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BKV and Enlink inject first carbon at Barnett Shale CCS project

The project is forecasted to achieve an average sequestration rate of up to approximately 210,000 metric tons of CO2e per year over the course of the project life.

BKV Corporation (BKV) and EnLink Midstream, LLC announced today the initial injection of carbon dioxide waste generated from EnLink’s Bridgeport natural gas processing plant, and neighboring operations, at BKV’s Barnett Zero carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) facility.

Barnett Zero is one of the first purpose-drilled, Class II commercial carbon sequestration well injecting CO2 waste from natural gas processing plants in the United States, and with the initial injection, BKV and EnLink will be among the first energy companies to have commercial carbon capture and sequestration operations in the nation.

EnLink will transport the natural gas produced by BKV in the Barnett to its natural gas processing plant in Bridgeport, Texas, where the CO2 waste stream will be captured and transported to a BKV facility, compressed, and then sequestered via BKV’s nearby underground injection control well. The project is forecasted to achieve an average sequestration rate of up to approximately 210,000 metric tons of CO2e per year over the course of the project life. The initial CO2 injection at the Barnett Zero facility recently commenced operations safely and ahead of schedule.

“We are thrilled to officially commence our Barnett Zero Project and begin our newest chapter – commercial CCS operations,” said Chris Kalnin, CEO of BKV. “BKV has an actionable path to net-zero Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions from its upstream operations by the early 2030s and is committed to achieving net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its upstream operations by the end of 2025. Executing at Barnett Zero and building our CCS business is an important part of this journey and our mission to deliver a carbon-sequestered natural gas product to the world.”

Through the project, BKV and EnLink will dispose of and geologically sequester CO2 generated as a byproduct of the production of BKV’s natural gas in the Barnett Shale. BKV and EnLink aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere by capturing CO2 emitted in connection with natural gas production activities, both from their own operations and from third parties.

“This project clearly demonstrates EnLink’s commitment to reducing emissions from our own operations and creating shareholder value,” said Jesse Arenivas, CEO of EnLink. “The commencement of operations for the Barnett Zero project with BKV reflects tangible progress on EnLink’s vision to create the future of midstream. EnLink now has carbon flowing through our pipelines, and I believe this will be the first of many CCS projects EnLink sees to fruition.”

The Class II well and initial CO2 injection at the Barnett Zero project were approved by the Texas Railroad Commission and the project’s Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Plan was approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with Subpart RR of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. BKV intends to use the Barnett Zero project as a modular prototype that can repeated and quickly scaled for future Class II and Class VI wells, as applicable.

BKV forecasts that its second CCS project, referred to as Cotton Cove, will commence commercial operations by the end of 2024 and achieve an average sequestration rate of up to approximately 45,000 metric tons of CO2 per year over the course of the project life. BKV reached internal final investment decision (FID) on the Cotton Cove project in late 2022 and is developing the project as a joint venture with Banpu Power US Corporation. BKV is actively pursuing the expansion of both the Barnett Zero and Cotton Cove projects, envisioning a future where these initiatives pilot and scale post-combustion carbon capture technology.

In addition to the Barnett Zero and Cotton Cove projects, BKV has identified three additional potential natural gas processing projects aimed at sequestering third-party emissions and expects to reach FID on such projects in either late 2023 or 2024. If approved and implemented, these three natural gas processing projects would provide a combined forecasted annual sequestration volume of at least approximately 970,000 metric tons per year of captured CO2e.

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Woodside Energy invests in US CO2-to-protein technology company

Woodside will invest $3m into California-based NovoNutrients under a technology development agreement.

NovoNutrients has announced the signing of a technology development agreement under which Woodside Energy would contribute up to $3m to NovoNutrients, subject to the completion of certain milestones by NovoNutrients, according to a news release.

NovoNutrients’ technology converts industrial CO2 emissions into high-quality protein, with the potential to abate greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the world’s food and feed supply. The collaboration with NovoNutrients is aligned with Woodside’s view of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) as an emerging field offering alternative lower-carbon solutions.

NovoNutrients’ technology has been operating at a lab-scale. This agreement supports the construction and operation of a larger pilot-scale system. The pilot-scale system will seek to both advance the design of commercial-scale plants and deliver increased sample product volume for further validation by NovoNutrients’ strategic partners, including Woodside.

