Balance Utility Solutions

Balance Utility Solutions - web banner.jpg

Efic’s bond facility provided Perth-based Balance Utility Solutions with the security needed to build a hybrid power station for an integrated coconut processing facility in Micronesia.

Providing sustainable utility solutions is the driving force for renewable energy-focused business Balance Utility Solutions (Balance). Co-founder and CEO Rod Hayes said: “We started the business in 2011 and were looking to build a business that offered complete turnkey power and water solutions with a focus on ‘edge of grid’ and ‘off grid’ regions, using the best local primary energy sources, for example, solar, wind or biomass.”

The domestic business focuses on providing utility services for remote communities and remote load stations.

“The systems we build are called hybrid systems. This means they use a combination of generation sources to get reliable and affordable power supply. Sitting at the heart of our system is a hybrid controller and some form of energy storage that lets us balance the renewables with more conventional forms of generation.

“It’s about making energy more affordable. Renewables are significantly cheaper than diesel,” said Rod.

Export part of the plan

Balance secured a contract to build a hybrid power station for an integrated coconut processing facility and energy supply to an unelectrified island in Micronesia.

“We have already completed around six projects with our client. This project is the largest one we have done to date.

“The power supply will be done in two stages. Stage one is the diesel backbone of what will eventually be a hybrid power station, and ready to plug in a substantial amount of storage and solar, which we expect to be doing in the back half of 2019,” said Rod.

To secure the project, Balance needed to provide Advance Payment and Performance Warranty Bonds.

Efic’s support is critical for us because we’re a medium-sized enterprise. We can’t avoid having to provide bonds and securities to secure these types of projects. Particularly with larger Government or quasi-government clients. It’s always going to be a requirement. Rod Hayes, Co-founder and CEO

“There are two fundamental challenges when trying to get bonds from a banking provider. One is jurisdictional comfort and a lower project risk appetite. We’re talking about doing a technology project in a developing country in the North Pacific. While we’ve got a really good relationship with our bank they were happy to support the project on the proviso that Efic was a part of the transaction.

“The second challenge is the cash requirement. Banks mostly require full cash backing. For us, there is no way that we could do that for what would be 18 months. Efic being prepared to back the project with a lower cash backing was really important to us being able to take on this project,” explained Rod.

Efic worked together with Balance’s bank to provide a joint solution that would help them undertake this significant project: “The process worked really well for us and gave us an outcome that enabled us to take on this significant project,” said Rod.


                                          The groundbreaking ceremony in Tonoas, Micronesia

Efic provided three Advance Payment Bonds and one Performance Warranty Bond totalling US$1.06 million.

“Efic’s support is critical for us because we’re a medium-sized enterprise. We can’t avoid having to provide bonds and securities to secure these types of projects. Particularly with larger Government or quasi-government clients. It’s always going to be a requirement,” said Rod.

Next on the radar for Balance is South East Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia, where Rod says there is a massive need for the types of services the business provides.

Can Efic help me?

Find out here