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Ammonia project anchors West Virginia hydrogen hub application

The Adams Fork Energy clean ammonia project, jointly developed by Adams Fork Energy, LLC and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, is expected to have initial annual ammonia production capacity of 2,160,000 metric tons.

A multi-billion-dollar clean ammonia production facility is advancing in Mingo County, WV, with anticipated construction beginning in 2024, Adams Fork Energy, LLC, CNX Resources Corp, and other partners announced today.

The Adams Fork Energy clean ammonia project, jointly developed by Adams Fork Energy, LLC and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, is expected to have initial annual ammonia production capacity of 2,160,000 metric tons, with optional additional production capacity. Project developers have entered into a strategic partnership with CNX, one of the lowest carbon intensive natural gas producers in the lowest emissions basin in the United States, to provide fuel and carbon sequestration services.

The project is expected to support 2,000 well-paying construction jobs, including pipefitters and electrical workers, as well as generate significant tax revenues and capital investment for underserved Mingo County in Southern West Virginia. The planned facility is also located on a reclaimed coal mining site near Gilbert Creek, WV, further aligning the project with the White House’s Justice40 Initiative.

Adams Fork is an anchor project in the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub’s (ARCH2) application to the U.S. Department of Energy. ARCH2 is a regional hub bringing together private industry, state and local government, academic and technology institutions, NGOs, and community organizations across the Northern Appalachian region including West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. The region is the ideal location for a clean hydrogen hub due to its unique access to ample low-cost natural gas feedstock, end-user demand, workforce and technology capability, and carbon sequestration potential.

Adams Fork has received significant federal, state, and local bipartisan support, and is expected to displace more than 2.7 million metric tons per year of CO2 equivalent or more than 580,000 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven annually.

By sourcing local low carbon intensity Appalachian natural gas as feedstock and installing carbon capture technology, Adams Fork Energy will have an ultra-low carbon intensity profile.

With a business model covering the full value chain, progressing toward solutions to support decarbonization efforts, Haldor Topsoe will furnish clean ammonia production technology for the state-of-the-art Adams Fork facility.

Henrik Rasmussen, Managing Director, the Americas, for Haldor Topsoe Inc. said, “We are excited that TransGas has selected Topsoe’s industry leading SynCOR™ clean ammonia technology for this mega scale blue ammonia plant in West Virginia. This project will be an important part of the energy transition with a CO2 capture of more than 99%. The plant will produce 6,000 Metric tons per day of decarbonized clean ammonia in the first phase.”

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Avangrid and Sempra tentatively planning US green hydrogen

Avangrid and Sempra Infrastructure have entered into a heads of agreement for the potential joint development of US green hydrogen and ammonia projects.

Avangrid and Sempra Infrastructure have entered into a heads of agreement (HOA) for the potential joint development of US green hydrogen and ammonia projects, according to a news release.

The HOA provides a framework for the companies to identify, appraise, and develop large-scale green hydrogen projects to serve US and international customers.

AVANGRID’s background in renewable development as the third largest renewables operators in the U.S., complements Sempra Infrastructure’s project development and commercial expertise across clean power, energy networks and LNG, the release states.

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Air Products consortium completes $8.5bn financing for Saudi green hydrogen project

Senior and mezzanine debt along with equity raised on a non-recourse basis will support the construction of 4 GW of renewables powering production of 600 tons of hydrogen per day.

Pennsylvania-based Air Products along with ACWA Power and NEOM Company have finalized and signed an $8.5bn financing agreement for a green hydrogen project in Saudi Arabia.

To be funded by a combination of long-term debt and equity, the project JV, NEOM Green Hydrogen Project, will build 4 GW of renewables powering production of up to 600 tons per day of hydrogen.

The total financing consists of $5.852bn of senior debt and $475m of mezzanine debt facilities, both arranged on a non-recourse project finance basis, as follows:

– $1,500 million from National Development Fund (NDF) on behalf of National Infrastructure Fund (NIF), under foundation.

