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Braya enters Macquarie supply and offtake agreement, gets senior loan from HPS

The low-carbon fuels developer has entered into two transactions to advance the conversion of its Come-by-Chance renewable diesel facility in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Braya Renewable Fuels, a Newfoundland and Labrador-based producer of low-carbon intensity renewable fuels, has closed two transactions that support the conversion of Braya’s refinery operations and together fund the working capital needs of the company.

A supply and offtake agreement was executed with Macquarie Energy Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Macquarie Group’s Commodities and Global Markets group, to provide inventory monetization for renewable feedstocks and products.

Simultaneously, Braya executed a $75m senior secured term loan with HPS Investment Partners, LLC which will be used to further Braya’s renewable diesel conversion project.

“These transactions represent a major milestone toward completing our renewable diesel conversion project and entering into the commercial phase,” said Todd O’Malley, CEO of Braya. “We are proud of the efforts of our team who remain committed to the promise of the Braya project.”

Stephen Callender, CFO of Braya, added, “We are extremely excited to have the support of leading financial institutions in Macquarie and HPS as we finalize the conversion project and satisfy our working capital needs for commercial operation.”

Braya expects to complete the conversion of its previously announced Come-by-Chance renewable diesel facility in December and will immediately begin startup procedures for the commercial sale of renewable diesel. Once operational, the project will be one of the largest independently-owned renewable diesel facilities in North America, initially supplying up to 18,000 barrels per day of low carbon intensity renewable fuel with expansion plans to increase capacity and begin production of sustainable aviation fuel.

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JERA and ExxonMobil to develop low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia project

JERA and Exxon will explore JERA’s potential ownership and offtake participation in a low-carbon hydrogen project at the Baytown Complex.

JERA Co., Inc. (“JERA”) has reached a Project Framework Agreement with ExxonMobil to jointly explore the development of a low carbon hydrogen and ammonia production project in the United States, according to a news release.

ExxonMobil is currently developing what is expected to be the world’s largest low-carbon hydrogen production plant at its Baytown Complex east of Houston, Texas, United States. The plant is slated to have an annual production capacity of approximately 900,000 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen and annual production capacity of more than one million tonnes of low-carbon ammonia. The Project aims to commence production in 2028.

Under the terms of the agreement, JERA and ExxonMobil will explore:

・JERA’s ownership participation in the Project

・JERA’s procurement of approximately 500,000 tonnes annually of low-carbon ammonia produced by the Project for demand in Japan

JERA is playing an important role in the energy transition and is taking on the challenge of expanding renewable energy and developing zero-emission thermal power technologies. In 2020, the Company established a JERA Zero CO2 Emissions 2050 goal of achieving net zero CO2 emissions from domestic and overseas businesses by 2050.

JERA will continue to contribute to global decarbonization and solving energy problems by building and expanding low carbon hydrogen and ammonia supply chains in cooperation with leading domestic and overseas companies.

“Cooperation among leading companies is essential to establish supply chains for ammonia, hydrogen, and other products that are key to zero-emission thermal power,” said Steven Winn, JERA’s Senior Managing Executive Officer and Chief Global Strategist. “We believe that working together with ExxonMobil, who is actively promoting investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen, will contribute to the transition to a global decarbonized society.”

“Building world-scale projects for new markets requires supply, demand and supporting regulation to all come together in sync,” said Dan Ammann, President of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “We appreciate JERA’s leadership in helping advance the hydrogen economy and see this agreement as an important catalyst.”

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Hyzon and partners complete commercial deliveries with liquid H2

Hyzon Motors completed deliveries to eight customers of Performance Food Group in Texas, traveling over 540 miles on a 16-hour continuous run in a liquid hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.

Hyzon Motors, Performance Food Group, and Chart Industries, have completed Hyzon’s first commercial run with a liquid hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (LH2 FCEV), according to a news release.

Starting in Temple, Texas, the truck completed deliveries to eight PFG customers near Dallas, travelling over 540 miles on a 16-hour continuous run including over 100-degree Fahrenheit temperatures.

