Innovative Pick Still on the Move

I’d like to bring you up to date on a great company that I’ve been following for quite some time. In fact, I first wrote about this small company in this column in early February last year.

The company is called Fuel Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ/FTEK) and as soon as this story came across my desk I knew it would be a great success. Fuel Tech is successful because of its innovative products and the stock market’s recognition of its growth. As part of the alternative energy investment theme, this company continues to sign big new contracts for its products.

Fuel Tech doesn’t operate in the energy production business. It’s in the business of cleaning up the energy production business. This company is selling product all around the world, and is really helping to clean up coal-fired energy plants.

Fuel Tech’s specialized technologies for air pollution control mostly deal with nitrogen oxide (NOx) reduction. The company’s proprietary NOx reduction technologies include the “NOxOUT,” “NOxOUT CASCADE” and “NOxOUT” catalytic reduction processes, which reduce NOx emissions from boilers, incinerators, furnaces, and other stationary combustion sources.

Fuel Tech also operates a “FUEL CHEM” business that uses chemical processes for slagging, corrosion control, and plume abatement in furnaces and boilers, with the addition of chemicals into the fuel. The company was founded in 1987 in the Netherlands, and maintains a U.S. head office in Stamford, Connecticut.

This small-cap company is a classic example of a business that experienced a difficult time in its early years, but then it honed its products and business plan, and it finally achieved operational success.

Fuel Tech just received another major contract win. It was recently awarded a $7.2-million order for its “NOxOUT ULTRA” products by an existing Midwest electric utility customer. Once installed, the system will help reduce NOx emissions on a 400-megawatt coal-fired boiler. The installation is expected to be complete by the second half of 2008.

Even though environmentalists don’t like coal-fired electricity production, the electricity grid just can’t live without it for now.

The good news is that companies like Fuel Tech have the technology to clean up emissions substantially. In my view, this company will continue to be a major success over the next several years. I’m always on the lookout for the next Fuel Tech.