About Us

ABOUT US

New Times Energy Corporation Limited (Stock code: 00166.HK), headquartered in Hong Kong and traded on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, is an investment holding company, engaged in the business of energy transition towards a target of net zero. The group concurrently owns upstream oil and gas assets for exploration, development and production in Canada and South America. Since 2020, the Group has been active in the trading of physical precious metal (mainly gold and silver), and is currently establishing a precious metals refinery with an annual capacity of fifty metric tons. 

VISION & MISSION

We develop energy for the new times. Diversify for climate change and the environment. With a global shift towards a low carbon future, the Group is embarking on its own transition journey. The Group’s vision is to create a circular economy at Discovery Park, Campbell River, British Colombia, Canada by bringing together complementary eco-friendly businesses for sustainability.

Dear Shareholders,

On behalf of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of New Times Energy Corporation Limited (“New Times Energy”) and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Group”), I hereby present the annual results and audited consolidated financial statements of the Group for the year ended 31 December 2023.

OVERVIEW OF 2023

New Times Energy recorded a loss after tax of HK$150.5 million and an adjusted EBITDA (Profit before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation, and impairment charge) of HK$167.0 million profit for the year ended 31 December 2023.

The loss after tax was mainly attributable to:

    • (i) lower revenues due to a decline in natural gas commodity price and the prolonged suspension of production caused by widespread wildfires in Western Canada, and an impairment charge of HK$119.9 million against the carrying value of the Group’s Canada natural gas assets; and
    •  
    • (ii) a reduction in revenue and profit from the Group’s Argentina operations due to an annual hyperinflation of 211%, a devaluation of the Argentina Pesos against the US Dollar in 2023 of 354%, and low domestic oil prices.

The Group remains financially healthy with stable cashflows generated across all its business segments. As of 31 December 2023, the Group had no external borrowings, and possessed highly liquid current assets of HK$832.1 million which consisted of cash and bank balances of HK$796.6 million and HK$35.5 million in financial assets at fair value through profit or loss.

In November 2023, the Group increased its position on the renowned Montney Formation at Wapiti, Alberta, Canada by making a successful crown land bid for three sections of land in West Gold Creek with a total acreage of approximately 1,920 acres on the Montney Formation. The sections are estimated to contain 2P reserves of 2.9 million boe, providing the Group with over two years of premium drilling inventory.

Over the near to medium term, demand for stable energy sources like oil and gas is anticipated to remain strong. The Group is confident its Canadian upstream business will continue to contribute stable positive cashflows in the years ahead, while it strives to work with local authorities and governing bodies to achieve the common goal of reducing carbon emissions.

As the world accelerates towards a low carbon economy, New Times Energy is embarking on its own energy transition initiative. Plans to redevelop and transform the Group’s 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) Discovery Park site at Campbell River, British Columbia from a former pulp mill into a green ecosystem hub powered by hydroelectricity have commenced.

GREEN ECOSYSTEM HUB POWERED BY SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

New Times Energy’s vision is to attract and establish the following facilities at Discovery Park:

    1. Hydrogen/green ammonia plant,
    2. Inland aquaculture facility, and
    3. Renewable natural gas facility to utilise the abundant supply of biomass in the vicinity.

The Group is progressing on all these propositions, and are in negotiations with potential developers both from the private and public sectors. Furthermore, the Group has plans to set up vertical farming and modular construction manufacturing facilities to create a circular economy at Discovery Park.

Figure 1: Illustration of the Green Ecosystem Hub at Discovery Park

Modular construction will provide on-site building materials for all four industries while secondary outputs are recycled as such:

  • Excess heat and oxygen from the hydrogen/green ammonia plant are reutilised in aquaculture operations,
  • Fish sludge is a suitable biomass raw material for the renewable natural gas facility, and
  • Carbon dioxide and excess heat from the production of renewable natural gas can be reutilised in vertical farming operations.

By redeveloping Discovery Park into a green ecosystem hub, the Group can create economic value by reducing waste, and contribute to better sustainability, climate protection and resource efficiency. It will define the industrial park of the future for a green economy.