“The run – further than the distance from Sacramento to San Diego – demonstrates the viability of on-board liquid hydrogen to fuel long-distance, zero-emission transport,” the release states.

Compared to gaseous hydrogen, liquid hydrogen allows Hyzon to increase the amount of fuel on board significantly thanks to increased energy density. Hyzon partnered with Chart Industries to develop a tank system capable of storing liquid hydrogen at extremely cold temperatures and delivering it to the fuel cell system at the necessary pressure.

Liquid hydrogen as a fuel source has been estimated to be up to $5 per kilogram less expensive all-in to dispense than high-pressure gaseous hydrogen1, which would provide meaningful benefits to fleet owners.

For vehicle testing and the demo run, liquid hydrogen transportation, storage and dispensing was provided by Certarus, with liquid hydrogen produced by Air Liquide.

It was previously reported that Hyzon is partnered with Raven SR and Chevron New Energies to commercialize operations of a green waste-to-hydrogen production facility in Richmond, California.

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Blue methanol project developer brings on Macquarie for offtake

The developer of a 550,000 metric ton blue and bio-methanol facility in Shreveport, Louisiana has brought on Macquarie to commercialize production. It has also signed EPC and CO2 capture and transport agreements, with expected financial close this year.

Bia Energy Operating Company is advancing its low carbon methanol production facility at the 4,000-acre Port of Caddo-Bossier industrial multimodal facility in northwest Louisiana.

The facility is designed to be able to reduce carbon emissions by over 92% compared to traditional methanol production by capturing CO2 and utilizing hydrogen as both fuel and feedstock. The Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study and major permits are complete for the 74-acre, $1.2bn facility designed to produce 550,000 metric tons of blue and bio-methanol per year, according to a news release.

The company is expected to reach financial close in 2024, after which construction will begin. Commercial Operations Date is expected in late 2026.

To support the marketing of the facility’s production, Bia Energy has entered into a 20-year Commercialization and Marketing Services Agreement with Macquarie Commodities Trading, an affiliate of Macquarie Group’s Commodities and Global Markets business. Through Macquarie, the project is currently seeking fixed-price offtake agreements with organizations in the chemical, maritime, manufacturing and industrial sectors looking to switch to low carbon methanol.

Bia Energy is collaborating with CapturePoint LLC to capture and transport the CO2 to a class VI well site in central Louisiana. Bia Energy will utilize the J. Bennett Johnston/Red River Waterway for its barge shipments of finished product.

“We are thrilled to have reached this milestone and update the market on our plans for this low carbon methanol project,” said Dr. Ana Rodriguez, CEO and Cofounder of Bia Energy. “The advancement of this shovel-ready project and its positive environmental impact, coupled with the jobs creation and development at the Port and in Caddo and Bossier Parishes, underscores our commitment to the region and our ability to deliver low carbon solutions to our prospective customers across a wide range of industries.”

The methanol production and processing facility will include state-of-the-art docks, tank farms and piping at the Port Complex. It is anticipated that nearly 350 construction jobs will be created at peak construction for the project. Bia Energy expects the facility to create 75 direct new jobs once operational. Louisiana Economic Development (LED), which provided an incentives
package for the project, estimates the project would result in 390 indirect jobs, for a total of 465 new jobs in Louisiana’s Northwest region.

“Bia Energy’s investment has the potential to create a large number of well-paying permanent jobs and stimulate economic activity all across North Louisiana, and that would be a win for the entire state,” said Susan Bonnett-Bourgeois, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development.

“From the very beginning this project has been a testament to the power of collaborative economic development, and I want to thank and congratulate Dr. Rodriguez and our partners at the Port of Caddo-Bossier, BRF and NLEP for moving it closer to the finish line.”

“For over 40 years, Macquarie’s CGM business has worked with clients to understand their needs and provide tailored marketing and commercialization solutions,” said Aarnoud van Weelderen, Senior Managing Director in Macquarie’s CGM business. “Macquarie is pleased to work with Bia Energy to provide physical offtake, marketing and logistics of low carbon methanol
to end consumers and customers in the US and globally who are focusing on their decarbonization initiatives.”

