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Denbury files for CO2 pipeline permit at Ascension Clean Energy

A subsidiary of Denbury Resources has filed for a permit to build a CO2 pipeline at Clean Hydrogen Works’ blue hydrogen-ammonia facility in Louisiana.

Denbury Gulf Coast Pipelines has filed for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a CO2 at the proposed Clean Hydrogen Works Ascension Clean Energy project.

According to the permit application, Denbury is proposing to install and maintain an approximate 1.2-mile long, 20-inch carbon dioxide pipeline. 

The proposed project would utilize an approximate 75-foot-wide right-of-way (50-foot permanent, 25-foot temporary construction). The project purpose is to connect Denbury’s existing Green Pipeline system to the proposed CHW Ascension Clean Energy Project. The proposed connection would be used to capture and sequester carbon dioxide that would normally be released to the atmosphere during the proposed facility operations. The proposed project would have a capacity of approximately 360 million standard cubic feet per day. “

The ACE project is expected to produce 7.2 million metric tons of clean hydrogen-ammonia annually at a projected cost of $7.5bn. The project seeks to capture up to 98% of CO2 emissions from its processes.

MOL Clean Energy last year took an equity stake in the project. Other shareholders are CHW, Denbury, and Hafnia.

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Nikola and BayoTech partner for clean hydrogen delivery

As part of the deal, Nikola expects to take delivery of low-carbon hydrogen produced by BayoTech commencing in Missouri this year and California in 2024.

Nikola Corporation and BayoTech, Inc. have agreed to advance reliable hydrogen supply for zero-emission commercial fuel cell electric vehicle fleets.

The strategic supply agreement includes Nikola Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks, BayoTech HyFill™ bulk hydrogen transport trailers, and hydrogen produced at BayoTech’s distributed network of hubs, according to a news release.

As the anchor hydrogen offtake customer, Nikola expects to take delivery of low-carbon hydrogen produced by BayoTech commencing in Missouri this year and California in 2024. Nikola plans to acquire up to 10 BayoTech HyFill™ transport trailers, facilitating the distribution of high-pressure gaseous hydrogen from the production sites to refueling stations that serve fuel cell electric vehicle fleets.

“Nikola and BayoTech are united by a common goal of providing reliable access to hydrogen throughout the United States,” said Michael Lohscheller, President and CEO of Nikola Corporation. “BayoTech’s low-carbon hydrogen fuel and transport equipment will play an important part in supporting the adoption of Nikola’s Class 8 fuel cell electric zero-emission trucks.”

BayoTech will purchase up to 50 Nikola Class 8 fuel cell electric vehicles over the next five years, with the first twelve trucks being delivered in 2023 and 2024. The Nikola trucks will be paired with BayoTech’s HyFill™ bulk hydrogen transport trailers to deliver low-carbon hydrogen to offtake customers from BayoTech’s hydrogen production hubs.

“We’re immensely proud to be an industry leader in our commitment to deliver hydrogen to local customers via zero-emission fuel cell trucks,” said Mo Vargas, President and CEO, BayoTech. “Partnering with forward-looking companies like Nikola allows us to accelerate the deployment of our hydrogen hub network and stimulate the growth of the hydrogen ecosystem.”

The Nikola fuel cell electric vehicle offers a range of up to 500 miles, making it one of the longest-range zero-tailpipe-emission Class 8 trucks available and ideal for various applications, including drayage, intermodal, truckload, less than truckload, and specialized hauling.

Customers rely on BayoTech’s HyFill™ bulk hydrogen transport trailers to efficiently move hydrogen to distribution and dispensing sites, and to ultimately the end user, including retail refueling stations, backup power systems in remote areas, and industrial manufacturing sites.

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Exclusive: Green hydrogen developer raising capital for flagship project

A Québécois green hydrogen developer has retained a financial advisor and is raising equity capital for a pipeline of smaller scale projects in Canada and the United States.

Charbone, a publicly traded green hydrogen developer based near Montreal, has retained a financial advisor and is seeking equity capital for a pipeline of smaller scale projects in Canada and the US.