In Argentina, the Group managed to operate the most productive conventional oil well in the country and generate cash surplus to repatriate to head office for reinvestment during the year. The country continues to present its unique set of challenges including low domestic oil prices, hyperinflation, currency devaluation, capital controls, bureaucracy, and labour union unrest. The Group’s total exposure in Argentina accounted for only 1.4% of total net assets of the Group as of 31 December 2023.

New Times Energy’s commodities trading business (predominantly physical gold and silver trading) continued to perform solidly and grew its trade volumes year on year. Construction of the Group’s new refinery plant for precious metals was completed in October 2023 and currently is undergoing trial runs. The Group is optimistic that upon commercial operation, the new in-house precious metals refining business will further strengthen overall profitability.

LOOKING FORWARD

New Times Energy is mindful of the global shifts towards a low carbon/net zero emissions future, particularly in the developed economies. While our principal business is that of oil and gas exploration and production, the Group is already taking steps to transform its business model into one that increasingly focuses on green energy, waste elimination and social responsibility. With the support and cooperation of key stakeholders in Campbell River, the redevelopment of Discovery Park into a green ecosystem hub will provide a viable pathway.

New Times Energy continues to actively manage and structure its business to best serve the interests of its shareholders. It is committed to maximising shareholder value by exploring and developing oil and gas prospects in a safe, environmentally, socially, and ethically responsible manner. Environmental and sustainability considerations will continue to play an increasingly key role in the way the Group conducts its future business.

The Group understands the need to continually reassess and diversify its current business and geographical portfolio to better position itself for the future. It is also critical that the Group continues to maintain a healthy cash position to enable it to actively seek out value adding and complementary investment opportunities in the energy sector, wherever that may be in the world.

APPRECIATION

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to the Board, the management team, and all staff for your efforts and dedication during the year. I am, as always, much obliged to our shareholders, investors, business partners, bankers, customers, and suppliers for your continued and invaluable support.

CHENG, Kam Chiu Stewart
Chairman

Hong Kong, 25 March 2024

Executive Directors and Senior ManagementNon-Executive DirectorIndependent Non-executive Directors
Mr. CHENG, Kam Chiu Stewart
Mr. TANG, John Wing Yan
Mr. LEE, Chi Hin JacobMr. YUNG, Chun Fai Dickie
Mr. CHIU, Wai On
Mr. HUANG, Victor
 
EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT

Mr. CHENG, Kam Chiu Stewart (Chairman and Executive Director)

Mr. CHENG, Kam Chiu Stewart, aged 69, was appointed as an executive Director in February 2008 and the Chairman in May 2009. Mr. Cheng holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the United States of America (“USA”); a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, USA; and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Also, Mr. Cheng has been awarded the 21st Honorary Fellowship by The Chinese University of Hong Kong in May 2023. Being a member of The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, Mr. Cheng is a professional engineer with extensive experience in property development and construction management.

Mr. Cheng joined Hip Hing Construction Company Limited in 1984 as a project manager and was subsequently appointed as director. From 1993 to 1997, Mr. Cheng was transferred to New World Development (China) Limited as a director and an assistant general manager, overseeing property development in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”). He was a director of NWS Service Management Limited from 1997 to 2006, and was mainly responsible for the construction and the electrical and mechanical engineering businesses and pursuing business opportunities in the PRC. Mr. Cheng is the managing director of Cheung Hung Development (Holdings) Limited, principally engaging in property development in both Hong Kong and the PRC. He was an executive director of International Entertainment Corporation from January 2008 to June 2017, which shares are listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the “Stock Exchange”).

Mr. TANG, John Wing Yan (Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer)

Mr. TANG, John Wing Yan, aged 71, was appointed as an executive Director and the Chief Executive Officer in June 2017. Mr. Tang joined the Group as general manager in August 2015. He brings with him over 20 years of senior management experience and has held top executive positions with various international companies prior to joining the Group.