– $1,250 million is in the form of SAR denominated financing from Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF),

The balance is from a consortium of financiers, structured as a combination of long term uncovered tranches and a Euler Hermes covered tranche, comprising, in no particular order, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, BNP Paribas, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Natixis, Saudi British Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Saudi National Bank, KFW, Riyad Bank, Norinchukin Bank, Mizuho Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Alinma Bank, APICORP, JP Morgan, DZ Bank, Korea Development Bank and Credit Agricole.

Air Products, which is the sole offtaker for the project, recently disclosed that the cost of the facility has climbed to $8.5bn compared to an original capital estimate of $5bn.

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Black Hills Energy acquires RNG facility in Iowa

The South Dakota-based utility purchased the RNG production facility at the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency site.

Black Hills Corp., through its nonregulated subsidiary, Black Hills Energy Renewable Resources, completed the purchase of a renewable natural gas production facility in Dubuque, Iowa, according to a news release.

The acquisition of the production facility at the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency site includes onsite infrastructure and the rights to RNG production at the landfill under a long-term contract. The facility currently injects RNG into the natural gas distribution system serving Dubuque, which is owned and operated by Black Hills Corp.’s regulated natural gas utility in Iowa.

“This investment advances our goal to responsibly integrate renewable resources as a component of our overall emissions reduction strategy,” said Todd Jacobs, senior vice president of growth and strategy. “This acquisition represents our entry into the production of RNG as a nonregulated business while leveraging our expertise in owning and operating regulated natural gas pipeline systems, including RNG interconnections.”

The RNG produced from the landfill facility captures methane that would otherwise vent into the atmosphere. It is delivered under long-term contracts to a third party that purchases the RNG and its related environmental attributes, in conformity with the U.S. EPA Renewable Fuel Standard Program.

“Investing in the production facility will allow BHERR to focus on growing its RNG business with an efficient and sustainable lower-carbon fuel,” said Jacobs.

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Ammonia-to-industrial heat provider raising early-stage capital

An early-stage technology provider targeting clients in hard-to-abate industries is engaging investors and financial advisors to raise a seed round, with sites on a Series A in 2025.

Captain Energy, a Houston-based provider of ammonia-to-industrial heat technology, is seeking strategic investors for an early-stage seed round with plans for an eventual Series A, co-founder and interim-CEO Kirk Coburn said in an interview.

The company is developing a single-step process that can create industrial heat from cracked ammonia up to 700 degrees Celsius with zero NOX emissions, with hydrogen as a byproduct, Coburn said. The process uses a ceramic-based tubular solid oxide fuel cell that Captain manufactures in Dundee, Scotland.

“The results from the testing are that we’re 85% efficient,” Coburn said.

He likened the company to Amogy, but serving steel, cement and chemicals instead of transportation. Getting the kind of high-quality heat those industries need in a clean way can only come from a few sources, he noted.
“Ammonia is one of the greatest ways to do it if you can crack it efficiently like we can,” he said.
Past lab

The company is “past the lab stage” and needs to develop a pilot product to showcase to customers, Coburn said. About $5m will get the company to a 100-kilogram-per-day product, up from 25 kilograms now.

“That’s not, probably, big enough for most customers, but we can stack them,” Coburn said. “At this point we need to demonstrate commercially the product… after showcasing it we want to make larger units.”

Captain is owned by three co-founders, including Coburn. They have an 18-month line of site on a “much larger” Series A, Coburn said.

Strategic investors that would be end users of the technology are of interest to the company, particularly in Asian and European markets.

“We’re not getting in the game of making ammonia,” Coburn said. “We have to buy green ammonia.”

The company’s model is at “grid-parity” in Europe now, Coburn said, pointing to Germany in particular.

“We think we’re almost at subsidy-free pricing,” he said.

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Exclusive: Methanol electrolyzer start-up gearing up for seed capital raise

An early-stage technology company seeking to commercialize an electrolyzer that produces methanol from CO2 at ambient temperature and pressure is preparing its first capital raise.

Oxylus Energy, a methanol technology and project development start-up, is preparing to kick off its first capital raise later this month.

The Yale-based firm is seeking to raise $4m in seed funding, with proceeds funding the advancement of a production-scale CO2-to-methanol electrolyzer cell and its first commercial agreements for offtake, CEO Perry Bakas said in an interview.

