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Developer pursuing $2bn green methanol project in Louisiana

SunGas Renewables is aiming to construct a 400,000 metric tons per annum green methanol facility in Central Louisiana, with offtake expected to be used in Maersk container vessels.

SunGas Renewables Inc. has formed Beaver Lake Renewable Energy, LLC, which will construct a new green methanol production facility in Central Louisiana, according to a news release.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of SunGas Renewables, BLRE is expected to generate from the facility nearly 400,000 metric tons of green methanol per year for marine fuel while creating more than 1,150 jobs during construction and more than 100 local jobs during operation.

Green methanol produced by BLRE is expected to be used to fuel A.P. Moller – Maersk’s fleet of methanol-powered container vessels and will utilize wood fiber from local, sustainably-managed forests. The methanol will have a negative carbon intensity through sequestration of nearly a million tons per year of carbon dioxide produced by the project, which will be executed by Denbury Carbon Solutions.

SunGas Renewables anticipates BLRE will invest approximately $2bn to construct the project at the former International Paper facility in Rapides Parish. The BLRE facility is expected to begin construction in late 2024 with commercial operations commencing in 2027.

Emma Mazhari, Head of Energy Markets at Maersk, said, “A.P. Moller – Maersk is excited to be partnering with SunGas Renewables, which is pioneering a truly large-scale pathway to green methanol with its Beaver Lake Renewable Energy facility. We would like to thank SunGas Renewables for showing great leadership and for its commitment to the green transition of energy. This is helping Maersk to deliver valuable services to our customers and is aligned with our aim to reach net zero greenhouse emissions by 2040. Together, as pioneers in the field, SunGas and Maersk are driving a much-needed transition in a heavy pollution industry. We hope that work can be accelerated further in the years to come.”

“Using biomass from sustainably managed forestry along with carbon capture allows our project to generate green marine shipping fuel while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere. This new low-carbon marine fuel facility also helps strengthen communities and create sustainable economies right here in Rapides Parish, Louisiana,” said Robert Rigdon, CEO of SunGas Renewables. “As we continue our mission to make a meaningful impact in the energy transition, we look forward to collaborating with all our project partners and the State of Louisiana to construct and operate this important project. This incredible effort happening right here in Pineville will be an innovative and industry leading low-carbon energy solution that will help fuel a better world.”

In late 2022, SunGas Renewables announced a strategic green methanol partnership with Denmark-based Maersk, the world’s second largest container shipping company, to produce green methanol from multiple facilities around the country. Maersk is a leader in decarbonizing marine shipping by using green methanol to fuel its new and growing fleet of methanol powered container vessels. The BLRE project is SunGas Renewable’s first facility to produce green methanol for Maersk. SunGas Renewables chose Central Louisiana for the BLRE project due to its long history of sustainably managed forests, available infrastructure to support the facility, and strong local and State support.

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California Resources considering equity investments in hydrogen, ammonia projects

California Resources management is evaluating equity investments in four California hydrogen and ammonia projects, starting with Lone Cypress, a 30-tons-per-day blue hydrogen facility.

California Resources management continues to evaluate potential equity investments in projects for which the company has signed carbon management agreements, including California hydrogen and ammonia projects, as it moves toward a separation of the carbon management business, Carbon Terravault.

Carbon Terravault, a JV with Brookfield, has so far signed four carbon dioxide management agreements, bringing the total injection rate to 610,000 MTPA of CO2, with 200,000 targeted to its Elk Hills reservoir and 410,000 MTPA targeted in the Sacramento basin area.

CEO Francisco Leon said in prepared remarks yesterday that Carbon Terravault is still in the early stages and must achieve certain milestones before initiating a separation, “such as an EPA Class VI permit approval, project FID, line of sight to first CO2 injection and first cash flow among others.”

In the meantime, the company and Brookfield have “preserved the right to invest into the equity of all four projects,” Leon said, starting with a review of the Grannus Blue Ammonia and Hydrogen Project and the Lone Cypress Hydrogen Project.

Grannus aims to be California’s first blue ammonia and hydrogen facility producing 150,000 MT per annum of blue ammonia and 10,000 MT per annum of blue hydrogen, while Lone Cypress is a 30-tons-per-day blue hydrogen facility at Elk Hills.

“We’re reviewing not only the cost profile of those businesses, but the market, in a lot of cases” – such as with hydrogen – “is not very well developed, but there’s a lot of interest. And that also requires understanding the offtake contracts and in the depth of the market, in where they best place the hydrogen and the ammonia.”

He added, “We’d like to have a decision this year on Lone Cypress in particular. That’s going to be the first project we’re reviewing the equity. We think these markets will develop nicely in California. There’s a lot of support again by IRA, hydrogen has 45V that supports it, but we’re seeing a lot of potential demand for the product. So at both Brookfield and CRC, we have retained that ability to invest in the equity and it’s something that gets us very excited about participating in these new energy verticals.”