Formally trained as a structural engineer, Mr. Tang was a Chartered Engineer in the United Kingdom (“UK”) as well as a Registered Professional Engineer in USA and Canada. Author and co-author of peer-reviewed publications in several technical journals and conferences, he is also the holder of U.S. Patent US6329589 pertaining to wireless transmission of solar power for exterior curtain wall in buildings.

Mr. Tang holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Massachusetts, USA; a Master’s degree in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, USA; and a Graduate-Level Diploma in Financial Engineering from Stanford University, USA.

 
NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Mr. LEE, Chi Hin Jacob (Non-executive Director)

Mr. LEE, Chi Hin Jacob, aged 41, was appointed as a non-executive Director in March 2019. Mr. Lee is currently a senior vice president of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (“CTFE”) with responsibilities in making strategic and private equity investments globally. CTFE is an indirect subsidiary of Chow Tai Fook Capital Limited which is a controlling shareholder of the Company. Mr. Lee joined CTFE in March 2013 and has over 15 years of professional experience in corporate finance, investment, international capital markets and asset management. He previously worked at the investment banking department of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Deutsche Bank AG in Hong Kong. Mr. Lee holds a Master of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from The London School of Economics and Political Science to the University of London in London, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, United States of America. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst Charterholder.

Mr. Lee is currently a non-executive director of Integrated Waste Solutions Group Holdings Limited (stock code: 923) and Giordano International Limited (stock code: 709) which shares are listed on the Stock Exchange and is also a member of the HKSAR Financial Reporting Review Panel.

 
INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

Mr. YUNG, Chun Fai Dickie (Independent Non-Executive Director)

Mr. YUNG, Chun Fai Dickie, aged 71, was appointed as an independent non-executive Director in March 2013. Mr. Yung holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of East Asia, Macau. He is a member of the Institute of Management and a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. Mr. Yung has been engaged in finance and banking businesses for over 27 years. He was the chief executive officer of Landbridge Holdings Limited, the deputy chief executive officer of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (Macau) Limited and an executive director, deputy general manager and alternate chief executive officer of Industrial & Commercial International Capital Limited (currently known as ICBC International Holdings Limited), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Limited.

Mr. CHIU, Wai On (Independent Non-Executive Director)

Mr. CHIU, Wai On, aged 54, was appointed as an independent non-executive Director in November 2006. Mr. Chiu is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in the UK. He possesses extensive professional experience in accounting and auditing services. Mr. Chiu is currently an independent non-executive director of DeTai New Energy Group Limited (stock code: 559), whose shares are listed on the Stock Exchange.

Mr. HUANG, Victor (Independent Non-Executive Director)

Mr. HUANG, Victor, aged 52, was appointed as an independent non-executive Director in June 2020. Mr. Huang has over 30 years of experience in professional accounting, capital market and merger and acquisition. Mr. Huang joined PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong in January 1993 and admitted to partnership in July 2005. He left PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong in July 2014. From July 2014 to August 2017, he was a partner of KPMG in Hong Kong.

Mr. Huang is currently an independent non-executive director of (i) Qingdao Haier Biomedical Co., Ltd. (688139.SH), a company listed on the Sci-Tech Innovation Board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange; and the following companies which are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, namely (ii) COSCO SHIPPING Energy Transportation Co., Ltd. (stock code: 1138), (iii) ManpowerGroup Greater China Limited (stock code: 2180), (iv) Scholar Education Group (stock code: 1769), (v) Shandong Hi-Speed New Energy Group Limited (stock code: 1250) and (vi) Topsports International Holdings Limited (stock code: 6110). Mr. Huang was an independent non-executive director of Trinity Limited (stock code: 0891) from December 2018 to December 2020, China Bright Culture Group (stock code: 1859) from February 2020 to November 2020, Evergrande Property Services Group (stock code: 6666) from November 2020 to November 2021, and Laobaixing Pharmacy Chain Joint Stock Company (stock code: 603883.SH), a company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, from February 2018 to February 2024.