“Our agreement with Woodside means, together, we can deliver meaningful carbon benefits sooner, while also tackling the world’s need for protein,” said David Tze, CEO of NovoNutrients.

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UK hydrogen firm raises £36m

The funding round was led by GM Ventures, and co-led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital with participation from SWEN CP and Siemens Energy Ventures.

UK green hydrogen company GeoPura has received a £36m investment from global industry leaders, with the round led by GM Ventures, the investment arm of General Motors, and co-led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital with participation from SWEN CP and Siemens Energy Ventures to scale its green hydrogen business.

The investors will also act as strategic partners for GeoPura as it scales its hydrogen power generation technology.

GeoPura currently provides hydrogen power to Balfour Beatty, HS2, National Grid and the BBC among other sustainability-driven customers, replacing traditional diesel generators with its Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU) technology.

The HPUs are used for temporary, supplementary, off grid and backup power. GeoPura plans to grow the use of hydrogen into other hard-to-decarbonize areas of our energy system, such as EV charging and supplementary grid power, as economies continue to electrify.

With hubs in Nottingham and Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, the £36m investment will enable GeoPura to mass manufacture HPUs alongside partner Siemens Energy, increase the production of green hydrogen to fuel the units and drive green skills in the North East and throughout the UK, while supporting the global deployment of the technology.

GeoPura plans to deploy a fleet of over 3,600 HPUs by 2033, providing clean, low-cost reliable power, and displacing more than six million tonnes of CO2 emissions through their operation over their life.

In response to customer demand, the company aims to bring a number of new products to market, addressing smaller and larger power requirements. The company will work closely with its new strategic partners to advance the technology needed to enable the mass electrification that underpins decarbonisation.

Andrew Cunningham, CEO of GeoPura, said: “Green hydrogen is too often seen as a technology that will happen in the future, but GeoPura and our partners are delivering a commercially viable technology, today. The world can’t afford to wait a decade for green fuels to scale – we must act now.

“This investment allows us to build on our installed base of HPUs and hydrogen production infrastructure to stimulate the green hydrogen economy, and then expand the use of clean fuels into other hard-to-decarbonise areas of our energy system.

“We have secured the right mix of investors, forming strategic partnerships that not only provide the funds to enable us to scale rapidly, but also the skills and resources to accelerate the transition to zero emission fuels. With the support of our investors we can help turn the market on its head and build a green hydrogen economy this decade, not next.”

Established to decarbonise global economies using zero-emission fuels, GeoPura has grown rapidly since delivering its first Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU) in collaboration with Siemens Energy in 2019. GeoPura’s HPU technology and end-to-end service is a multi-purpose replacement for diesel power worldwide and is available today. GeoPura generates hydrogen and transports the fuel to customers for use in its HPUs – customers simply rent the units and pay for the fuel used.

The company is initially targeting sectors with the highest diesel use today, such as construction, infrastructure, outdoor events, and back-up power. It is also providing a solution to power commercial EV charging, where the local electricity network isn’t capable. The only by-product is pure water and heat.

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Nikola and BayoTech partner for clean hydrogen delivery

As part of the deal, Nikola expects to take delivery of low-carbon hydrogen produced by BayoTech commencing in Missouri this year and California in 2024.

Nikola Corporation and BayoTech, Inc. have agreed to advance reliable hydrogen supply for zero-emission commercial fuel cell electric vehicle fleets.

The strategic supply agreement includes Nikola Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks, BayoTech HyFill™ bulk hydrogen transport trailers, and hydrogen produced at BayoTech’s distributed network of hubs, according to a news release.

As the anchor hydrogen offtake customer, Nikola expects to take delivery of low-carbon hydrogen produced by BayoTech commencing in Missouri this year and California in 2024. Nikola plans to acquire up to 10 BayoTech HyFill™ transport trailers, facilitating the distribution of high-pressure gaseous hydrogen from the production sites to refueling stations that serve fuel cell electric vehicle fleets.

“Nikola and BayoTech are united by a common goal of providing reliable access to hydrogen throughout the United States,” said Michael Lohscheller, President and CEO of Nikola Corporation. “BayoTech’s low-carbon hydrogen fuel and transport equipment will play an important part in supporting the adoption of Nikola’s Class 8 fuel cell electric zero-emission trucks.”

BayoTech will purchase up to 50 Nikola Class 8 fuel cell electric vehicles over the next five years, with the first twelve trucks being delivered in 2023 and 2024. The Nikola trucks will be paired with BayoTech’s HyFill™ bulk hydrogen transport trailers to deliver low-carbon hydrogen to offtake customers from BayoTech’s hydrogen production hubs.

