Interview With Riggs Eckelberry CEO of OriginClear (OCLN) 2/27/17
KSI: President Trump recently stated on social media that, "Everyone deserves clean air and safe drinking water regardless of race or income. Water infrastructure will be a big priority." What is your take on the newly sworn in President's comments? Do you feel clean drinking water will indeed take a big role in the President's administration?
Riggs: During his campaign, President Trump spoke in Flint, Michigan last September about the scandal of tainted city water. He was and remains vocal about the need for “clean water, crystal clean water”.
In its America First Energy Plan, the Administration says “our need for energy must go hand-in-hand with responsible stewardship of the environment. Protecting clean air and clean water, conserving our natural habitats, and preserving our natural reserves and resources will remain a high priority. President Trump will refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.”
The EPA’s renewed focus on air and water is good for clean water initiatives.
Finally, the Administration’s intention to boost fossil fuel production will increase the need for oil and gas services, including water treatment for produced and frac flowback waters.
KSI: It was recently announced that Progressive Water Treatment (PWT), one of OriginClear’s subsidiaries, will now become the company's complete systems manufacturer. The company was acquired a year ago but OriginClear wasn’t ready to make them their systems manufacturer. With this announcement, should we expect that your technology is ready for distribution?
Riggs: When we first acquired PWT, we wanted President Marc Stevens to stay the course and do what he does best, which is to build large scale water treatment systems. Meanwhile, last summer we conclusively proved that our technology works reliably in the field as part of a system.
We have been growing our licensee network. These licensees need a manufacturer, and PWT is now available to build systems for the licensees.
In addition, we think that PWT and future companies in the OriginClear Group will be a real asset in getting our technology out directly to the end-user.
KSI: Back in November, it was announced that OriginClear saw a revenue surge of nearly 3000% in quarter 3 of 2016 over quarter 3 of 2015. What do you think fueled such a dramatic increase in revenues?
Riggs: It’s simple: we acquired a productive, profitable company, Progressive Water. Since our technology revenues were still small, this acquisition made a huge difference to our income statement!
Continuing to acquire profitable companies will continue to enhance our revenues and in due course, lead to profitability for the company.
KSI: There has been a huge amount of buzz surrounding OriginClear lately due to recent surges in revenues and new technological advances. Some even envision OriginClear making it onto a national stock exchange in the near future. Do you think getting the company listed on a national exchange is a realistic expectation for the company? If so, at what point do you see this achievement becoming a reality?
Riggs: We strongly intend to uplist to a national exchange, like the NASDAQ. We believe many elements are in place, but we want to make sure that once we are on a national exchange, we grow from there.
We’ll continue to report as we execute on this plan!
KSI: Is the company in the process of acquiring any other water treatment companies?
Riggs: Over the past year we have entered into late stage talks with several companies. We liked the companies but had concerns that caused us to hold off. We want companies that will be as stable as our first acquisition, Progressive Water!
All in all, we have turned down a score of companies for various reasons.
Meanwhile, last week at the Membrane Technology Conference in Long Beach, we had further meetings with a number of companies and hope to report a Definitive Agreement soon.
KSI: OriginClear has reported in large system quotes since the election. Do you believe that this surge has anything to do with our now 45th Presidents strong position on clean drinking water?
Riggs: Our subsidiary, Progressive Water, has a number of energy customers, such as large power utilities. Some of these customers felt very encouraged by the arrival of a fossil-fuel friendly Administration. So that was the immediate reason for the boost.
We expect the clean water position to kick in over time.
KSI: Is there any other topic that you’d like to discuss?
Riggs: First, there’s an exciting new application for our inventions.
As you know, our technology does a great job clarifying very dirty, very oily water. Interestingly, it may also be the only way to effectively remove micro-contaminants from large amounts of city water without using chemicals – such as bacteria, industrial solvents, hormones, and drugs.
These are surfacing in our water and altering the chemistry of animal and human populations. This came out of our Advanced Oxidation breakthrough last year. We are working with our local water agency to prove the technology and I expect to report further on this!
Second, there’s the issue of water supplies.
California and other parts of the USA are experiencing record rainfall this year.
But water waste is still a problem. For example, in California alone, nearly 60% of freshwater allocated to farming is lost to evaporation and runoff. And in Los Angeles, 80% of the rain goes into the ocean.
According to Futurity, "If water rates continue rising at projected amounts, the number of US households unable to afford water could triple in five years, to nearly 36 percent."
So we need more technology, more infrastructure investment, more recycling, more water treatment at points of use like schools and factories.
OriginClear is there to help, with breakthrough technology and also by building a network of dynamic water treatment companies.
KSI: What are some of the goals that the company has for 2017?
Riggs: With our processes well proven, licensees are coming to us at a steady pace, from literally all over the world. We expect that will continue and increase, generating significant revenues from the technology division.
Our Progressive Water division is experiencing excellent business in the new environment, and we expect it will continue to expand.
It is our intention to complete at least one major acquisition of another excellent water treatment company.
With our biggest investments behind us, it is our plan to move significantly closer to profitability.
We have a message for the general and investing public, and we intend to get it out wider and wider in 2017!
Kinsley Street Investors has been compensated $5,000 from OriginClear, Inc. to perform Investor Relations services for a period of 30 days which includes the interview.This text interview has been approved for publication by OriginClear,Inc.
Interview conducted by Eric Weiss:2/27/17