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Airbus and LanzaJet to collaborate on SAF production

The MOU establishes a relationship between LanzaJet and Airbus to advance the building of SAF facilities that will use the LanzaJet Process.

LanzaJet, a sustainable fuels technology company and Airbus, a global leader in the aerospace, commercial aircraft, helicopter, defense, and space sectors, today announced they have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to address the needs of aviation through the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), according to a news release.

The agreement was signed by Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet and Julie Kitcher, EVP, corporate affairs and sustainability at Airbus and announced during the Paris Air Show.

The MOU establishes a relationship between LanzaJet and Airbus to advance the building of SAF facilities which will use the LanzaJet Process™, a leading, proven, and proprietary Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) technology. This agreement also aims to accelerate the certification and adoption of 100% drop-in SAF which would eliminate the use of fossil fuels without necessitating any changes to existing aircraft or infrastructure. The aviation industry is responsible for approximately 2-3% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and SAF has been identified by airlines, governments, and energy leaders as one of the most immediate solutions to decarbonize aviation, together with the renewal of the fleets by latest generation aircraft and better operations.

“SAF is the best near-term solution to reducing aviation emissions and this collaboration between LanzaJet and Airbus is an important step forward in the fight against climate change and enabling the global energy transition,” said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet. “We look forward to continuing our work with Airbus and further grow our joint impact across the globe.”

LanzaJet’s proprietary ATJ technology uses low-carbon ethanol to create SAF that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70% percent compared to fossil fuels and can further decrease emissions with a suite of carbon reduction technologies. SAF produced through LanzaJet’s ATJ technology is an approved drop-in fuel compatible with existing aircraft and infrastructure.

“We are delighted to grow our partnership with LanzaJet, a leading company in the SAF production ecosystem. At Airbus we are committed to supporting SAF as a major lever in the reduction of CO2 emissions on the decarbonization roadmap,” says Julie Kitcher, EVP, corporate affairs and sustainability at Airbus. “With LanzaJet as a trusted partner, we can support the acceleration of the Alcohol-to-Jet SAF production pathway and at scale. This collaboration will also explore technological developments to enable Airbus aircraft to be capable of flying up to 100% SAF before the end of the decade.”

Besides working on the technical aspects and concrete SAF projects, LanzaJet and Airbus will investigate business opportunities across the world with airlines and other stakeholders.

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Modular green ammonia start-up raises $22m

Proceeds will allow the firm, Talus, to ramp production of its green ammonia technology, with deliveries set for later this year.

Talus Renewables, a renewable energy infrastructure company and creator of the first modular green ammonia system deployed commercially, has raised $22m in a Series A financing.

The financing was co-led by Material Impact and Xora Innovation, a deep tech early-stage investment platform of Temasek, and joined by Cavallo Ventures, the VC arm of Wilbur-Ellis, and Rice Investment Group.

With this funding, Talus will ramp up production of its green ammonia technology, using water, air, and renewable power to revolutionize production of fertilizer, and enable on-site operations that significantly reduce the carbon footprint of historically difficult-to-decarbonize industries.

Talus’s systems’ ability to generate lower-cost, carbon-free ammonia at or near the point of use reduces or eliminates supply chain length for agriculture, mining, and industrials, with additional applications in maritime shipping, renewable energy storage, and power generation.

Talus will deliver multiple talusOne (up to 1.4 tonnes of green ammonia daily) and talusTen (up to 20 tonnes) systems beginning later this year in US and European markets. The first talusOne was installed in partnership with the Kenya Nut Company in the Kenya Highlands.

“We are gratified by our investors’ confidence in our ability to provide a more sustainable, cost-effective, and secure path forward for critical industries,” said Hiro Iwanaga, Co-Founder and CEO of Talus Renewables. “The promise of rapidly deployable, modular, autonomous green ammonia systems will extend far beyond agriculture to industrial and renewable energy applications.”

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Exclusive: Ontario power producer takes FID on green hydrogen project

An Ontario power producer has taken a final investment decision on the province’s largest green hydrogen project to date.

Ontario Power Generation subsidiary Atura Power has taken a final investment decision on its hydro-powered Niagara Hydrogen Center, a 20 MW green hydrogen project in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Construction on the 2,000-tonnes-per-year project is slated to commence early this year, with operations expected for 2025, company spokesperson Darius Sokal confirmed in an email.

The Ontario provincial government provided CAD 4.1m to support blending of the project’s hydrogen with natural gas to produce electricity at the Halton Hills Generating Station. The total cost of the blending demonstration effort is CAD 12.6m, according to documentation.

