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Chart Industries shaves 50bps off of term loan in repricing

The engineered equipment manufacturer will save $9m in annual interest expense following the repricing.

Chart Industries, Inc., a global engineering design and manufacturer of highly engineered equipment servicing multiple applications in clean energy and industrial gas markets, has successfully syndicated the repricing of its $1,78m senior secured term loan facility, which matures on March 17, 2030.

Following the completion of the repricing, all outstanding amounts under the term loan will bear interest at a rate per annum equal to SOFR with a 0.50% floor, plus a 0.10% credit spread adjustment plus a margin equal to 3.25%. The repricing represents a reduction of 0.50% per annum compared to the SOFR margin applicable prior to the repricing.

This is anticipated to result in cost savings of approximately 9$m in annual interest expense on the term loan.

“The repricing of our Term Loan is an important step as we continue to optimize our capital structure,” stated Jill Evanko, Chart’s CEO and President. “The transaction was met with strong lender demand, allowing us to achieve significant go-forward interest expense savings.”

The repricing described above is expected to be implemented via an amendment to Chart’s fifth amended and restated credit agreement, which is expected to close in October 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and the execution of definitive documentation.

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Irving Oil to produce green H2 at New Brunswick refinery

Irving Oil will expand its hydrogen capacity at its Saint John refinery with the goal of offering hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Atlantic Canada.

Irving Oil will expand its hydrogen capacity at its Saint John refinery in New Brunswick, Canada, with the goal of offering hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Atlantic Canada, according to a press release.

The company’s initial investment in a 5 MW electrolyzer, developed by Plug Power, is expected to be fully operational by late 2023 and will play a role in exploring further hydrogen production at the Saint John refinery, as well as for downstream customers.

Once fully operational, the electrolyzer will produce 2 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

Today the Saint John refinery generates more than 200 tonnes of grey hydrogen per day, which is used to lower the sulphur content of petroleum products.

The hydrogen electrolyzer will use electricity from the local grid.

“Irving Oil will continue to work diligently with stakeholders to shift its hydrogen production to low-carbon, or green, hydrogen in the future – with the investment of the electrolyzer as an important first step on this journey,” the release states.

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Clean Energy Ventures appoints veteran investment advisor to board

The private equity firm has brought on additional expertise in renewable energy, green hydrogen, derivative fuels, and grid technology.

Clean Energy Ventures has appointed Girish Nadkarni to its Strategic Advisory Board, according to a news release.

Nadkarni joins former US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Dr. Ellen Williams, former Chief Scientist for BP and Director of the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program, and J. Michael McQuade, former CTO of United Technologies Corporation.

In this role Nadkarni will advise the firm on fund investment strategy, portfolio company technology commercialization, emerging technology evaluation and industry trends to support CEV’s long-term vision and expansion plans.

Nadkarni has previously served as the President of TotalEnergies Ventures, President of ABB Technology Ventures and Director of OGCI Climate Investments.

Nadkarni remains an active advisor to several funds, including Siemens Energy Ventures and OGCI Climate Investments. He is on the board at Gentari, the clean energy solutions arm of Malaysian state oil company, Petronas; led the creation of Hy24, the $2bn hydrogen infrastructure fund; and sits on the Advisory Committee at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Institute for Carbon Management.

He brings experience in many sectors that CEV operates in, including renewable energy, green hydrogen and derivative fuels, and grid technology.

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Fortescue and Tree Energy to develop global H2 network

Fortescue will make an investment of EUR 30m in TES and EUR 100m in a German import terminal.

Fortescue Future Industries and Tree Energy Solutions have agreed to develop the world’s largest green hydrogen integrated project in Europe.

The first phase of this partnership is to jointly develop and invest in the supply of 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen with final locations being currently agreed. The target for a Final Investment Decision (FID) is in 2023.