“We’re immensely proud to be an industry leader in our commitment to deliver hydrogen to local customers via zero-emission fuel cell trucks,” said Mo Vargas, President and CEO, BayoTech. “Partnering with forward-looking companies like Nikola allows us to accelerate the deployment of our hydrogen hub network and stimulate the growth of the hydrogen ecosystem.”

The Nikola fuel cell electric vehicle offers a range of up to 500 miles, making it one of the longest-range zero-tailpipe-emission Class 8 trucks available and ideal for various applications, including drayage, intermodal, truckload, less than truckload, and specialized hauling.

Customers rely on BayoTech’s HyFill™ bulk hydrogen transport trailers to efficiently move hydrogen to distribution and dispensing sites, and to ultimately the end user, including retail refueling stations, backup power systems in remote areas, and industrial manufacturing sites.

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exclusive

US gas compression firm raising $432m

A Houston-based CNG company is raising money to develop a virtual marine pipeline between the US Gulf Coast and the Caribbean.

Andalusian Energy, a natural gas compression, export and transportation company, is undergoing a $432m capital raise to develop and build a compression and filling station in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and export line to Honduras, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Whitehall & Co. is advising on the transaction, the sources said. Capital allocation will also support the purchase of CNG containers and destination port improvements in Puerto Cortes, Honduras.

Targeted initial equity is $168m, or 40%, according to a teaser seen by The Hydrogen Source. Targeted COD of the project is 2H25.

Gross-cumulative investment could exceed $2bn. The phase I estimated project cost of approximately $421m is expected to be split 40% to permanent equity capital ($168m) and 60% to structured debt ($253m).

Andalusian uses lightweight composite cylinders to ship compressed natural gas (CNG) at ambient temperature to the Caribbean, Central America and eastern Mexico. Marketing materials state the process is lower cost than shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The company has installed a demonstration facility in Choloma, Honduras to import natural gas from CNG.

The Louisiana compression facility will be constructed with two adjacent docks and a site with utility connections. Natural gas will be supplied using a combination of regional pipeline networks including Southern Natural Gas pipeline and High Point Gas Transmission Pipeline. An agreement has been reached to provide interconnection and construction of a 1.5 mile lateral.

Andalusian completed its development capital raise with a strategic investment by MAN Energy Solutions USA, a division of Volkswagen AG, and equity investments by HBG, Progressive Energy and Grupo IDC.

Additional marine engineering, consulting, and ship classification services are being provided by DNV GL and confirmed by the Norwegian Maritime Authority.

Additionally, to monetize spare ship capacity and based on a contract to deliver CNG to an IPP in Honduras, Andalusian has reached an agreement with a global shipping company to transport commercial container cargo between Louisiana and Honduras, the teaser states.

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Exclusive: Australian fuels producer looking for US development partners

An Australian fuels producer and concentrated solar power developer partnered with German and US fossil interests is developing its first US clean fuels project in Texas, and is looking for development partners with eyes on the greater southwest.

Vast Energy, the Australia-based and NASDAQ-listed concentrated solar power (CSP) developer and fuels producer, is in the early stages of developing a project near El Paso, Texas – the company’s first in the US – and is seeking US development partners to generate a pipeline of projects throughout the country, CEO Craig Wood said in an interview.

Vast is in process with two projects in Port Augusta, South Australia: VS1, a 30 MW solar/8 MWh storage plant, and SM1, a demonstration solar-to-methanol plant co-located with VS1, producing up to 7,500 mtpa of green methanol from VS1 electricity and heat with extra power available on the grid.

VS1 is scheduled for FID in 3Q24 with FID on SM1 coming the following quarter, Wood said.

Vast recently announced funding agreements with German partner Mabanaft for up to AUD $40m for SM1, after the SM1 project was selected last year as a part of the German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator (HyGATE).

Methanol from the $80m SM1 will in part be exported to Germany. Vast is also working with EDF to provide additional financing, Wood said.

“Essentially it’s going to be debt free and on balance sheet,” Wood said.

German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd recently signed an MOU with Mabanaft to explore options for the supply of ammonia as bunker fuel to Hapag-Lloyd in the Port of Houston.