The province also supported the project by providing an exemption from the Gross Revenue Charge from 2024 to 2033 for electricity generated at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station used specifically for hydrogen production under prescribed conditions. 

Additional financial terms were not immediately available.

In addition to natural gas blending, hydrogen from the project will go into Ontario’s wider fuels ecosystem. “We are looking forward to being able to provide alternative energy for vehicles such as Class-A trucks, regional transit authorities, forklifts, medium duty vehicles, etc.,” Kelly Grieves, director of hydrogen business, told The Niagara Independent.

Cummins is supplying four 5 MW electrolyzers to the project, built at the OEM’s Mississauga, Ontario facility.

CEM Engineering and Sacré-Davey Engineering were selected as Owner’s Engineering Representative for the design, permitting, and equipment selection of the project.

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Irving Oil to produce green H2 at New Brunswick refinery

Irving Oil will expand its hydrogen capacity at its Saint John refinery with the goal of offering hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Atlantic Canada.

Irving Oil will expand its hydrogen capacity at its Saint John refinery in New Brunswick, Canada, with the goal of offering hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Atlantic Canada, according to a press release.

The company’s initial investment in a 5 MW electrolyzer, developed by Plug Power, is expected to be fully operational by late 2023 and will play a role in exploring further hydrogen production at the Saint John refinery, as well as for downstream customers.

Once fully operational, the electrolyzer will produce 2 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

Today the Saint John refinery generates more than 200 tonnes of grey hydrogen per day, which is used to lower the sulphur content of petroleum products.

The hydrogen electrolyzer will use electricity from the local grid.

“Irving Oil will continue to work diligently with stakeholders to shift its hydrogen production to low-carbon, or green, hydrogen in the future – with the investment of the electrolyzer as an important first step on this journey,” the release states.

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Caliche CEO talks hydrogen and CO2 storage expansion

Following the acquisition of assets in Texas and California, Caliche Development Partners CEO Dave Marchese discusses opportunities for growth in the hydrogen and C02 storage market.

Caliche Development Partners II has made a pair of acquisitions with the aim of expanding into growing hydrogen and CO2 storage markets in Texas and California, CEO Dave Marchese said in an interview.

The company, which is backed by Orion Infrastructure Capital and GCM Grosvenor, this week announced the purchase of Golden Triangle Storage, in Beaumont, Texas; and the anticipated acquisition of Central Valley Gas Storage, in Northern California – two regions with increasing demand for storage to support variable power loads, natural gas liquefaction, and high penetrations of renewable resources.

Caliche and seller Southern Company did not use financial advisors for the transaction. Caliche used Willkie Farr as its law firm for the financing and the transactions.

Marchese, who has a private equity background and first worked on a successful investment in a fuel cell company in the year 2000, has also racked up years of experience investing in and operating underground storage assets. The Caliche team developed and sold a natural gas liquids and helium storage business – called Coastal Caverns – earlier this year.

“We know how to put things underground and keep them there, including very small molecules, and we have relationships with many of the customers that are using hydrogen today,” he said.

Roughly a third of the industrial CO2 emissions on the Gulf Coast come from the Golden Triangle area, a region in Southeast Texas between the cities of Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange. Much of this CO2 comes from the steam methane reformers that are within 15 miles of Caliche’s newly acquired Golden Triangle asset, Marchese said. The site is in similar proximity to pipelines operated by the air companies – Air Products, Air Liquide, and Praxair – that run from Corpus Christi to New Orleans.

“We’re within 15 miles of 90% of the hydrogen that’s flowing in this country today,” he added. “Pipeline systems need a bulk storage piece to balance flows. We can provide storage for an SMR’s natural gas, storage for its hydrogen, and we can take away captured CO2 if the plant is blue.”

The Golden Triangle site, which sits on the Spindletop salt dome, has room and permits for nine caverns total, with two currently in natural gas service. Three of those caverns are permitted for underground gas storage. “We could start a hydrogen well tomorrow if we had a customer for it,” Marchese said.

The Central Valley assets in Northern California are also positioned for expansion, under the belief that the California market will need natural gas storage for some time to support the integration of renewables onto the grid, he said. Additionally, the assets have all of the safety, monitoring and verification tools for sequestration-type operations, he added, making it a good location to start exploring CO2 sequestration in California. “We think it’s an expansion opportunity,” he said.

“Being an operator in the natural gas market allows us to enter those other markets with a large initial capital investments already covered by cash flowing business, so it allows us to explore incrementally the hydrogen and CO2 businesses rather than having to be a new entrant and invest in all the things you need to stand up an operation.”

