Gas storage company InfraStrata swung into the black in the year to the end of July posting a profit of £66,955 against a loss of £6,106,070 last time.
The results comprise a loss of £177,614 (2015: loss of £347,842) attributable to the continuing operations of pursuing the gas storage project and a profit of £244,569 (2015: loss of £5,758,228) attributable to the discontinued operations of oil and gas exploration.
Project management and company administration costs for the year ended 31 July 2016 were £932,635 (2015: £1,144,393), of which £677,735 (2015: £757,473) was attributable to continuing operations of pursuing the gas storage project.
Capital costs of Islandmagee during the year were £608,760 (2015: £3,663,514), principally relating to the completion of the salt core well programme in late 2015.
Joint managing director Anita Gardiner said: "The year has seen the Company modify its focus entirely towards the development of the Islandmagee gas storage project, which we believe not only holds significant value for the Company, but is also likely to be of material importance to the future UK gas market once operational. We go into 2017 with a conviction that gas market conditions and the strategic need for the provision of fast acting gas storage are demonstrating the potential value of the project, and it is our belief that we can secure significant value for our shareholders from it. The best way to unlock this potential is to seek to progress the FEED and commercialisation programme during 2017, the successful completion of which should make the project ready for construction and delivery."
Joint MD Stewart McGarrity added: "We have made further progress post period with procuring the engineering, technical and commercial support necessary for the FEED and commercialisation programme. We have already secured approximately half of the total costs of £6 million from continued grant support from the European Union and secured loan arrangements with leading FEED contractors. Furthermore, we have made changes to our Board to reflect our new focus and to allow us to work towards achieving our goals to maximum effect in 2017 and beyond. Completion of the overall funding arrangements by securing the £3.0 million of funding required is our immediate imperative and we look forward to updating our shareholders as we move to progress the project."
The group also announced that it has signed a secured loan facility agreement with Baron Oil.
Under the terms of the Loan Agreement, Baron will provide a loan facility of up to £300,000 to InfraStrata, which will be applied towards InfraStrata's working capital requirements.
The board believes that these funds are sufficient, with existing funds, to meet InfraStrata's minimum levels of corporate costs and care and maintenance costs on the Islandmagee gas storage project to the end of 2017. The progression of the front-end engineering design (for the project, as announced on 4 November, will require the securing of additional funding.