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CIP and Wega Group to develop bioenergy projects in Finland

Once fully established, the platform will seek to develop multiple hydrogen or ammonia projects with individual investment sizes of EUR 50m – 200m.

CIP and WEGA will join forces to source, develop, and construct advanced bioenergy projects in Finland – primarily focused on technologies such as biogas and gasification, according to a news release.

The collaboration brings together CIP’s expertise in financing and developing large-scale green transition infrastructure and Wega’s expertise within renewable energy and sustainable supply chains in Finland.

Once fully established, the platform will seek to develop multiple projects with individual investment sizes of EUR 50m – 200m within the foreseeable future. The projects will produce green molecules (hydrogen and/or ammonia) which can be used for the transportation sector and hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy industry, contributing to the circular economy and the green transition.

Thomas Dalsgaard, partner at CIP, says: “We see a strong potential within the advanced bioenergy sector in Finland, and already have visibility on a robust pipeline within biogas and gasification. We look forward to progressing the project and pipeline development with WEGA and contributing to Finland’s further transition to renewable energy.”

CEO of WEGA Niko Ristikankare added: ”At Wega, we all are very excited to start building a new advanced fuels platform together with CIP. We are impressed by their rock-solid expertise and forward looking strategy. We believe that cooperation with strong partner like CIP enables us to grow the Finnish advanced fuels production to the next level.”

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Gulf Coast Ammonia hydrogen plant comes onstream

The Air Products plant providing hydrogen to the Gulf Coast Ammonia facility has come onstream.

Air Products executives today said the plant providing hydrogen to Gulf Coast Ammonia has come onstream and is generating revenues.

Pennsylvania-based Air Products invested $500m into the steam methane reformer and hydrogen pipeline capacity, as well as an air separation unit for nitrogen and a steam turbine unit for the GCA world-scale ammonia plant.

Lotus Infrastructure and Mabanaft GmbH own the GCA facility and provided equity for the project. The project financing closed on December 30, 2019.

Jefferies last year was leading a sale of the plant, which was paused until it reached commercial operations. An official at Lotus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The approximately 175 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) SMR built by Air Products will include the addition of over 30 miles of hydrogen pipeline from Texas City to Baytown, to be connected to its Gulf Coast Pipeline system, the company announced previously. The GCA project will use approximately 270 mmscfd of hydrogen from the SMR and Gulf Coast Pipeline. 

GCA’s ammonia facility, which will produce approximately 3,600 metric tons per day of ammonia, will also receive Air Products’ supply of approximately 90 mmscfd of nitrogen from a new ASU to be built and operated at the Texas City site.

While the hydrogen plant is onstream, Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi today declined to comment on the ammonia portion of the project, saying he’s like the owners of that facility to make a statement if necessary.

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California electrolyzer tech company hires VP

The new hire will lead NewHydrogen’s business development efforts.

NewHydrogen, Inc., a developer of technology to produce low-cost green hydrogen, has hired Steven Hill as vice president and member of the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Hill is an accomplished sales executive with over 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, the company said in a news release.

In this capacity, Hill will lead NewHydrogen’s business development efforts while representing the company’s mission and technologies to investors, media, public, and potential partners.

Hill has held senior management positions over the course of his career including Regional Account Manager for Relypsa Inc, a biopharmaceutical start-up in Redwood City, CA. He also served as a managing member of Hill Investments, LLC, a real estate investment and design group during which time Mr. Hill consulted on property development and managed real estate investments.

“We are excited to welcome Steve to NewHydrogen, and expect that he will immediately strengthen our management team,” said Dr. David Lee, CEO of NewHydrogen. “Steve’s vantage point coming from executive sales experience is one we believe will provide valuable insights as NewHydrogen progresses to meet its corporate objectives.”

NewHydrogen is currently funding a sponsored research program at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), aimed squarely at developing technologies to lower the cost of green hydrogen. The goal of NewHydrogen’s sponsored research at the UCLA is to lower the cost of green hydrogen by eliminating or drastically reducing the use of precious metals in electrolyzers. Electrolyzers currently rely on rare materials such as iridium and platinum. These materials often account for a substantial portion of the cost of electrolyzers.

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Gevo: equity investors for SAF plant standing by

Gevo executives said equity investors are standing by to finance its proposed alcohol-to-jet facility in Preston, South Dakota, pending finalization of a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

Equity investors are standing by for Gevo’s Net-Zero 1 alcohol-to-jet fuel facility to reach terms on a DOE loan guarantee that would help finance construction of the plant in Preston, South Dakota.