Caliche spent $186m to acquire the two assets, following a $268m commitment from Orion and GCM. The balance of the financial commitment will support expansion.

“We’re capitalized such that we have the money to permit, build, and operate wells for potential CO2 sequestration customers,” he said. “The relationship with these stable, large investors also meets the needs of expansion projects: if somebody wanted not only a hydrogen well but compressors as well, we have access to additional capital for underwritten projects to put those into service.”

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Exclusive: Liquid hydrogen at room temp: Tech firm raising money to scale

A provider of liquid organic hydrogen carrier technology is finishing a second seed round with designs on a Series A next year. The technology allows hydrogen to be transported as a liquid at room temperature.

Ayrton Energy, the Calgary-based provider of liquid organic hydrogen carrier storage technology, is preparing to launching a second seed round and plans a $30m Series A next year, CEO Natasha Kostenuk told ReSource.

Ayrton, with 10 employees, allows hydrogen to be transported as a liquid at room temperature, Kostenuk said. The liquid can also be transported in existing infrastructure while mitigating pipeline corrosion.

The company’s target customers are hydrogen producers, utilities and hub-and-spoke logistical servicers.

To date Ayrton has raised $5m from venture capital and a similar amount will come from the next seed round, Kostenuk said. A 30 kg per day pilot project with a gas utility in Canada is underway and Ayrton will look to 10x that next year, she said, with eyes on 3 metric tonnes per day commercialization.

“It scales like electrolyzers,” she said of the technology. “We can get very large, very easily.”

Ayrton is now engaging investors and potential advisors, Kostenuk said. “It would be good to engage with us now.”

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CCS developer initiating discussions for corporate capital raise

Following its sale of a stake in a mega-scale carbon capture project in the Gulf Coast, Carbonvert is planning to initiate conversations to raise additional corporate capital, with plans to deploy as much as $500m into new projects.

Carbonvert, a Houston-based carbon capture and sequestration developer, is planning to start conversations soon with an eye to raise corporate capital that will allow it to advance mega-scale CCS projects, CEO Alex Tiller said in an interview.

Owned by a group of outside investors and the management team, Carbonvert is advancing a business model that takes advantage of the group’s expertise in early-stage project development, Tiller said.

The company recently completed the sale of its 25% interest in the Bayou Bend CCS project to Norway’s Equinor, which will now own the development alongside Chevron (50%) and Talos Energy (25%).

Bayou Bend CCS is the type of mega-scale project that Carbonvert will be pursuing in coming years, and for which the company will need to raise as much as $500m in corporate capital due to the capital-intensive nature of the projects, Tiller said.

Chevron last year bought its 50% operating stake in Bayou Bend for $50m, implying a $100m valuation for the project, which is positioned to become one of the largest CCS developments in the US for industrial emitters, with nearly 140,000 gross acres of pore space – 100,000 onshore and 40,000 offshore.

Carbonvert’s stake sale, announced yesterday, was “a positive result” for the company, Tiller said, though he declined to comment further on the valuation.

“It delivers capital to our balance sheet and allows us to grow our pipeline of projects and fund additional projects,” he said. Carbonvert used Jefferies as sell-side financial advisor in the sale to Equinor, he added.

Tiller, a veteran of the renewable energy industry, is a founding member of Carbonvert alongside Chief Development Officer Jan Sherman, who previously had a 30-year career with Shell and helped build the oil major’s Quest CCS project in Alberta, Canada.

For the upcoming capital raise, Carbonvert has not decided on whether to use a financial advisor; the structure of the capital raise will likely determine if an advisor is needed, Tiller said.

“We’ll definitely be out raising more corporate capital – these projects are tremendously expensive,” he said. “We’ll be starting conversations soon.”

The company has a line of sight to deploy as much as $500m of capital into its own projects over the next several years, he said, an indication of how much capital it will need to raise.

“These are large infrastructure projects that are going to take many years to bring to fruition, followed by decades of operations,” he said. “We live at the front end of the projects,” he added, “and when the appropriate parties are at the table, it’s really an act of humility to say ‘hey, maybe we’ve taken this as far as we can or should,’” a reference to finding the right time to sell the company’s stakes in the projects it is developing.

In addition to the Bayou Bend CCS project, Carbonvert is part of a consortium that’s developing a carbon hub in Wyoming. The company is also collaborating on an exploratory study for the direct air capture and storage of CO2 emissions from a nuclear power plant in Alabama.

“You can expect to see project announcements that look like Bayou Bend in the future,” Tiller said. “We like that type of mega-scale project, we like offshore, and we’re also pursuing some opportunities onshore that are less mature.”

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