The company is working with advisory firm US Capital Global to raise $5m in equity capital to support the first phase of its flagship green hydrogen project, the Sorel-Tracy plant, located about 45 minutes from Montreal, CFO Benoit Veilleux said in an interview.

The Sorel-Tracy project, which could expand to up to 10 tonnes per day of production, requires about $2m of capital in order to advance through phase 1, which would amount to a capacity of approximately 200 kg per day. The balance of the raise would support development of additional projects, including one in Michigan that will seek to provide green hydrogen for the automobile industry, Veilleux said.

Veilleux expects that the projects will eventually be back-levered through a debt raise, and that Canada’s export agencies, including Investissement Québec, will be involved in providing financing.

In total, Charbone plans to scale and deliver 16 green hydrogen production facilities in the US and Canada by 2030, each set up as a separate legal entity with its own strategic and financial backers. The company is also working with New York-based Maxim Group on additional project financing and equity raise aspects of its project pipeline.

Potential Charbone sites. Source: Charbone corporate presentation

Charbone believes the smaller scale of their projects give it a near-term advantage in getting projects off the ground, according to Veilleux, as they are finding offtakers interested in the product now, versus waiting several more years for larger projects to come online.

“We’re focusing on this niche and we have a window, we think of 10 to 15 years where there’s big players or big projects that will start to come into play,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s a massive market that is increasing every day.”

Charbone is working with renewable energy construction firm EBC Inc. to lead project delivery, and has signed offtake contracts with Superior Plus, a North American gas marketer and distributor.

While Charbone has chosen its sites to be close to industrial demand, it chose to sign offtake agreements with a distributor to take advantage of Superior’s existing infrastructure and transportation capabilities.

The company plans to use PEM electrolyzers that can ramp up and down more quickly with intermittent power from renewables, and is in talks with several of the major PEM manufacturers.

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Air Products to build commercial-scale hydrogen refueling station in Edmonton

The hydrogen refueling station will be Air Products’ first in Canada and the first commercial-scale hydrogen refueling station in Alberta.

Air Products, the world’s largest producer of hydrogen, plans to build a multi-modal hydrogen refueling station near its new net-zero hydrogen energy complex under construction in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The hydrogen refueling station will be Air Products’ first in Canada and the first commercial-scale hydrogen refueling station in Alberta. The station plans were announced today at the Canadian Hydrogen Convention during a fireside chat with Eric Guter, Air Products’ Global Vice President, Hydrogen for Mobility.

“This station is the next step in Air Products’ commitment to Edmonton and the province of Alberta and will serve as a model that can be replicated throughout Canada to grow the hydrogen economy, reduce emissions and assist Canada on its path to achieving net-zero by 2050,” said Guter. “Canada is well-positioned to be a leader in the clean energy future, and we are proud to build on Air Products’ investment in Western Canada to help accelerate the use of hydrogen as an emissions-free transportation fuel across the nation.”

The hydrogen refueling station is supported in part by $1 million (CAD) in funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program.

The new station will include two hydrogen refueling lanes with dispensers for heavy-duty vehicles such as commercial and municipal trucks, and Air Products’ own truck fleet, with a filling time on par with conventionally fueled heavy-duty trucks. In addition, the station also will have two fueling positions for light-duty hydrogen fuel cell cars. The state-of-the-art, high-capacity, high-efficiency station is scheduled to open in early 2025 and will be available to retail customers. Using proprietary compression technology, the station will have a capacity of up to six tonnes of hydrogen per day. It will be located in Northeast Edmonton near Air Products’ transformative new $1.6bn (CAD) net-zero hydrogen energy complex.

The complex will use an advanced process technology that enables the cost-effective capture of more than 90 percent of carbon emissions for permanent sequestration safely underground. In addition, to avoid the indirect emissions associated with using grid electrical power, the project includes a 100 percent hydrogen-fueled power generation unit. This unit is oversized to power the production facility and supply clean power to the Alberta grid.