The JV has the right to participate in the Lone Cypress blue hydrogen facility up to and including a majority equity stake, a presentation shows.

“You should expect to see over time as we do more and more of these that we’re going to have multiple models,” Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Gould said last year in an interview with ReSource, noting that a typical financial structure may emerge as the industry matures.

The company this week said it signed storage-only CDMAs with Yosemite Clean Energy and InEnTec Inc. for 40,000 and 100,000 MTPA of CO2 injection, respectively. The four combined agreements amount to 12% of the company’s pore space.

CRC also submitted Class VI permit applications for a new development area, called CTV IV, for an additional 34 million metric tons, bringing Carbon Terravault’s total potential permitted storage to 174 million metric tons or over 85% of its stated 2027 target of 200 million metric tons.

The Elk Hills complex includes a gas-fired power plant, and the company is evaluating whether the plant would move with a potential spin-off of Carbon Terravault. CRC is conducting a second FEED study in two years – the first with Flour, now with NextDecade – to evaluate the installation of a carbon capture system at the plant.

Addressing the need for a second FEED study, Leon said, “We’ve had a lot of inflationary pressures over the last two years. We want to make sure it’s the project that not only delivers that ability to reduce that CO2 emission footprint, but it’s also a profitable project.”

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Vertex Energy appoints advisor for renewable fuels strategy

NASDAQ-listed Vertex has engaged BofA as strategic financial advisor.

Vertex Energy, Inc., a specialty refiner and marketer of refined products, has named BofA Securities as strategic financial advisor to assist with its renewable fuels and sustainable products growth strategy.

During this engagement, the company expects to review various potential strategic transaction opportunities aimed at strengthening the balance sheet to support growth acceleration and asset development in line with the company’s forward trajectory as an energy transition company, it said in a statement.

Vertex has not set a timetable for the completion of this process and does not intend to comment further unless or until the Board of Directors has approved a definitive course of action, or it is determined that other disclosure is necessary or appropriate.

Benjamin P. Cowart, President and CEO of Vertex, stated, “Scaling our renewable fuels and sustainable products strategy is a top priority for us. As such, we are tightening our focus on strategic initiatives and considering options that optimally support our long-term vision. We believe BofA has the right tools and expertise to help us transition into this next phase of development for the company.”

Vertex Energy commissioned its first renewable diesel facility at the company’s Mobile refinery and the first renewable diesel facility in Alabama in. May.

In 2022, Vertex acquired a conventional fuels refinery from Shell plc, immediately launching a $115m conversion project. The primary aim of the project was to convert a standalone unit within the refinery to facilitate the production of renewable diesel, a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to petroleum diesel fuel.

The project reached mechanical completion on March 31st of this year.

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ENEOS to develop commercial scale LOHC project

ENEOS will use technology from Honeywell to develop a commercial scale liquid organic hydrogen carrier project.

Honeywell today announced that ENEOS, a leading energy company in Japan, will develop the world’s first commercial scale Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) project using Honeywell’s solution at multiple sites.

The LOHC solution enables the long-distance transportation of clean hydrogen and can help meet the growing requirements for hydrogen use across various industries by leveraging existing refining assets and infrastructure.

“With more cost-effective long-distance transport, our Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier provides a method of more closely matching international supply and demand for hydrogen which enables hydrogen to play a critical role in the energy mix as we move toward lower-carbon economies,” said Ken West, president and CEO of Honeywell Energy and Sustainability Solutions, in a news release. “By providing solutions to help overcome the challenges of hydrogen transportation, Honeywell is supporting ENEOS in transitioning to a hydrogen-powered future.”

This is one of multiple hydrogen transportation projects on which Honeywell and ENEOS are collaborating. In the Honeywell LOHC solution, hydrogen gas is combined chemically through the Honeywell Toluene Hydrogenation process into methylcyclohexane (MCH) – a convenient liquid carrier – compatible with existing infrastructure. The hydrogen at these sites will be exported – in the same way as petrochemical products – to ENEOS in Japan in the form of MCH. Once at its destination, the hydrogen will be recovered using the Honeywell MCH Dehydrogenation process and released for use, while the toluene can be sent back for additional cycles.

Hydrogen is expected to play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At standard conditions, hydrogen is a flammable gas with low density and cannot be efficiently or easily transported. Current solutions available for transporting hydrogen include liquifying the hydrogen and using chemical carriers such as ammonia, each of which requires additional infrastructure to produce and transport hydrogen.

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Hydrogen technology firm hires advisor for capital raise

A firm with a technology to produce green hydrogen from sunlight without electrolysis is prepping a capital raise.

