I'm going to write a post on how my various ISK-making ventures are doing. It's a part of the game that I'm really starting to enjoy.
Last month I wrote about my first experience with planetary interaction, which consisted of doing extraction and P2 commodity production in a C2 wormhole. Unfortunately, I was effectively evicted by the owners of the POCOs in the system after they jacked up their tax rate. So much for that idea! The bright side is, my stay in the wormhole was going to be temporary. I gained a lot of knowledge about PI in the meantime, and I soon made an observation, based on the prices of P1 and P2 commodities. Here are the current Jita prices of Water, Electrolytes, and Coolant:
Water (P1, 0.38m3): 279.00 isk
Electrolytes (P1, 0.38m3): 392.99 isk
Coolant (P2, 1.5m3): 7,698.98 isk
One cycle in an Advanced Industry Facility takes 40 units of water and 40 units of electrolytes and produces 5 units of coolant in 1 hour. That's a profit of 11,615.35 isk per cycle. With Command Center Upgrades IV, you can have 19 factories, and with 5 planets, you can make nearly 800 million isk in 30 days. This is with a character that's a week old, and has less than half a million skill points! For comparison, I was only on track to make 300 million isk per character per month when I was doing extraction. Here's the setup on my planets:
I use an Epithal to load enough water & electrolytes to fill up the customs office. Then I transfer as much as I can to the two launchpads (water on the left, electrolytes on the right). I then do an expedited transfer from the two launchpads to the adjacent storage facilities. I finally transfer the remaining materials from the customs office to the launchpads. This trick with the expedited transfer allows me to load more input materials than would normally fit into a launchpad, and it means that I only need to interact with the customs offices every other day rather than every day.
There's nothing to it really, just load up 30 million isk worth of water and electrolytes, and pick up 42 million isk worth of coolant 60 hours later. So why doesn't everyone do this? First, I have access to corp-owned POCOs. The numbers I listed are only feasible with 0% tax. Second, logistics is more difficult. 800,000m3 of water & electrolytes will only supply 5 factory planets for 11 days. That's a LOT of hauling, and this is one of the major reasons I decided to buy a Freighter recently.
You can probably tell that a freighter load of the P1 materials isn't exactly cheap either; I'm tying up almost 650M isk with each load, so this isn't an accessible income stream to broke newbies the way that extraction is. Fortunately, a return of more than 33% of the investment in only 11 days is really excellent. When I was station trading I was only making about 2-3% return per day on my invested capital, and it wasn't nearly as consistent or predictable. Pretty much all my liquid isk is being invested into PI right now, so station trading has been put on hold.
I now have one character with 5 planets set up, and I'll be setting up a second character's planets over the course of the next week. That's more than 1.5B/month of income if I'm able to keep all the planets going. I'd like to buy a Jump Freighter (6.5B), a suitcase Carrier (1B + 1B for skill books), and a low-grade Snake clone (750M) in the future, so I really need to get to work on this!