US opportunity

In the US, where Vast listed to be primed for opportunistic growth, the company has a shortlist of locations around El Paso, has engaged with regional economic development leaders, and held early talks with EPC providers, Wood said.

The El Paso project is being developed in conjunction with Houston-based oil and gas drilling business Nabors Industries, Wood said. Nabors backed the SPAC that took Vast public at a valuation of up to $586m in early 2023. Its current market cap is $64m.

There are ongoing discussions on whether to produce eSAF or methanol in El Paso, Wood said.

To produce eSAF, Vast would use a solid-oxide electrolyzer coupled with the Fischer-Tropsch process, Wood said. Meanwhile, the methanol distillation process lends itself well to Vast’s ability to produce low-cost heat.

CSP has a lower level of embedded carbon than any renewables technology other than wind, Wood said.

“The work that we have done to date indicated that you would most likely power an eFuels project with a CSP plant that was configured to operate in the day and night,” Wood said.

As for project costs, envisioning a project producing some 200 million liters per annum, roughly $3bn would be needed for the power station, and then half that for the infrastructure to make the fuels.

Preliminary offtake for the El Paso project is going to be critical for attracting investment, Wood said. Offtake will depend on the type of fuel produced, though conversations are ongoing with shipping companies (methanol) and airlines (eSAF).

“We’re not expecting to have any problem placing the product,” Wood said. Offtake would likely be targeted for the Port of Los Angeles, LAX airport, the ports of the Gulf Coast, or Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Development of CSP makes sense anywhere climate is sunny and hot, Wood said. The company could logically expand into more of West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California.

The region around Farmington, New Mexico is particularly attractive for CSP development, Wood said. As a huge amount of coal-fired capacity in that area is retired, those interconnections, workforces and resources are ripe for repowering.

The turbines that one of those coal fired power stations would have is the same turbine at the core of Vast’s technology, Wood said. One difference is that Vast’s can be turned on and off quickly.

Development partnerships 

There is an opportunity for Vast to find a development partner, or partners, to stand up a pipeline of projects in two to three years’ time, Wood said.

“Almost everyone wants to wait until our project in Port Augusta reaches COD,” Wood said. “But we don’t want to wait that long to be developing projects in the US.”

Vast is capable of building CSP plants, which can be configured to operate in the day and night, co-located with existing larger-scale solar pv to provide additional generation and, critically, storage, Wood said. By directing sunlight to receivers and heating molten salt, CSP can store energy for 12-to-20 hours overnight to alleviate solar pv’s intermittency issues.

“Coming along and essentially retrofitting complementary CSP next to those [pv plants], we think is a very sensible way to go, both in terms of shared cost but also in terms of managing incremental transmission build,” Wood said. “We’re looking for people we can have conversations with.”

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Exclusive: Biomethane firm planning funding round

A biomethane solutions provider with projects in Europe and the US is planning a fifth round of funding to launch early next year, with a need to raise additional project debt.

Electrochaea, the US- and Europe-based biomethane developer, will go to market in 1Q24 for a new round of equity funding, with a near term need for project debt as well, two executives told ReSource.

The company, which was spun out from an incubator at The University of Chicago with offices in Denmark, has projects in Denmark, Colorado, New York and Switzerland. It is backed by Baker Hughes and, from early fundraising efforts, Munich Venture Partners, senior director Aafko Scheringa said. The former investor participated in its most recent (fourth) $40m funding round.

Electrochaea uses a patented biocatalyst that converts green hydrogen and carbon dioxide into BioCat Methane, a pipeline-grade renewable gas.

The average size of a project is roughly $25m, Scheringa said.

Funds from the next round will provide three years of working capital, CEO Mitch Hein added.

Electrochaea has not worked with a financial advisor to date, Hein said, adding that he may have need for one for new processes but has not engaged with anyone.

Scheringa said he is working to achieve commercialization on a pipeline of projects, with a 10 MWe bio-methanation plant in Denmark being farthest along with a mandatory start date before 2026.

Electrochaea has a bio-methanation reactor system in partnership with SoCalGas at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy System Integration Facility in Golden, Colorado, though Hein said a project in New York is as advanced in its development.

Bio-methane can be burned in place of natural gas with no systems degradation issues, so gas offtakers are a natural fit for Electrochaea, Scheringa said. Cheap clean electricity paired with available CO2 is critical, so the company will look to places like Texas, Spain, Scandinavia, Quebec and the “corn states” of the US Midwest, for new projects.

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