The complex also will be integrated with neighboring Imperial Oil Limited’s new renewable diesel facility, using innovative engineering. Imperial will produce renewable diesel from locally sourced non-petroleum feedstocks, using a process that produces a biogenic renewable off-gas (ROG) by-product. This ROG will be used as a feedstock within the Air Products hydrogen complex, displacing natural gas and further enhancing the overall carbon emissions profile. The combination of utilizing a renewable feedstock and power export more than offset the remaining 10 percent needed to achieve net-zero at the new hydrogen production facility.

The net-zero facility will connect to Air Products’ existing 55-kilometer pipeline network in the Alberta Heartland to help refining and petrochemical customers reduce the carbon intensity of their operations and products.

Air Products also has announced plans to open a new project delivery office in Edmonton. The Global Engineering and Manufacturing Technology Equipment office will be a cross-functional space including engineering, product, process gas, and air separation unit product line functions.

Air Products currently operates three hydrogen production facilities in Alberta, and also operates a hydrogen production facility, a 30-kilometer pipeline network and a liquefaction facility in Sarnia, Ontario.

Air Products works across all facets of the hydrogen value chain, including production, distribution, storage and dispensing and has been a pioneer in hydrogen fueling for decades.

The company operates the world’s largest hydrogen pipeline system, located in the U.S. Gulf Coast, and is a world-class liquid hydrogen supplier. Air Products has hands-on operating experience with over 250 hydrogen fueling station projects in 20 countries and the company’s technologies are used in over 1.5 million fueling operations annually.

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Inside Intersect Power’s green hydrogen plans

California-based renewable energy developer Intersect Power anticipates huge capital needs for a quartet of regional energy complexes co-locating wind and solar with green hydrogen production in the Texas Gulf Coast, California and the American West.

Intersect Power, a solar developer that completed a $750m capital raise last year, is developing four large-scale green hydrogen projects that could eventually be spun off into a separate company, CEO Sheldon Kimber said in an interview.

Four regional complexes of 1 GW or more, co-located with renewables, are in development, he said. The first phases of those, totaling several hundred megawatts, will come online between 2026 and 2028.

Initial offtake markets include transportation, sustainable aviation fuel, and hydrogen for industrial use, Kimber said. Ultimately Intersect is aiming to serve ammonia exporters in the US Gulf Coast, particularly those exporting to Japan, Kimber said, adding that the company could contract with ammonia producers. He recently wrapped up a nine-day, fact-finding trip to Japan to better understand what he believes will be the end market for Intersect’s green ammonia.

“If you don’t know who your customer’s customer is, you’re going to get a bad deal,” Kimber said.

Intersects projects under development involve behind-the-meter electrolysis, co-located with Intersect’s wind and solar generation plants. In 2021 the company signed an MOU with electrolyzer manufacturer Electric Hydrogen. The contract is for 3 GW.

Intersect controls the land and is in the process of permitting the four projects, located in Texas, California and another western US location that Kimber declined to name. The primary focus now is commercial development of the offtake and transportation, he said.

‘Boatload of equity’

Kimber said the company will be ready to announced details of the projects when they are ready to seek financing. He estimates that upwards of $12bn will need to be raised for the package of complexes.

“There’s going to be an enormous need for capital,” Kimber said. Debt will make up between 60% and 90% of the raising, along with “a boatload of equity,” he said. Existing investors will likely participate, but as the numbers get bigger new investors will be brought on board.

Intersect has worked with BofA Securities and Morgan Stanley on past capital raise processes, and also has strong relationships with MUFG and Santander.

Moving forward the company could have a broader need for advisory services and could lend knowledge of the sector in an advisory capacity itself, Kimber said.

“The scope and scale of what we’re doing is big enough and the innovative aspect of what we’re doing is advanced enough that I think we have a lot we can bring to these early-stage financings,” Kimber said. “I think we’re going to be a good partner for advisory shops.”

In the short term Intersect has sufficient equity from its investors and is capitalized for the next 18-to-24 months, Kimber said. Last summer the company announced a $750m raise from TPG Rise Climate, CAI Investments and Trilantic Energy Partners North America.

“People don’t want to pay ahead for the growth in fuels,” Kimber said, adding that reaching commercial milestones will build a compelling valuation.