BoMax Hydrogen, a Florida-based hydrogen technology firm, is preparing to launch a capital raise later this month, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Boutique advisory firm Taylor DeJongh has been retained to run the process, the sources said. Teasers will likely go out in two weeks.

BoMax is seeking to raise around $15m in a Series A round, the sources added.

The company touts e a novel technology making hydrogen from visible light without the need for solar electrolysis, according to a pre-teaser marketing document seen by ReSource. An alpha prototype has been awarded by the US Department of Energy.

The technology, which does not require rare earth minerals, produces hydrogen at point of need and has been reviewed by scientists at Utah State University.

To date the company has raised about $5m, one of the sources said. That came mostly from friends and family and one Japanese investor.

Funds from the Series A will be used to make a beta prototype, scale operations at the company’s labs in Orlando and prepare for commercial production.

BoMax and Taylor DeJonghe did not respond to requests for comment.

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EverWind in capital raise for Nova Scotia wind-to-hydrogen complex

EverWind Fuels is soliciting investor bids for a $1bn initial phase of its Point Tupper renewables and hydrogen/ammonia production facility in Atlantic Canada.

EverWind Fuels, the Canada-based renewable fuels developer, is preparing to launch a process to raise an estimated $800m in debt for its Point Tupper ammonia production and export facility near Halifax, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Citi and CIBC are mandated on the raise.

The company is seeking capital from a variety of investors, one of the sources said. The raise will likely conclude around the middle of the year with Citi stepping up for part of the debt quantum.

EverWind is also in talks with Canadian Infrastructure Bank, one of the sources said.

EverWind, Citi, CIBC and CIB did not respond to requests for comment.

Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change recently approved the Point Tupper Green Hydrogen/Ammonia Project – Phase 1. Construction should begin this year on phase 1 of the project, consisting of a 300 MW electrolysis plant along with a 600 tonnes-per-day ammonia production facility. The project also involves construction of a liquid ammonia pipeline to a jetty for international shipping and a 230 kW substation that will bring in electricity.

Government support for the project is leading to offtake agreements needed to build out a hydrogen supply chain at scale, a third source said. The project is nearing a $200m offtake agreement for green hydrogen with a large global manufacturer, this source added.

The German groups E.ON and Uniper said in August that they aim to buy up to 500,000 tonnes per year of ammonia each from EverWind, starting in 2025, when the project is set to begin production.

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Hydra Energy raising equity and debt capital for hydrogen refueling infrastructure

The hydrogen-as-a-service provider for commercial trucking fleets is pursuing an equity raise that will unlock a debt facility for scaling up hydrogen refueling infrastructure in Western Canada.

Hydra Energy, a hydrogen-as-a-service provider for commercial trucking fleets, is in the midst of a CAD 14m equity capital raise.

The Vancouver-based company is pursuing the equity raise in support of its Prince George hydrogen fueling station, which is set to be operational in 2024 and would be the largest in the world, Hydra CEO Jessica Verhagan.

The equity portion of the financing is needed to unlock an additional CAD 150m debt facility to complete initial scale-up of the company’s planned hydrogen corridor along Highway 16 in Western Canada, Verhagan added.

Verhagan said the company is not working with a financial advisor on the capital raise but could issue RFPs for advisory services in the future. She declined to name the provider of the proposed debt facility, apart from clarifying that it was not government-sponsored.

“To date, Hydra has been signing up commercial fleets and building out its initial hydrogen refuelling infrastructure throughout Western Canada, but the company is about to announce expansion throughout the rest of the country via licensing to a national fossil fuel distributor looking to extend its low-carbon alternative fuel offerings,” the executive said via email.

Hydra’s target market to date has been the roughly 5 million Class 8 trucks within North America, Verhagan said, with the company aiming to “conservatively” capture 1% of that market by 2030 through commercial discussions already underway. Hydra is also exploring expansion into the UK as well as Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.

“Hydra’s initial focus has been on proving out its Hydrogen-as-a-ServiceTM (HaaSTM) template which includes the company providing its proprietary hydrogen-diesel, co-combustion conversion kits to commercial fleets at zero cost (in exchange for long-term hydrogen fuel contracts at diesel equivalent prices) as well as an initial hydrogen refuelling station to service 65 Hydra- converted trucks in Prince George, B.C.,” she said.

Verhagan said the company will announce its first electrolysis partner for the Prince George hydrogen refueling station early next year. The station will be able to refuel – as quickly as diesel – up to 24 Hydra-converted trucks each hour across four bays. The station will provide hydrogen from two onsite, 5 MW electrolyzers powered with electricity from BC Hydro.

“The adoption of Hydra’s technology really comes down to availability of low carbon hydrogen – showing fleets it’s possible to go green cost-effectively – and government support to utilize hydrogen to reduce trucking emissions right now,” Verhagan said.

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