Oxylus aims to commercialize an electrolyzer that creates methanol from CO2 at room temperature and pressure, and also plans to develop and operate its own methanol production plants, he said.

The technology, which will scale to larger versions in coming years, recently hit a key milestone with the validation of a 5cm2 platform.

The seed capital raise would provide approximately 26 months of runway, according to Bakas. The company would then raise between $20 – $30m in a follow-on Series A in late 2026.

“What we’re gonna do with the Series A is put that first electrolyzer into the ground,” he said. “It’ll be our first revenue-producing methanol.”

Oxylus is currently owned by Bakas and his fellow co-founders. The company has been entirely grant funded to this point. DLA Piper is advising as the law firm on the seed capital raise.

“I think the most important thing about the technology is it’s the most energy-efficient pathway to making renewable methanol,” he said. “At the right energy prices, you’re below cost parity with fossil-derived methanol. When that happens, I think it’ll become a very interesting development scenario.”

Oxylus is focused on bringing the so-called green premium down to zero, Bakas said, noting that it requires achieving scale in electrolyzer production or partnering with established electrolyzer manufacturers.

Methanol for shipping

Oxylus will seek to introduce its technology into target markets that are already using methanol as a feedstock, like high-value petrochemicals. In the longer term, shipping and aviation are likely to become attractive markets. Taken together, the company believes methanol has the potential to decarbonize 11% of global emissions.

Methanol will compete with ammonia for primacy as a shipping fuel in the future, but Bakas believes methanol is the better option.

“These are massive markets – they need a lot of solutions, and quickly,” he said. “But ammonia is not energy dense, and it doesn’t integrate with existing infrastructure.”

The International Energy Agency recently projected that while ammonia will be cheaper to make, methanol is easier to handle, resulting in roughly similar cost profiles for e-methanol and green ammonia. The added cost for methanol production, the report found, is likely to come from a scarcity of biogenic CO2.

On that topic, Bakas acknowledged that the methanol pathway still requires combustion of carbon, but emphasized his technology’s ability to displace existing fossil fuel-based methanol production.

“The distinction we need to make is: are these virgin hydrocarbons or are they recycled hydrocarbons? If you’re just continuously pumping new CO2 out of the ground into the atmosphere, you’re gonna continue to cause climate change,” he said.

“The technologies that we are building in this suite of technologies that cover direct air capture, point source capture, carbon conversion, that whole CCUS world,” he added, “are really working to monitor and create a homeostasis in the atmospheric balance of CO2.”

Oxylus recently completed a lifecycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions, Bakas said, finding that its fuels are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 95% at optimal voltage compared to natural gas steam methane reforming.

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EverWind in capital raise for Nova Scotia wind-to-hydrogen complex

EverWind Fuels is soliciting investor bids for a $1bn initial phase of its Point Tupper renewables and hydrogen/ammonia production facility in Atlantic Canada.

EverWind Fuels, the Canada-based renewable fuels developer, is preparing to launch a process to raise an estimated $800m in debt for its Point Tupper ammonia production and export facility near Halifax, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Citi and CIBC are mandated on the raise.

The company is seeking capital from a variety of investors, one of the sources said. The raise will likely conclude around the middle of the year with Citi stepping up for part of the debt quantum.

EverWind is also in talks with Canadian Infrastructure Bank, one of the sources said.

EverWind, Citi, CIBC and CIB did not respond to requests for comment.

Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change recently approved the Point Tupper Green Hydrogen/Ammonia Project – Phase 1. Construction should begin this year on phase 1 of the project, consisting of a 300 MW electrolysis plant along with a 600 tonnes-per-day ammonia production facility. The project also involves construction of a liquid ammonia pipeline to a jetty for international shipping and a 230 kW substation that will bring in electricity.

Government support for the project is leading to offtake agreements needed to build out a hydrogen supply chain at scale, a third source said. The project is nearing a $200m offtake agreement for green hydrogen with a large global manufacturer, this source added.

The German groups E.ON and Uniper said in August that they aim to buy up to 500,000 tonnes per year of ammonia each from EverWind, starting in 2025, when the project is set to begin production.

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