“Macquarie’s physical commodity business continues to grow to meet the current and future energy needs of our clients,” added Justin Brymer, Head of US Physical Structuring and Origination at Macquarie. “We are excited to work with Bia Energy to extend our terminal and vessel capabilities.”

Tracy Evans, CEO of CapturePoint LLC, commented, “The team at CapturePoint is excited to provide leading-edge carbon management solutions for Bia Energy’s planned low-carbon methanol facility in the Port of Caddo-Bossier. When this project is fully operational, we expect to transport up to 250,000 metric tons of CO2 annually for safe and permanent storage in CapturePoint’s deep underground CENLA Hub carbon storage sites. Capturing that volume of carbon dioxide is a significant demonstration of Bia Energy’s environmental commitments.”

Bia Energy has engaged Houston-based S&B Engineers and Constructors as its Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor.

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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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EXCLUSIVE: 8 Rivers co-founder departs firm

A co-founder and executive has departed the North Carolina-based firm, which recently announced an ammonia project in Texas.

Bill Brown, a co-founder of the technology commercialization firm and clean fuels developer 8 Rivers Capital, has retired from the company, a spokesperson confirmed via email.
According to Brown’s LinkedIn profile, he is serving now as CEO of New Waters Capital. He co-founded 8 Rivers and also served as CEO and CTO in this nearly 16 years there.
Brown did not respond to a request for comment.
According to 8 Rivers’ website, Dharmesh Patel is serving as interim CEO. The company recently announced development of the Cormorant Clean Energy ammonia production facility in Port Arthur, Texas
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Denver green ammonia firm prepping series C capital raise

A green ammonia developer and technology provider is laying the groundwork for a series C capital raise later this year, and still deliberating on a site for its first project.

Starfire Energy, a Denver-based green ammonia producer, is wrapping up a series B capital raise and laying the groundwork for a series C later this year, CEO Joe Beach said in an interview.

The company completed a $6.5m series A in 2021 and finished a $24m series B last year. Investors include Samsung Ventures, AP Ventures, Çalık Enerji, Chevron Technology Ventures, Fund for Sustainability and Energy, IHI Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Osaka Gas USA, Pavilion Capital and the Rockies Venture Club.

Beach declined to state a target figure for the upcoming raise. The firm has not used a financial advisor to date.

Starfire is currently deliberating on locations for its first production facility to come online in 2026, Beach said. Colorado is a primary contender due to ammonia demand, while the Great Plains offer abundant wind energy.

The firm’s strategy is to use renewable energy and surplus nuclear power from utilities to create ammonia from hydrogen with no storage component, eliminating the problems associated with hydrogen storage and transportation.

Targeted offtake industries include agriculture, maritime shipping and peaking power fuel consumption.

“The demand is global,” Beach said, stating that he expects about 150 leads to convert to MOUs. “We get inbound interest every week.”

For future capital raising, Beach said the company could take on purely financial investors, as it already has a long list of strategic investors.

“The expectation is we will wind up with manufacturing plants around the world,” Beach said.

The “new petroleum”

Many hydrogen production projects have been announced worldwide in the last year.

Beach said he expects many of those to transition into ammonia production projects, as ammonia is much easier to export.

Now, Starfire is working on developing its ammonia cracking technology, which converts ammonia into an ammonia/hydrogen blend at the point of use for chemical processes. The final product form in that process is 70% ammonia, 22.5% hydrogen and 7.5% nitrogen – all free of emissions.

The company is using proceeds of its series B capital raise to develop its Rapid Ramp and Prometheus Fire systems. Rapid Ramp uses a modular system design for the production of green ammonia using air, water, and renewable energy as the sole inputs. Prometheus Fire is an advanced cracking system that converts ammonia into hydrogen, operating at lower temperatures than other crackers and creating cost-effective ammonia-hydrogen blends that can replace natural gas.

The advantage to using this technology is that it makes the export of a hydrogen product financially feasible, Beach said.

“You should see ammonia becoming the new petroleum,” he said of the global industry. Ammonia can be deployed internationally like oil and provide the dependability of coal.

Eventually Starfire will undergo a financial exit, Beach said. Likely that will mean an acquisition, but an IPO is also on the table.

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