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Bair Energy chooses Worley FEED package for green hydrogen project

Australia-headquartered Worley will focus on design integration of the hydrogen, renewable energy, and other components of the project near Sylvester, Texas.

Bair Energy (BE), the program management and construction management firm for the Clean Energy Holdings (CEH) Clear Fork Green Hydrogen Project in Sylvester, Texas, announced that Worley, a global leader providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, has joined the team to develop the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) package.

Worley will bring green hydrogen production expertise to this project, also known as renewable hydrogen. Design integration of the hydrogen, renewable energy, and other components of the project will be their focus. Worley, along with the Green Hydrogen and Technology Alliance, will bring expertise enabling practical hydrogen output from the available renewable power.

The Clear Fork Project consists of a 250 MW solar to liquified hydrogen plant, that will produce up to 33,000 kg of green hydrogen daily. Daily capacity will be designed to ultimately increase to 132,000kg by 2028. The project, located near Sylvester, Texas, is one of the largest such projects in the U.S. to date and is a major milestone in the adoption of green hydrogen as a key part in the global journey towards an affordable, sustainable and carbon-neutral energy mix, the release says.

“We are proud to advance this project and the adoption of renewable hydrogen on the U.S. Gulf Coast, which has an important role to play in the energy transition,” said Amanda Knost, Worley president of the U.S. Gulf Coast region, “Partnering with Bair to develop their hydrogen projects is consistent with Worley’s purpose of delivering a more sustainable world.”

Candice McGuire, BE’s Chair and General Manager for the Clear Fork Project, said: “Worley is a world class, industry-leading EPC firm with extensive expertise within the energy sector. Worley’s proven project delivery model, as well as the synergies between Worley and each of our Alliance Partners are critical for the continued success of the Clear Fork Project, led by Bair Energy. We are excited to have Worley join the team and look forward to a long-lasting relationship.”

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Rolls-Royce and easyJet test hydrogen jet engine

The UK ground test was conducted on an early concept demonstrator using green hydrogen created by wind and tidal power.

Rolls-Royce and easyJet today have successfully tested an aero engine on hydrogen, according to a press release.

The ground test was conducted on an early concept demonstrator using green hydrogen created by wind and tidal power.

The companies have ambition to carry out flight tests, the release states.

The test took place at an outdoor test facility at MoD Boscombe Down, UK, using a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine. Green hydrogen for the tests was supplied by the European Marine Energy Centre, generated using renewable energy at their hydrogen production and tidal test facility on Eday in the Orkney Islands.

Following analysis of the ground test the partnership plans a series of rig tests leading up to a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine.

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Hydro-Quebec drops 1.2bn green hydrogen project near Montreal

Hydro-Quebec has dropped out of a planned green hydrogen project for financial reasons.

Hydro-Quebec has dropped out of a planned $1.2bn green hydrogen project for financial reasons, according to a report in the Financial Post.

The item noted that, in order to keep the project viable, Quebec’s ministry of economy and innovation will invest an additional $284 million — bringing its total spend to $364 million — and that its strategic partners, Suncor Energy Inc., Shell Plc and Switzerland-based chemicals company Proman AG, would “contribute in an equivalent way to their current shareholding proportion.”

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Blue Biofuels signs MOU for sugar-to-biofuels offtake

A definitive agreement to purchase the ethanol and SAF produced by Blue Biofuels from plant materials is expected to be reached before the company completes its semi-commercial facility.

Blue Biofuels, a Florida-based company converting organic waste into sugar and subsequently into fuels, has signed an MOU with World Energy Sustainable Products for the purchase of the products like ethanol and SAF, according to a news release.

Blue Biofuels will register the various products with the relevant regulatory agencies do that they will qualify for use and any available credits. A final definitive agreement is expected to be reached before Blue Biofuels completes the buildout of its semi-commercial facility.

“[World Energy has] the sales volume to absorb our products and bring them to the market, and they are very interested to further develop the markets for sustainable fuels,” Blue Biofuels CEO Ben Slager said in the release. “As we go along and our volumes and timelines get more final we will start filling in specific products and volumes to be brought to the market.”

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California biomass-to-hydrogen firm in Series A

A woody biomass-to-hydrogen firm in California is conducting an in-house Series A for engineering and design on its first project, one that will need more than $800m of debt and equity in the future.

Mote Inc. is aiming to finish a Series A round, raising between $12m and $15m, by the end of the year, CEO Joshuah Stolaroff said in an interview.

The company does not have a relationship with a financial advisor and has been conducting the raise in-house, he said. Moving forward the company will need a financial advisor.

The Series A will provide some 18 months of technology development runway, plus engineering and design on the first project in Bakersfield, Kern County. That will require some $800m in debt and project equity to start in the next year.

A second project in Sacramento is in the pre-Feed stage. That development is the subject of a recently secured grant from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

“We need big partners to do it on any meaningful scale,” Stolaroff said of biomass-to-hydrogen. Investors tend to be technology VCs with little or no knowledge of project finance, and infra funds looking for no-risk projects. “We fall somewhere in between.”