Intersect could spin off its hydrogen developments to capitalize them apart from renewables, Kimber said.

“Every single company in this space is looking at that,” he said. “Do you independently finance your fuels business?”

Avoiding the hype

Right now the opportunity to participate in hydrogen is blurry because there is so much hype following passage of the IRA, Kimber said. Prospective investors should be focused on picking the right partners.

“What you’re seeing right now is everybody believing the best thing for them,” Kimber said, noting that his company has decided to keep relatively quiet about its activities in the clean fuels space to avoid getting caught up in hype. “The IRA happened, and every electrolyzer company raised their prices by fifty percent.”

Of those companies that have announced hydrogen projects in North America, Kimber said he believes only a handful will be successful. Those companies that have successfully developed renewables projects of more than 500 MW are good candidates, as are companies that have managed to keep a fluid supply chain with equipment secured for the next five years.

“That is a very short list,” he said.

Lenders on the debt side will want to start determining how projects will get financed, and which projects to finance, in the next 18 months, Kimber said.

Finding those who have been innovating on the front-end for years and not just jumped in recently is a good start, Kimber said.

“Hydrogen will happen, make no mistake,” Kimber said. He pointed to the recent European directive that 45% of hydrogen on the continent be green by 2030 and Japan’s upcoming directive to potential similar effect. Once good projects reach critical points in their development they will start to trade, probably in late 2024, he said.

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Ambient Fuels evaluating hydrogen project acquisitions

The company is well capitalized following a $250m equity investment from Generate Capital and is now opportunistically reviewing an initial slate of project M&A offerings.

Following an equity investment from Generate Capital, Ambient Fuels has begun to evaluate potential acquisitions of hydrogen projects that are under development, CEO Jacob Susman said in an interview.

“We’ve seen our first project M&A opportunities come through in the last 10 days or so,” Susman said.

Three projects for sale involve land positions, he said. Those that appear most attractive have a clear line of site to offtake or a strong approach to renewable power supply. Two out of three are not on the Gulf Coast.

“In no instance are these brokered deals,” Susman said.

Following the $250m equity investment from Generate Capital, Ambient is capitalized for several years and has no immediate plans to seek debt or tax equity, Susman said. The transaction was done without the help of a financial advisor.

Moving forward Ambient is open to JV formation with a partner that can help access offtake and renewable power, Susman said. Those points will drive future capital investment in the company and were resources that Generate brought to the table besides money.

According to ReSource‘s project tracker, Ambient is involved in at least two of the hubs that were encouraged by the DOE to submit a final application: California’s Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), and the Port of Corpus Christi Green Hydrogen Hub.

In 2021 Ambient completed a funding round led by SJF Ventures. Several other VC funds and angel investors also participated.

In January The Hydrogen Source reported that Ambient was in exclusivity with an equity provider.

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Exclusive: Banker enlisted for CO2-to-SAF capital raise

BofA Securities is running a capital raise for a US-based CO2-to-SAF technology provider and project developer with a global pipeline of projects.

eFuels developer Infinium has launched a Series C capital raise along with efforts to advance unannounced projects in its development pipeline, Ayesha Choudhury, head of capital markets, said in an interview.

Bank of America has been engaged to advise on the capital raise.

Infinium recently announced the existence of Project Roadrunner, located in West Texas, which will convert an existing brownfield gas-to-liquids project into an eFuels facility delivering products to both US and international markets. Breakthrough Energy Catalyst has contributed $75m in project equity.

Infinium, which launched in 2020, closed a $69m Series B in 2021, with Amazon, NextEra and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries participating. Its Project Pathfinder in Corpus Christi is fully capitalized.

About a dozen projects, split roughly 50/50 between North America and the rest of the world, are in development now, Choudhury said. The company is always scouting new projects and is looking for partners to provide CO2, develop power generation and offtake end products.

A CO2 feedstock agreement for a US Midwest project with BlackRock-backed Navigator CO2 Ventures was recently scrapped after the latter developer cancelled its CO2 pipeline project.

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