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Dutch soil treatment plant setback rocks recycler Renewi

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By Justin George Varghese

(Reuters) – Renewi’s shares sank on Friday after the waste recycling specialist said it would take a 25 million euro (21.52 million pounds)hit as a result of ongoing regulatory problems with its ATM soil treatment plant in the Netherlands.

London-listed Renewi, which operates in Europe and North America and merged with Dutch waste service provider Van Gansewinkel in 2017, also said its total dividend for the year would be 1.45 pence per share, down from 3.05 pence, and forecast a similar cut for next year.

ATM, which is part of Renewi’s hazardous waste division, treats contaminated soil and water and disposes of waste such as paints and solvents. The division is particularly focussed on oil and gas, as well as cleaning up construction sites.

The ATM plant has been running below capacity since August when Dutch regulators raised concerns over its soil treatment and Renewi said the market had been “increasingly challenging”.

But Renewi said it expected a “strong order book” of domestic and export customers waiting to take the cleaned soil and it expected authorities to approve shipments from ATM, which is the Hague, in the new fiscal year starting in April.

Nevertheless, Renewi said that for financial purposes it was assuming zero shipments for the year.

Shares in Renewi, which has lost more than two-thirds of its market value in the past year, fell by as much as 21.4 percent in early trading before recovering to stand 10.6 percent lower at 21.6 pence by 1023 GMT.

Brokerage Peel Hunt cut its forecasts for Renewi’s fiscal 2020 and 2021 earnings per share by about 38 percent, and its target price to 60 pence from 87 pence, while analysts at Investec placed its target price of 70 pence “under review”.

Renewi has also been hit by problems at its joint venture partner Interserve, which was taken over by its creditors this month, leaving it to build an advanced gas-conversion facility in Derby on its own.

Renewi said the construction was “significantly behind plan” which meant it would take a non-cash impairment charge of up to 39 million pounds in its 2019 results.

(Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham, Arun Koyyur and Alexander Smith)

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