Part of the Arches H2 hub in California, Mote has ambitions to expand to other areas of the US with good biomass supply and CO2 storage, like the southeast and Gulf Coast, Stolaroff said. The company would also like to expand internationally.

“We are a great deal right now,” he said of the Series A,” adding that a Series B or project equity round will follow shortly.

Majority equity is held by the company’s six employees, Stolaroff said. There are also seed investors that hold equity.

Abundant feedstock and a growing offtake market

Mote’s three primary feedstocks are agricultural and forestry reside and urban green waste. California produces some 45m tons of it per year and the number nationwide is about half-a-billion, Stolaroff said.

Mote is confident for demand from hydrogen customers, Stoaroff said. Transportation is expected to be a strong demand source by the time Mote is operational. The Arches hub also has connections with municipal users, filling stations and the ports of LA and Long Beach.

“We are all planning for growth,” he said.

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See all 79 DOE hydrogen hub applicants

The list, obtained by this publication, shows whether projects were ‘encouraged’ or ‘discouraged’ to submit a final application.

The complete list of 79 applicants to the US Department of Energy’s hydrogen hub funding opportunity includes previously unreported projects from oil majors and renewable energy giants.

The list, obtained by this publication via a FOIA request, shows whether or not projects were ‘encouraged’ or ‘discouraged’ by the DOE to submit a final application before the April 7, 2023 deadline. The program is expected to offer $8bn in federal funding for six to 10 clean hydrogen hubs, with no single project receiving more than $1.25bn. A decision of funding recipients is expected this fall.

Over nearly nine months, the DOE FOIA office was unwilling to send information about the initial 79 applications that were submitted last year, citing confidential materials in the concept papers. The resulting list is therefore scant in details, showing only the name of the project and the lead entity.

While many of the concepts have been publicly announced by proponents, several major projects that have not been reported previously appear on the list: among others, ExxonMobil was encouraged to apply for funding for a project called “Hydrogen Liftoff Hub”; and NextEra has a “Southeast Hydrogen Network” project, which was also encouraged to apply.

The full list of project names and proponents has been added to The Hydrogen Source’s project database, which now showcases over 370 projects in North America, including hydrogen, ammonia, and sustainable aviation fuel as well as eFuels, carbon capture, direct air capture, and more.

The full database is available only to paid subscribers. Simply click over to the database and select the “DOE applicants” filter for the full list.

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Exclusive: Waste-to-fuels developer preparing capital raise

A waste-to-fuels developer has lined up an advisor and is planning a capital raise for a project in West Texas, in what is expected to be the first of up to 20 similar fundraising efforts totaling $500m in external capital needs.

Recover, Inc., a Calgary-based waste-to-fuels project developer, is preparing to launch a capital raise for its first US-based projects in West Texas.

The company has lined up CIBC to assist with the capital raise while a large Canadian Crown Corporation is expected to sign on as a lending partner for the debt portion of the cap stack, CFO Shane Kozak said in an interview.

Kozak said he will need to raise $70m – $75m for the West Texas project, which will process waste from oil and gas drilling fluids and recover 800 barrels per day of low carbon intensity diesel fuel from 800 tons of waste.

Existing equity backers Azimuth Capital and BDC will participate in the capital raise, but the company is seeking additional project equity investors to take part in a 60% debt to 40% equity capital structure, Kozak said.

While the cost of the West Texas project is estimated at $55m, the company needs to raise approximately $70m to account for debt servicing and underwriting fees, he added.

Recover has mapped out a strategy to build 20 projects in oil and gas basins across the US, and estimates it will need to raise $500m in external capital over 10 years to fully develop those projects.

Project model

The company already operates a similar facility in Alberta that became operational in 2018, at a cost of CAD 20m and producing about half of what the West Texas project will produce.

“This has been commercially proven in Canada, and we’re going to a better market with a lot more drilling waste production” in the US, Kozak said.

The waste stream from oil and gas drilling contains large amounts of diesel fuel: a typical well will create 400 – 500 tons of waste, 30%-40% of which is recoverable low carbon intensity diesel, Kozak said.

In Texas, the drilling fluid waste often ends up in pits near drilling rigs or in industrial landfills, where it biodegrades over time and emits CO2 and methane into the atmosphere.

“We significantly reduce GHG emissions and create a fuel source that can be reused, and every barrel that we recover is a barrel of fuel that would otherwise have to come from a fossil fuel source,” he said.

Recent changes to Texas policy regarding oil and gas drilling waste could increase the availability of feedstock for the company. The Texas RailRoad Commission, which oversees the state’s oil and gas industry, is seeking to modernize disposal practices that would redirect waste from drilling pits to more centralized industrial landfills.

“The good thing for us is that, in the Permian Basin, about 70% – 80% of the wells use these pits, and our strategy is to build our facility directly on industrial landfills,” Kozak said.

Recover is working with a large landfill management company with operations across the US to develop its facilities, he added. The company does not pay for feedstock, given the synergistic relationship between Recover and the landfill management company.

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