Mr. Huang is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and The Hong Kong Independent Non-Executive Director Association. He is also a Certified Independent Non-executive Director by the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Mr. Huang received a bachelor’s degree of arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in September 1992.

ENVIRONMENTAL

As an oil and gas exploration and production industry participant, we are well-aware of the impacts and potential risks that our field operations pose to the environment and the surrounding ecosystem. We adopt best industry practices and guidelines in our management of the environmental risks arising from our operations in Canada and Argentina. We strictly comply with all relevant environmental laws and regulations in respective jurisdiction in which we operate in.

Our main emission sources are from diesel fuel, electricity, water and natural gas. With regards to emissions, our oil and gas businesses are strictly regulated under the respective Canadian and Argentine laws and regulations. Regulatory updates are continually monitored to ensure we remain compliant, and how potential amendments may impact operations.

We are committed to working closely with all stakeholders to decommission and reclaim inactive and non-producing wells to their original land use. A risk-based closure approach will be used to evaluate alternative remedial and reclamation options to reduce costs and expedite the closure of the dormant sites. This approach further allows us to identify more environmentally friendly ways to manage site reclamation activities.

 
SOCIAL

We fully recognise our employees are our critical asset. Therefore, our policy is to hire and retain employees with professional skills that enable us to achieve our strategic objectives, in a non-discriminatory matter. Recruitment and compensation are based on qualification, experience, skills and performance. We offer competitive compensation and benefits packages in line with the local market rates for comparable roles and responsibilities in the industry.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and believe in the fair treatment of all existing and prospective employees, regardless of their age, gender, marital status, family status, disability, pregnancy, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and culture, or any other discrimination prohibited by applicable law. We do not discriminate against or deprive of any opportunities in respect of recruitment, training and development, job advancement, and compensation and benefits. Our Codes of Ethic adopts a strict zero tolerance approach to any forms of discrimination or harassment in the workplace.

Critical to all oil and gas operations is rigorous and robust health & safety (“H&S”). We are committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for our employees, and continuously promotes a strong H&S culture and mindset. We endeavour to adopt best practices in health and safety management and are strictly in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations governing H&S, in the jurisdictions we operate in.

We are committed to managing our business without undue influence, and in an open, honest and fair manner. All employees are required to strictly follow the Group’s Code of Ethics to prevent potential bribery, extortion, fraud and money laundering. Employees are regularly reminded about the Group’s anti-corruption policies and their need for strict adherence. Whistle-blowing procedures on misconduct and malpractice (including corruption) are also established in the Group’s anti-corruption policies.

 
GOVERNANCE

Our board (the “Board”) of directors (the “Directors”) and management strive to attain and maintain high standards of corporate governance best suited to the needs of our businesses and interest and value of the shareholders of the Company (the “Shareholders”) as the Board believes that effective governance is essential to our competitiveness and to our healthy growth.

We have adopted and applied the principles of the code provisions of the Corporate Governance Code (the “CG Code”), including the amendments to the CG Code that came into effect on 1 January 2022, as set out in Appendix 14 of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. The Board will continue to review and enhance our corporate governance practice to ensure compliance with the CG Code and align with the latest developments.

We have a board diversity policy which sets out the approach to diversify the Board. We seek to achieve Board diversity through consideration of a number of factors, including but not limited to gender, age, cultural and educational background, professional and industrial experience, skills, knowledge, length of service, and any other factors that the Board might consider relevant and applicable. The ultimate decision will be based on merit and contribution that the selected candidates will bring to the Board.

The Board is responsible for the leadership and control of the Company and collectively responsible for promoting success of the Company by directing and supervising the Company’s affairs. The Board also formulates objectives, overall corporate strategies and business plans, and oversees the financial and management performance of the Group.

The Board has a balanced composition of Executive and Non-executive Directors with each Director having sound knowledge, experience and expertise contributing to the performance and development of the Group. All Directors are aware of their collective and individual responsibilities to the Shareholders and have exercised their duties of care, skill and diligence.

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