FFI and TES have agreed terms for FFI to make an equity investment of EUR 30m to become a strategic shareholder in TES and to invest EUR 100m for a significant stake in the construction of the TES import terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

First deliveries of green hydrogen into the TES terminal in Wilhelmshaven are expected to take place in 2026.

FFI joins a group of international strategic investors in TES, including E.ON, HSBC, UniCredit, and Zodiac Maritime.

The two companies plan to develop industrial scale green hydrogen production globally with an initial focus on Australia, Europe, Middle East and Africa. They also plan to develop large-scale renewable energy generation, using TES’s business model and access to the European green hydrogen market.

The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection recently selected TES to jointly develop and implement Germany’s fifth Floating Storage Regasification Unit in Wilhelmshaven. In parallel, the TES terminal will serve as the primary entry point for energy in Europe. TES will import hydrogen in the form of renewable natural gas.

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Hydrogen firm launches equity raise

A US hydrogen infrastructure and project development outfit has mandated a banker to conduct a raise for equity and project capital.

Lifte H2, the Boston-based hydrogen infrastructure and project developer, has mandated a banker to conduct a Series A capital raise, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Energy & Industrial Advisory Partners is running the process, which launched recently, the sources said. Lifte H2 is seeking equity in the topco and development capital for its first project.

Talks with strategic and financial investors are being conducted now.

Lifte H2, which also has offices in Berlin, is led by Co-founder and CEO Matthew Blieske, who served as global hydrogen product manager for Shell before starting Lifte H2 in 2021. The founding team also includes Jeremy Manaus, Angela Akroyd, Richard Zhang, Paul Karzel, and Richard Wiens, all of whom previously worked at Shell.

In January, the company launched two hydrogen transport and dispensing products, the MACH₂ Mobile Refueler, which is a combination dispenser and high-capacity trailer; and the MACH2 High-Capacity Hydrogen Trailer, which has a capacity of 1,330 kg at approximately 550 bar and, according to the company, enables the lowest cost per kilogram for over-the-road transport.

The company signed an MOU last year with Swiss compressor manufacturer Burckhardt Compression to develop a joint offering of hydrogen solutions.

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US clean fuels producer prepping equity and debt raises

A Texas-based clean fuels producer is close to mandating an advisor for a platform equity raise. It has already tapped Goldman Sachs to help arrange a cap stack in the billions for a project in Oregon.

NXTClean Fuels, a Houston-based developer of clean fuels projects, is preparing a $50m to $100m platform equity raise in the near term and has large debt and equity needs for a pair of projects in Oregon, CEO Chris Efird said in an interview.

The company is close to engaging a new financial advisor for the raise, which will launch late this year or early next, Efird said.

Port Westward

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs’ post-carbon group is retained for the capital stack on NXTClean’s flagship project at Port Westward, at the Port of Columbia County, Efird said. The $3bn CapEx (including EPC) project is fully permitted by the State of Oregon and is awaiting one federal Clean Water Act permit. An Environmental Impact Statement is expected this fall.

The project is dedicated to producing a split of renewable diesel and SAF, amounting to roughly 50,000 barrels per day total permitted capacity when fully operational.

FID is expected for roughly August 2024, he said. About 30 months from FID the plant will reach COD.

“What we’re most focused on right now is the true senior debt,” Efird said. On the equity side the company is engaged with strategic partners that have indicated interest in post-FID equity.

NXTClean has conversations ongoing with the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office, along with commercial project finance lenders.

Red Rock

In April NXTClean acquired what was the Red Rock Biofuel facility in Lakeview, Oregon. That woody biomass-to-SAF facility foreclosed after $425m in investment, following technical and financial issues brought on by the COVID 19 pandemic. NXTClean purchased the facility for $75m in preferred stock at auction on the courthouse steps.

GLC advisors was retained by lead bondholder Foundation Credit to advise on that process, Efird said.

Red Rock is being repurposed to produce carbon-negative RNG for the adjacent Tallgrass Ruby Pipeline, Efird said. The fully-permitted project has a significant amount of equipment already installed or on skids.