Colorado-base Gevo is working with the DOE and independent experts to structure the guarantee, and once terms are finalized, the company will “ramp up the third-party equity capital raise and work towards a close of funding necessary to finance the project construction budget and all the project finance elements such as interest during construction, various reserves, and transaction costs,” Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber said on an earnings call last week.

“Equity investors are standing by for a clear line of sight to the debt terms, which is underway and will be announced when the DOE term sheet is agreed,” he said.

Gruber said the company plans to spend between $125m and $175m of additional capital to reach FID on the project, in addition to over $100m already spent. He added that the capital from Gevo will be reimbursable upon FID, but that the company would likely reinvest that money to take a big chunk of the equity in the project.

Gevo expects that Net-Zero 1 would have the capability to produce approximately 60 million gallons per year (MGPY) of liquid hydrocarbons in the form of jet fuel and renewable gasoline, using corn as feedstock. It plans to use green hydrogen produced onsite as well as CCS that flows out through the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions CO2 pipeline. Executives at the company have previously said the Net-Zeto 1 project would not work if the Summit pipeline is not built.

The company is partnered with Zero6, a Minneapolis-based renewables developer, which in February 2024 launched a process to raise $340m in project capital for its portion of the project: 20 MW of green hydrogen production adjacent to Net-Zero 1 powered by a 99 MW wind farm located 10 miles from the SAF site.

Gruber, citing a report from McKinsey, emphasized that the alcohol-to-jet pathway is the cheapest form of carbon abatement, at about $450 per ton of carbon abated, compared to the next-cheapest HEFA process fuels at between $600 – $700 per ton (all before federal and state incentives).

Publicly listed Gevo in February received notice it was not in compliance with NASDAQ listing requirements as its stock price has remained below $1 for 30 consecutive business days.

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Renewable hydrogen developer to launch series A round next month

A Colorado-based renewable hydrogen developer has hired an advisor and will launch a series A funding round next month.

NovoHydrogen, the Colorado-based renewable hydrogen developer, will launch a series A capital raise in the middle of March to take on a new investor for project development and hiring, CEO Matt McMonagle said in an interview.

The company has hired GreenFront Energy Partners to run the process, McMonagle said.

NovoHydrogen builds its projects onsite with customers, as close to end use as possible, he said. The company serves transportation (heavy road transport, shipping and aviation), industrial (cement, glass, metal, steel, food, etc.) and power (peaking power and diesel generator replacement). Most of Novo’s customers are users of grey hydrogen looking to decarbonize. In the case of cement, they are looking to replace diesel for their trucks and coal and natural gas for their kilns.

“We first look to see if we can put our projects on our customer sites and make it there,” McMonagle said. “If we can’t do that, we’ll do offsite, but we still try to be as close to customers as possible to minimize that midstream component or distribution component.”

About 30 projects are in development in the US, ranging from a few megawatts to hundreds of megawatts, McMonagle said. NovoHydrogen’s most active markets are the West coast, Northeast, Appalachia, Texas and the Rocky Mountains, though the company is not geographically constrained.

The company aims to begin construction on its first projects by the end of this year, possibly early next year, McMonagle said. The first project could reach COD in 2024.

NovoHydrogen recently announced that it has closed its seed funding round and appointed four executives to its board of directors. Each of those executives represent an investor that participated in the seed round, McMonagle said.

The new board appointees are: Jeremy Avenier, an active investor at Ohmium International; Peyton Boswell, managing partner at Woodfield Renewable Partners; Bruno Franco, partner at Pacífico Energia and managing partner at PWR Capital; and Joseph Malchow, a managing partner at Hanover (a Silicon Valley VC), board member and investor in Enphase and board member and investor in Archaea.

More money

“We will certainly need more money as our projects mature,” McMonagle said. “I do not have the hundreds of millions of dollars on my balance sheet to build these projects.”

An ideal investor will bring accretive capabilities in hydrogen, in a field like value chain equipment or delivery, to the table, McMonagle said.

NovoHydrogen plans to be a long-term owner-operator of its projects, McMonagle said. That is an important point for customers: that the company is not going to sell the project and not care how the next owner operates.

“We want to earn future business from these customers,” McMonagle said, adding that most of them are transitioning piecemeal.

