” for first stage water clarification without heavy use of chemicals, and to also develop a complementary group of strong water service companies. We believe this will make OriginClear a real player in the water treatment industry and – who knows – perhaps an acquisition target itself?
KSI: How will your company complete that goal?
Riggs Eckelberry: We have a large shareholder base, a technology that has taken years to prove, and especially a team headed by two strong execs, one over technology and the other over the group of companies.
Within the company my role is as chief strategist and communicator. I’ve been able to find and support these strong leaders. As a result, I am able to focus on strategy and corporate development, while ensuring that we have the financial means to get our job done. As chief communicator, it is my responsibility to get across the benefits and potential of what we do, and also our concrete progress in doing so. I am, of course, responsible for ensuring funding, revenues, and the company’s ultimate success.
KSI: What makes your company stand out from other water cleanup companies?
Riggs Eckelberry: Our unique technology, first. And then, the fact that we are seeking to acquire companies in the smaller, more fragmented, expert arena. We expect this will give us a strong capability to deliver solutions in the water industry!
KSI: I have to tell you that in my 20 plus years of being a IR Financial expert OOIL in my opinion is clearly one of the most grossly undervalued stocks that I have come across in many years. What are your thoughts about my statement?
Riggs Eckelberry: I can’t comment about valuation. However, if you look at the fact that Progressive Water ALONE is achieving a sales run rate of $6 million, with the technology group having secured a recent seven figure commitment from China alone. I will let you draw your own conclusions.
KSI: Do you think OOIL, based on its technology alone, can become a buyout target?
Riggs Eckelberry: Yes. We see tremendous thirst for new technology in waste water treatment; in China, we see a strong desire for Western brands. I would say that a “liquidity event” is not improbable, although we are currently more in the business of creating these exits for others, such as water treatment company operators whose companies we are acquiring.
KSI: Riggs, thank you very much for your time given to conduct this interview. Do you have anything additional that you would like to say?
Riggs Eckelberry: I’m very pleased with the support our shareholders have given us over the years, and especially now with our breakthrough. I believe that with the technology division in revenue now, and the acquisition group going very nicely, we have the potential to deliver a phenomenal 2016!
"KSI and OOIL have entered.1 Month IR Contract in the amount of $5,000 covering January 2016. KSI has recieved $5,000 each of the last 3 months and expects to receive 1 million shares of restricted stock from OOIL."
Interview conducted by Eric Weiss: 1/11/16