A first phase will require a spend of $100m to $150m. Some $50m of equity will augment a balance of debt, raised in part through USDA programming, Efird said. Cash flow from the first phase will help with the second phase, which will bring the capital needs of the facility up to as much as $400m.

Looking forward

Geographically, NXTClean will expand in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Efird said.

Each of NXTClean’s two projects are held by a separate subsidiary. The company has a third subsidiary called GoLo Biomass that focuses on feedstock aggregation, Efird said. It engages with fish processors in Vietnam and used cooking oil suppliers in South Korea to augment supply from large companies.

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Exclusive: Glenfarne exploring hydrogen projects on existing asset base

Glenfarne Energy Transition is advancing its flagship liquefied natural gas project, Texas LNG, and evaluating hydrogen projects on or near its existing asset base on the Gulf Coast.

The Biden administration’s pause on permits for new US liquefied natural gas facilities hasn’t hurt all unbuilt projects.

Glenfarne Energy Transition, a subsidiary of Glenfarne Group, is moving ahead with its fully permitted lower-carbon flagship LNG export facility, Texas LNG, as the project is now set up to be the only such US project to reach FID this year.

Texas LNG, a 4 million MTPA facility proposed for Brownsville, Texas, will be the lowest carbon emitting LNG facility approved in the US, largely due to its use of electric motors in refrigerated compression. 

As designed, the plant would emit .15 metric tons of CO2e per ton of LNG produced, placing it slightly lower than the much larger Freeport LNG facility, which also has electric motors and emits around .17 metric tons of CO2 per ton of LNG.

The carbon intensity measurement counts emissions at the Texas LNG plant only, and not related emissions from the electric grid, which is why Glenfarne is seeking to source power for the project from wind and solar generation in south Texas, Adam Prestidge, senior vice president at Glenfarne, said in an interview.

In fact, the lower carbon aspects of Texas LNG helps with every element of the project, Prestidge said, including conversations with European offtakers and potential debt investors.

“Having a focus on sustainability is table stakes for every conversation,” he added. “It’s the finance side, it’s the offtake side, it’s our conversations with regulatory agencies.”

LNG pause

Glenfarne is seeking to raise up to $5bn of equity and debt for the project, according to news reports, a process that could benefit from the Biden administration’s pause on issuing permits for LNG projects that export to countries without free-trade agreements with the US.

“Our confidence and our timetable for that has probably been accelerated and cemented by the fact we are fully permitted, despite the Biden LNG pause impacting the broader market,” Prestidge said.

“The market has pretty quickly recognized that if you want to invest in LNG or buy LNG from a project that’s going to FID in 2024, you really don’t have very many fully permitted options right now.”

Glenfarne’s other US LNG project, called Magnolia LNG, has not yet received the required federal approvals and is therefore on pause along with a handful of other projects.

For Magnolia, Glenfarne is proposing to use a technology for which it owns the patent: optimized single mixed refrigerant, or OSMR, which uses ammonia instead of propane for cooling, resulting in less feed gas needed to run the facility and thus about 30% lower emissions than the average gas-powered LNG facility, Prestidge said.

Hydrogen projects

Glenfarne Energy Transition last year announced the formation of its hydrogen initiative, saying that projects in Chile, Texas, and Louisiana would eventually produce 1,500 kilotons of ammonia. 

“We’ve got existing infrastructure in the US Gulf Coast, and in Chile. A lot of the infrastructure required to produce LNG is similar or can be easily adapted to the infrastructure needed to produce ammonia,” Prestidge said. “And so, we’ve looked at locating hydrogen and ammonia production at sites in or near the ports of Brownsville and Lake Charles,” where Texas LNG and Magnolia LNG are located, respectively.

“The familiarity with the sites and the infrastructure and the local elements, make those pretty good fits for us,” he added.

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