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Canadian government invests in pair of hydrogen companies

As part of a CAD $68.2m deployment in 17 cleantech companies, two hydrogen start-ups are receiving federal funding.

The Canadian federal government has invested CAD $8.9m in two domestic hydrogen companies as part of a CAD $68.2m deployment into 17 total cleantech companies through Sustainable Development Technology Canada, according to a news release.

Aurora Hydrogen of Edmonton will receive CAD $3.9m and Next Hydrogen of Mississauga will receive CAD $5m.

Aurora uses microwaves to produce turquoise hydrogen, made via methane pyrolysis, with no direct CO2 emissions or water consumption, the release states. Next Hydrogen is developing electrolysis technology to break water into hydrogen and oxygen, decreasing the cost of hydrogen production.

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Verdagy hires chief commercial officer from Plug Power

Electrolyzer start-up Verdagy has hired a chief commercial officer from Plug Power.

Verdagy, a green hydrogen electrolysis company with over a decade of technology and product development, announced today the appointment of David Bow as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). Bow will lead Verdagy’s revenue, sales and business development.

“I am excited to join Verdagy at a pivotal time as the company scales up commercial deployments and decarbonizes hard-to-abate industries,” Bow said in a news release. “I will apply my decades of experience in the hydrogen and electrolyzer domains to successfully drive Verdagy’s revenue growth targets.”

Bow recently served as Executive Vice President of Plug Power’s Electrolyzer Solutions, where in three years, he advanced Plug from a new player in the electrolyzer system market to a global leader. He previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Global Business Development at Nel Hydrogen. Prior to Nel, Bow was the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Proton OnSite. Early in his career, Bow developed electrolyzers for the purification of biochemicals used in biotherapeutics.

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Barclays establishes energy transition group

Barclays is establishing a global energy transition group and has named Mike Cormier as its head.

Barclays is establishing a new energy transition group within its corporate and investment bank.

The new group will be responsible for providing strategic advice to clients as they explore potential energy transition opportunities, according to a news release.

The new team will be comprised of industry sector specialists from within Barclays’ global Natural Resources, Power, and Sustainable and Impact Investment Banking teams, focusing on hydrogen, energy transition finance, carbon capture, renewables, nature-based solutions, and renewable natural gas.

Mike Cormier has been appointed as Global Head of the Energy Transition Group, reporting directly to Cathal Deasy and Taylor Wright, Global Co-Heads of Investment Banking, and working in close partnership with Daniel Hanna, Global Head of Sustainable Finance.

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Calumet buys second reactor for SAF expansion

The specialty refiner has purchased a second reactor to expand production of sustainable aviation fuel, citing interest from its sale process involving strategic investors.

Calumet Specialty Products subsidiary Montana Renewables recently acquired the second reactor needed to expand the scope of its sustainable aviation fuel production, according to a company update.

While the company has not made a final installation decision, great interest from the existing Lazard process warranted the opportunistic reactor purchase, the release says.

“Our strategy to retain a downsized crude oil refinery while carving out Montana Renewables meant a higher degree of difficulty compared to simply converting a closed refinery,” said Bruce Fleming, EVP Montana Renewables and Corporate Development. “Delivering an aggressive timeline, navigating two winter construction seasons, minimizing 2022 downtime for turnaround and carveout, building safely on an operating site, and moving quickly through commissioning all demonstrate the high capabilities of the Great Falls workforce.  While not without setbacks, we are proud of the journey. Going forward, the full economic contribution of the specialty asphalt refinery will follow normal seasonal patterns, and Montana Renewables will reach steady state earnings after the first quarter commissioning sequence is complete.”

Montana Renewables commissioned its modified hydrocracker in renewable diesel service on November 5, then retrofitted additional winterization capability during the month of November. It generated a full month of on-spec Renewable Diesel production in December and commenced rail shipments late in the month after establishing product inventories. Catalyst performance has been consistent and met the expected performance envelope provided by Haldor Topsoe. The current 6,000 bpd capacity will increase to 12,000 bpd with the sequential commissioning of renewable hydrogen, SAF, and feedstock pre-treater which are expected online in that order in 1Q2023.

Preliminary engineering and procurement is beginning for the expected 2024 expansion including the option to maximize SAF yield to 85%, according to the update.

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Midwestern SAF developer in capital raise

A municipal solid waste solutions firm based in the midwestern US is undergoing a $30m capital raise ahead of its first SAF project with plans to launch another raise late this year or early next.

Illinois Clean Fuels, the municipal solid waste solutions firm in Deerfield, Illinois, has mandated two advisors to run a capital raise, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Chabina Energy Partners and Weild & Co. are assisting on the process, which the company plans to have finished by October, the sources said.

The equity will be put toward six recovery facilities to supply feedstock for an unannounced project located in the Chicagoland region, one of the sources said. Following two years or so of engineering and permitting, that project should enter construction.

In December or early 1Q24 ICF plans to launch another equity raise for development capital.

ICF, Chabina and Weild & Co. declined to comment.

Illinois Clean Fuels has a synthetic fuel plant under development that will convert municipal solid waste into sustainable aviation fuel in combination with carbon capture and storage, according to its website.

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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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Quantron kicks off Series B equity raise

The German and American mobility provider is seeking to raise EUR 200m in a Series B equity raise, as the company plans to become a one-stop-shop for hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles, according to a teaser.

Quantron, the Germany and US-based hydrogen trucking manufacturer, is seeking to raise EUR 200m in a Series B capital raise, and has further plans to raise money in a Series C in 2024 or 2025, followed by an anticipated IPO beyond 2025.

The company plans to use proceeds from the Series B accelerate the roll-out of existing production and make additional market entries included expanding its operations in the US, according to a sale teaser seen by The Hydrogen Source. Stifel is leading the capital raise, as previously reported.

By advancing a full-scale zero-emission ecosystem, Quantron is seeking to take part in the sourcing and distribution of green energy and hydrogen, as well as building fuel cell and battery electric vehicles and components and offering customer solutions like aftersales, the teaser notes.

Quantron, which has offices in Augsburg, Germany and Detroit, Michigan, has brought in about EUR 28m in revenues since inception and expects EUR 60m in revenue this year, fueled by a EUR 100m order book and pipeline. The company has put 150 vehicles on the road to date and has 130 employees.

Its Series A capital raise of EUR 45m, completed in September, 2022, implied a EUR 250m pre-money valuation. The ongoing EUR 200m capital raise will come in the form of the Series B financing as well as working capital facilities.

The company recently announced commitments with FirstElement Fuel and Goldstone Technologies Limited. Quantron debuted its Class 8 hydrogen fuel-cell truck in the US at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Anaheim, California in April.

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