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Recycling Food Waste to Energy - First Mover Pitfalls: IUT Global Pte Ltd Net Present Value (NPV) / MBA Resources

Introduction to Net Present Value (NPV) - What is Net Present Value (NPV) ? How it impacts financial decisions regarding project management?

NPV solution for Recycling Food Waste to Energy - First Mover Pitfalls: IUT Global Pte Ltd case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Recycling Food Waste to Energy - First Mover Pitfalls: IUT Global Pte Ltd case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Beng Geok Wee, Priya Subramanian, Thiruneeran Murugavel, Stephanie Tan. The Recycling Food Waste to Energy - First Mover Pitfalls: IUT Global Pte Ltd (referred as “Waste Iut” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, .

The net present value (NPV) of an investment proposal is the present value of the proposal’s net cash flows less the proposal’s initial cash outflow. If a project’s NPV is greater than or equal to zero, the project should be accepted.

NPV = Present Value of Future Cash Flows LESS Project’s Initial Investment




Case Description of Recycling Food Waste to Energy - First Mover Pitfalls: IUT Global Pte Ltd Case Study


This case discusses the trajectory taken by a Singapore-based entrepreneur who embarked on a multimillion business venture to turn food waste into energy. The brainchild of Edwin Khew, a veteran in the waste management business, IUT Global was formed in 2005 to set up and operate Singapore's first organic waste treatment plant. IUT's bio-methanisation plant was an ambitious project. Budgeted at $60 million, the plant was designed to process 800 tonnes of food waste and produce 10 megawatts of electricity most of which would be sold to Singapore's national electricity grid. Investors were optimistic that with their state of the art process technology and a ready customer, the plant would generate a steady income stream once it was set up and running. However, from the start of production although less than 10% of food waste in Singapore was being recycled, IUT encountered problems in the collection of food waste needed to feed its plant. It was unable to collect enough food waste and those collected contained a higher percentage of contaminants than projected. Furthermore, food operators resisted the need to separate food waste from solid waste. Unable to meet its production targets, and after three years of losses, in 2011, IUT entered into liquidation, and with it the closure of Singapore's first large scale food waste-to-energy facility. The case explores the following topics: First mover pitfalls in a sustainable energy venture; Analysis of new venture business plans; Implementation challenges for start-ups; Assumption testing/sensitivity analysis in costing of new ventures.


Case Authors : Beng Geok Wee, Priya Subramanian, Thiruneeran Murugavel, Stephanie Tan

Topic : Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Related Areas :




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Recycling Food Waste to Energy - First Mover Pitfalls: IUT Global Pte Ltd Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10016469) -10016469 - -
Year 1 3468483 -6547986 3468483 0.9434 3272154
Year 2 3981574 -2566412 7450057 0.89 3543587
Year 3 3950703 1384291 11400760 0.8396 3317086
Year 4 3226782 4611073 14627542 0.7921 2555914
TOTAL 14627542 12688740


The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2672271

In isolation the NPV number doesn't mean much but put in right context then it is one of the best method to evaluate project returns. In this article we will cover -

Different methods of capital budgeting


What is NPV & Formula of NPV,
How it is calculated,
How to use NPV number for project evaluation, and
Scenario Planning given risks and management priorities.




Capital Budgeting Approaches

Methods of Capital Budgeting


There are four types of capital budgeting techniques that are widely used in the corporate world –

1. Internal Rate of Return
2. Profitability Index
3. Payback Period
4. Net Present Value

Apart from the Payback period method which is an additive method, rest of the methods are based on Discounted Cash Flow technique. Even though cash flow can be calculated based on the nature of the project, for the simplicity of the article we are assuming that all the expected cash flows are realized at the end of the year.

Discounted Cash Flow approaches provide a more objective basis for evaluating and selecting investment projects. They take into consideration both –

1. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Waste Iut have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.
2. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Waste Iut shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.




Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of Recycling Food Waste to Energy - First Mover Pitfalls: IUT Global Pte Ltd

NPV = Net Cash In Flowt1 / (1+r)t1 + Net Cash In Flowt2 / (1+r)t2 + … Net Cash In Flowtn / (1+r)tn
Less Net Cash Out Flowt0 / (1+r)t0

Where t = time period, in this case year 1, year 2 and so on.
r = discount rate or return that could be earned using other safe proposition such as fixed deposit or treasury bond rate. Net Cash In Flow – What the firm will get each year.
Net Cash Out Flow – What the firm needs to invest initially in the project.

Step 1 – Understand the nature of the project and calculate cash flow for each year.
Step 2 – Discount those cash flow based on the discount rate.
Step 3 – Add all the discounted cash flow.
Step 4 – Selection of the project

Why Innovation & Entrepreneurship Managers need to know Financial Tools such as Net Present Value (NPV)?

In our daily workplace we often come across people and colleagues who are just focused on their core competency and targets they have to deliver. For example marketing managers at Waste Iut often design programs whose objective is to drive brand awareness and customer reach. But how that 30 point increase in brand awareness or 10 point increase in customer touch points will result into shareholders’ value is not specified.

To overcome such scenarios managers at Waste Iut needs to not only know the financial aspect of project management but also needs to have tools to integrate them into part of the project development and monitoring plan.

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 15%

After working through various assumptions we reached a conclusion that risk is far higher than 6%. In a reasonably stable industry with weak competition - 15% discount rate can be a good benchmark.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 15 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10016469) -10016469 - -
Year 1 3468483 -6547986 3468483 0.8696 3016072
Year 2 3981574 -2566412 7450057 0.7561 3010642
Year 3 3950703 1384291 11400760 0.6575 2597651
Year 4 3226782 4611073 14627542 0.5718 1844923
TOTAL 10469289


The Net NPV after 4 years is 452820

(10469289 - 10016469 )






Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 20%


If the risk component is high in the industry then we should go for a higher hurdle rate / discount rate of 20%.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 20 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10016469) -10016469 - -
Year 1 3468483 -6547986 3468483 0.8333 2890403
Year 2 3981574 -2566412 7450057 0.6944 2764982
Year 3 3950703 1384291 11400760 0.5787 2286286
Year 4 3226782 4611073 14627542 0.4823 1556126
TOTAL 9497796


The Net NPV after 4 years is -518673

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9497796 - 10016469 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Waste Iut to discount cash flow at lower discount rates such as 15%.



Acceptance Criteria of a Project based on NPV

Simplest Approach – If the investment project of Waste Iut has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Waste Iut can ACCEPT the project, otherwise they can reject the project. This means that project will deliver higher returns over the period of time than any alternate investment strategy.

In theory if the required rate of return or discount rate is chosen correctly by finance managers at Waste Iut, then the stock price of the Waste Iut should change by same amount of the NPV. In real world we know that share price also reflects various other factors that can be related to both macro and micro environment.

In the same vein – accepting the project with zero NPV should result in stagnant share price. Finance managers use discount rates as a measure of risk components in the project execution process.

Sensitivity Analysis

Project selection is often a far more complex decision than just choosing it based on the NPV number. Finance managers at Waste Iut should conduct a sensitivity analysis to better understand not only the inherent risk of the projects but also how those risks can be either factored in or mitigated during the project execution. Sensitivity analysis helps in –

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

What will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

What are the uncertainties surrounding the project Initial Cash Outlay (ICO’s). ICO’s often have several different components such as land, machinery, building, and other equipment.

What are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

Some of the assumptions while using the Discounted Cash Flow Methods –

Projects are assumed to be Mutually Exclusive – This is seldom the came in modern day giant organizations where projects are often inter-related and rejecting a project solely based on NPV can result in sunk cost from a related project.

Independent projects have independent cash flows – As explained in the marketing project – though the project may look independent but in reality it is not as the brand awareness project can be closely associated with the spending on sales promotions and product specific advertising.




References & Further Readings

Beng Geok Wee, Priya Subramanian, Thiruneeran Murugavel, Stephanie Tan (2018), "Recycling Food Waste to Energy - First Mover Pitfalls: IUT Global Pte Ltd Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.