The Renergen Limited (ASX: RLT) share price is gaining strongly today, up 13.21% in afternoon trade.
The soaring share price appears to be driven by the helium and natural gas company's ASX release yesterday, after markets closed, announcing the completion and successful operation of its first Cryo-Vacc prototype.
Why is Renergen's Cryo-Vacc launch driving ASX investor interest?
The spike in investor interest in the company's Cryo-Vacc prototype is likely linked to its potential role in delivering COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in developing nations where reliable cold storage facilities are few and far between.
Renergen delivered the prototype to South African-based media in Johannesburg yesterday. The company plans to start production within days.
According to Renergen's release, Cryo-Vacc enables the "efficient transport and storage of ultracold biologics for periods of up to 25 days or longer in transit". This is possible even when there is no external power available. The unit can maintain temperatures in the range of anywhere from -150 ºC to 8ºC, enabling it to support the delivery of a suite of vaccines.
Cryo-Vacc units are also able to give accurate temperature readings of the vaccines during transit, along with GPS tracking.
The units use liquid nitrogen to transport by road and helium to transport by air. Helium is far lighter than nitrogen, and Renergen reported that based on current flight safety regulations, Cryo-Vacc with helium can transport up to 12 times more vials per flight "compared to other cryogens".
In South Africa, Renergen has partnered with local express courier partner, DPD Laser, part of The Laser Group, to distribute vaccines.
Commenting on the rollout of the company's Cryo-Vacc, Renergen's CEO Stefano Marani:
Precise temperature control combined with a formidable hold time in transit, makes Cryo-Vacc a compelling asset in the transport of biologics, especially in the developing world. With a useful temperature range of over 150 ºC, Cryo-Vacc is very versatile when compared to even standard refrigeration technology.
Following the presentation to South African media, Marani added (quoted by Reuters), "We've already started to take orders for this product. So we're ready to start going into production in the next few days."
He added that Renergen has already received numerous queries and order requests from across the globe.
Renergen share price snapshot
With today's intraday gains taken into account, the Renergen share price is up 45% so far in 2021. That compares to a gain of 3% on the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO).