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Cummins buys remaining 19% of Hydrogenics Corp.

Cummins is now the sole owner of the Ontario-based fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies company.

Cummins Inc. has bought out Air Liquide’s 19% interest in Hydrogenics Corporation, according to a news release.

Cummins acquired the Ontario-based Hydrogenics in 2019, adding key fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies to its portfolio. That acquisition was completed for $15 per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $290m.

“The buyout reinforces [Cummins’] commitment to these technologies and the increasing importance they will play in creating value for all stakeholders and decarbonizing our world,” the release states. “This move enables continued investment and growth in hydrogen technologies to meet rapidly growing demand.”

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Decarbonization start-up raises $7.5m seed capital

The start-up is seeking to commercialize a technology that eliminates carbon from natural gas to produce clean hydrogen and solid carbon.

ETCH, INC. (ETCH), a decarbonization company that eliminates carbon from natural gas to produce both clean hydrogen and solid carbon, has secured $7.5m in seed-stage funding from Emerald Development Managers LP, according to a news release.

ETCH will use these funds to take the technology to market and begin commercialization. ETCH anticipates that it will be field testing commercial units later this year.

Formulated in the labs of Johns Hopkins University by Prof. Jonah Erlebacher, Ph.D., The ETCH ProcessTM uses a novel closed-loop chemical reaction cycle that leads to highly efficient thermal and materials management in reactor systems. ETCH’s revolutionary decarbonization technology delivers unrivaled environmental impact, economic value, and versatility that will accelerate the clean energy transition. In 2018, the project team secured a competitive multi-year grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), which provided critical research funding.

The ETCH ProcessTM is a clear differentiator among other hydrogen technologies for its:

  • Efficiency: The ETCH ProcessTM can convert nearly 100% of natural gas input into hydrogen, regardless of scale, and it requires minimal maintenance through its modular design.
  • Affordability: ETCH’s low-cost solution is on track to beat the DOE Hydrogen Shot cost target of less than $1/kg.
  • Sustainability: ETCH requires less energy and no water thereby providing the most versatility to operate across geographies.
  • Security: ETCH uses earth-abundant materials that can be sourced domestically and will not be subject to supply chain disruptions and thereby enhance energy security.

“We cannot solve our climate and emissions challenge without cleaning up natural gas,” said Dr. Jonah Erlebacher, ETCH Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. “The ETCH ProcessTM is a holistic solution that will allow decarbonized natural gas to be a part of our global energy system. This significant seed-stage funding demonstrates confidence in our technology and business plan as we work toward a clean energy future.”

“ETCH has developed an amazing new technology. It is practical, has dramatically lower operating and capital costs compared to any existing or proposed decarbonization approach, and is easily deployable at any scale” said Neil Cohen, Founder and Chairman of Emerald Development Managers. “The ETCH ProcessTM can be easily implemented in-line at millions of facilities, delivering clean hydrogen and significant solid carbon that can be used in a multitude of ways.”

“The ETCH ProcessTM is an intelligent steward of our natural resources – at scale – for an energy secure and sustainable future,” said Ed Schlesinger, Dean of Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering. “We are proud to support ETCH as it moves forward on its journey.”

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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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Atome seeking project finance for Paraguayan fertilizer project

The UK-based developer is seeking investors for a green fertilizer project in Paraguay to serve the South American and European markets.

Atome, the UK-based green hydrogen, ammonia, and fertilizer project development company, has issued a notice to seek project financing for a fertilizer project in Paraguay, according to information from the company.

The financing is for Phase 1 of the Villeta project, issued by Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking. The project will deliver green fertilizer to both South American and European markets.

The publicly traded company has large-scale projects in Latin America and Europe.

Carbon footprint analytics indicate a significant amount of carbon credit revenue generation, with some 500,000 credits potential each year, an alert sent out by the company states.

Management will present to all shareholders on 6 September at 11 a.m. BST. IDB Invest, the Washington DC based multilateral for the Americas, is already onboard with a signed mandate.

Initial carbon footprint analysis indicates a potential displacement of some 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent each year from the production of green fertilizer at Villeta.

“As a result, the company estimates that it has the potential to generate approximately 500,000 valuable carbon credits each year,” company materials state.

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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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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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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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