NovoHydrogen and TigerGenCo in November said they would advance development of green hydrogen capacity to reduce reliance on natural gas at the Bayonne Energy Center located in New Jersey. NovoHydrogen will develop and operate the hydrogen production facility to reduce Bayonne’s carbon emissions.

TigerGen owns the power plant and is the offtaker in that project. Ohmium International is providing the PEM electrolyzers in that project. McMonagle said the company may use other electrolyzer providers for future projects.

The company is also a partner in the Aliance for Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) for the California DOE Hydrogen Hub submission.

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Methanol-to-hydrogen firm planning capital raise

An early-stage provider of distributed methanol-to-hydrogen solutions is planning a capital raise as it scales up.

Kaizen Clean Energy, a Houston-based methanol-to-hydrogen fuel company, is planning to raise additional capital in support of upcoming projects.

The company, which uses methanol and water to produce hydrogen with modular units, recently completed a funding round led by Balcor Companies, in which Balcor took a minority interest in Kaizen.

Additional funding in the capital raise was provided by friends and family, Kaizen co-founder and chief commercial officer Eric Smith said in an interview.

But with its sights on larger project opportunities this year, the company is already targeting an additional capital raise to support continued growth, Smith said. He declined to comment further on the capital raise and potential advisors, but noted that the company’s CFO, Craig Klaasmeyer, is a former Credit Suisse banker.

Kaizen’s methanol model utilizes a generator license from Element 1 and adds in systems to produce power or hydrogen, targeting the diesel generator market, EV charging and microgrids as well as hydrogen fueling and industrial uses.

Compared to trucking in hydrogen, the model using methanol, an abundant chemical, cuts costs by around 50%, Smith said, noting that Kaizen’s containers are at cost parity with diesel.

In addition, the Kaizen container is cleaner than alternatives, producing no nitric or sulfur oxide, according to Smith. Its carbon intensity score is 45, compared to 90 for the California electric grid and 100 for diesel generators.

Smith also touts a streamlined permitting process for Kaizen’s containerized product. The company recently received a letter of exemption for the container from a California air district due to low or no emissions. The product similarly does not require a California state permit and similarly, when off grid, no city permits are required, he added.

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Air Products CEO discusses mega-scale green hydrogen project with AES

Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi further discussed its JV with AES Corporation to develop a $4bn green hydrogen project in Texas, noting that roughly half the price tag would come from developing 1.4 GW of renewables to feed the electrolyzers.

Air Products and AES Corporation will form a JV to develop a $4bn integrated green hydrogen facility in Texas, with roughly half of the cost coming from development of 900 MW of wind and 500 MW of solar generation, and the other half for the hydrogen build-out, Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi said on an investor call today.

Similar to his company’s JV in Saudi Arabia, the 50/50 JV will develop, build, own and operate a facility in Wilbarger County, at the site of a decommissioned coal-fired plant, Ghasemi said on the call.

Air Products has an exclusive global agreement with thyssenkrupp for electrolyzers, and could include battery storage at the Texas site to help power the electrolyzers, he added.

A separate entity owned 100% by Air Products will be the sole offtaker from the facility, Ghasemi said, which will produce more than 100 mtpd for use in transportation and industrial markets.

The relationship between AES and Air Products is not exclusive, he said.

Air Products expects a minimum internal rate of return of 10%, Ghasemi said. The company is hoping the tax benefits of the project will result in a lower hydrogen price from the JV.

The amount of capital invested by Air Products will be determined by downstream uses, Ghasemi said. The company has yet to decide if it will build a liquefaction plant, transport gaseous hydrogen by pipeline, or convert the hydrogen to ammonia and ship it by rail.

When it was noted that there is not an existing pipeline connecting Wilbarger County to Air Product’s Gulf Coast pipeline, Ghasemi said he was being pressured to get more deeply in the topic than he wanted, but that the company was confident emerging industry in the area would provide the necessary offtake.

“We don’t have to send it all the way down 250 miles to our existing pipeline,” Ghasemi said. “There’s a lot of different options.”

Air Products will not issue new stock to dilute shareholders or jeopardize its A-rating, Ghasemi said.

The labor cost is “very low on these projects,” Ghasemi said. And customers are attracted to getting 30-year contracts not associated with the price of oil, natural gas or geopolitics.

Air Products is investing approximately $500m for a 35 metric ton per day facility to produce green liquid hydrogen at a greenfield site in Massena, New York, as well as liquid hydrogen distribution and dispensing operations.

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