Sai Kung’s low-profile industrialist Stewart Elliott is now worth about A$300 million, according to the Australian Financial Review. “The wealthiest CEO you have never heard of” lives on Tai Mong Tsai Road in one of the two mansions near town that are on the sea front. It is the one with white lion sculptures at ironwork gates.
But Stewart is much wealthier than that. The A$300 million refers to his stake of more than one third in Energy World Corporation Ltd (EWC), headquartered in Wanchai. The Australian Stock Exchange-listed integrated power and LNG company is now valued at over A$800 million. That is the most visible of Stewart’s assets. He also owns the Excelsior Hotel on Malta and private companies such as Slipform Engineering and Energy World International as well as properties in several countries.
The shares of Energy World, a small-cap power company, are volatile, ranging from A20c to 46 cents in the past year. They are now at A42.5c. The Review said it delivered record gross profits of US$111 million in 2016 and net profits of US$28 million. EWC has assets under construction of more than US$1 billion. The company is unusually vertically integrated, extracting natural gas and liquefying it as LNG, which is used to fuel its own electricity stations. EWC also sells the LNG. Its projects are in Sengkang, Indonesia, Pagbilao, Philippines, Queensland and Alice Springs, Australia, among others.
Although he is a Sai Kung resident, Stewart is never seen in town. No Rolls-Royces for Stewart. His car is as modest as his demeanour. He lives on aircraft travelling from project to project and prospect to prospect. Stewart is a self-made man who arrived in Hong Kong in the 60s with little other than an engineering degree. He pioneered slipform construction and went to work for Gordon Wu, rising to number two at Hopewell Holdings. As an employee, he built CEPA, the power station building company sold for US billions in the 1990s. Now he is repeating that success with his own firm, Energy World.