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Covanta Continues to Forge Ahead During Third Quarter

Covanta's Dublin, Ireland, plant came online while the company continues to work to restore operations at its Fairfax, Va., plant.

Morristown, N.J.-based Covanta Holding continued to work to get its Fairfax, Va., plant back online and suffered some other disruptions due to the quarter’s hurricanes, while also celebrating the good news of its new Dublin, Ireland, plant becoming operational. In all, it amounted to year-over-year revenue growth for the firm and executives remain bullish on its long-term outlook.

Covanta posted $429 million in revenues for the quarter, up from $421 million last year. Its adjusted EBITDA totaled $117 million, down from $124 million in the same quarter a year ago. Free cash flow was also down slightly to $68 million in the quarter vs. $74 million last year.

"This quarter marks a great milestone for Covanta as our state-of-the-art Dublin plant is now operational and performing very impressively. It has been a long journey, but the end result is a testament to our development and operational capabilities. I couldn't be more proud of our team for its tireless efforts on this project." Covanta President and CEO Stephen Jones said in a statement. "At Fairfax we are now installing upgraded fire protection and suppression equipment and expect to bring the plant back online around the end of the year. At the same time, our plants are enjoying strong markets for waste and metals and we remain on pace to meet our full-year expectations. "

Other highlights from the company’s earnings:

  • Energy-from-waste processing revenue was down $3 million, from $241 million in $2016 to $238 million in the third quarter of 2017. Its environmental services revenue was up to $32 million compared to $26 million a year ago. Municipal services revenue amounted to $50 million, up from $48 million in 2016.
  • Pricing was up $8 million. Energy-from-waste revenue per ton was up, from $47.45 per ton in 2016 to $50.82 per ton in 2017.
  • Volumes were lower by $13 million due to a combination of factors, including its Fairfax, Va., plant continuing to be offline since a February fire as well as some impacts from hurricanes. Overall, its energy from waste tons amount to 4.7 million tons compared to 5.1 million tons in the same period a year ago.
  • Covanta’s revenue from its energy business declined from $81 million in 2016 to $68 million in 2017. Much of that decline was driven by the downtime at its Fairfax plant.
  • In its metals business, revenues rose from $14 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $23 million in the current quarter. It also had strong gains in pricing on its ferrous and non-ferrous metals due both to market pricing and improved quality from processing. On a per-ton basis, Covanta reported pricing on ferrous metals of $158 per ton, up from $117 per ton in 2016, and on non-ferrous metals of $1,201 per ton, up from $581 per ton in 2016.
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