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DG Fuels proposes Lousiana SAF fuel complex

A final investment decision for the $3.1bn proposed project is expected by the end of the year.

DG Fuels, a developer of cellulosic drop-in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), announced it is evaluating a 3,000-acre site in St. James Parish as the potential location of a new low-emission fuel manufacturing facility.

The proposed $3.1bn investment would create 1,055 new direct jobs with an estimated average annual salary exceeding $72,000. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project would result in 5,231 new indirect jobs, for a total of 6,286 new jobs in the Southeast Region.

“The addition of DG Fuels to Louisiana is further evidence of Louisiana’s emergence as a prime location for investors taking advantage of the unique business opportunities that the energy transition offers,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “We look forward to working with DG Fuels to make this proposed facility, and the high-paying manufacturing jobs it would generate, a reality.”

The Washington, D.C.-based company has developed a patented system for utilizing renewable energy sources, such as agricultural and timber waste feedstock, to reduce aviation fuel’s carbon intensity score by 140 percent when compared to industry standards. DG Fuels estimates the facility would produce 120 million gallons of SAF per year on average, which would remove approximately 1.5 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually.

“DG Fuels baseline process differs from other systems by having little or no environmental emissions either to the atmosphere or waters, while at the same time providing a customer for all forms of agricultural waste to the region’s agricultural community,” said Michael C. Darcy, chief executive officer of DG Fuels.

The proposed site on the west bank of St. James Parish is currently undergoing a front-end engineering design (FEED) study that is estimated to be complete by August 2023. A final investment decision is expected by the end of the year; if DG Fuels moves forward with the project, construction and commissioning of the SAF plant would take approximately three years from that point.

“I’m excited to learn about the possibility of DG Fuels coming to St James Parish,” St. James Parish President Pete Dufresne said. “At our last Council Meeting, Mr. Michael Darcy spoke about the potential for a green facility that provides over 600 employment opportunities for all skill levels and produces little to no emissions. I’m looking forward to exploring what appears to be a great opportunity for our parish.”

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Air Liquide Finance announces cash tender offers for two series of USD Notes

The tender offers to purchase for cash up to $350m of its outstanding 2.500% notes due 2026 and $100m of its outstanding 3.500% notes will enable the company to optimize its funding structure.

Air Liquide Finance has announced offers to purchase for cash up to $350m of its outstanding 2.500% notes due 2026 and $100m of its outstanding 3.500% notes due 2046, according to a press release.

“The Offeror intends, but is not obligated, to increase either or both of the applicable Maximum Tender Amounts to the extent necessary to allow for a combined acceptance of Notes validly tendered and not validly withdrawn at or prior to the Early Tender Time up to an aggregate maximum principal amount for both series of up to [$500m],” the release states.

Air Liquide has retained BofA Securities Europe SA, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Natixis Securities Americas to act as the dealer managers for the tender offers, and Global Bondholder Services Corporation to act as the information and tender agent.

The Tender Offers will expire at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on April 11, 2023.

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Par Pacific to invest $90m in Hawaii renewable fuels facility

The renewable fuel facility is expected to produce approximately 61 million gallons per year of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, renewable naphtha and liquified petroleum gases.

Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. plans to invest approximately $90m to develop the state’s largest liquid renewable fuels manufacturing facility at its Kapolei refinery.

The project relies on the Kapolei refinery’s highly experienced operating team, existing tank storage and related logistics, as well as available hydrogen from current refining operations, a key requirement for low-carbon renewable fuels production. As a result, this project is expected to be completed for less than $1.50 per gallon of annual operating capacity and is expected to be commissioned in 2025. The unit can produce up to 60% sustainable aviation fuel in a first step toward decarbonizing Hawaii’s significant air travel market.

“This project represents a key milestone in our renewable fuels strategy, which supplements our conventional fuels production in Hawaii. The expansion ensures that Par Hawaii, with its high-paying local manufacturing jobs, will be the leading supplier of liquid fuels to the Hawaii economy now and into the future,” said William Pate, Par Pacific’s CEO.

In total, the renewable fuel facility is expected to produce approximately 61 million gallons per year of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable naphtha and liquified petroleum gases (LPGs). If market conditions are supportive, yield can be shifted to over 90% renewable diesel. These renewable fuels lower greenhouse gas emissions while providing reliable electricity and transportation fuels to Hawaii consumers.

“Given this project’s feedstock requirements, the state is well positioned to drive an additional major economic benefit by creating a market for locally grown oil seed crops. The creative redevelopment of a portion of our refining system is an excellent example of our team’s technical strength to deliver renewable fuel solutions that supplement our existing operations. I am very proud of the team’s contributions and look forward to continuing our efforts to diversify and decarbonize energy sources for our community,” said Eric Wright, president of Par Hawaii, Par Pacific’s local subsidiary.

The announcement coincides with Par Pacific’s authorization from the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone Board to use foreign-sourced vegetable oil to supplement locally-sourced renewable feedstocks. Par Hawaii is working with Hawaii-based Pono Pacific in the planting of camelina crops to test the suitability of that oil seed for state production. Par Pacific is committed to supporting the state agricultural sector in the development of oil seed crops to support decarbonization of the local economy.

In 2022, Par Pacific and Hawaiian Airlines, the largest air carrier in the state, announced a joint feasibility study to explore ways to make sustainable aviation fuel commercially viable. Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in our shared efforts to produce renewable fuels in Hawaii. The companies look forward to engaging with stakeholders across the community to advance policies which enable the use of renewable fuels in Hawaii.

Par Pacific also is assessing development opportunities at the former Chevron refinery location in Kapolei, near its current operations, including projects that would further support the state’s efforts to decarbonize its electrical grid.

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Twelve plans groundbreaking for eSAF plant in Washington state

The first customers to receive E-Jet fuel from the plant will be companies and major airlines with which Twelve has existing partnerships, including Shopify, Alaska Airlines, and Microsoft.

Carbon transformation company Twelve and Washington Governor Jay Inslee have announced plans to scale the production of E-Jet® fuel, Twelve’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from CO2 and renewable energy, with a commercial-scale production facility in Moses Lake, WA.

The announcement was made during a press conference held at the Washington State exhibit at the 2023 Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France.

A groundbreaking event for the facility will take place on July 11 with Gov. Inslee and other regional and local stakeholders who support sustainable aviation fuel development in Washington State. The first customers to receive E-Jet fuel from the plant will be companies and major airlines with which Twelve has existing partnerships, including Shopify, Alaska Airlines, and Microsoft.

Twelve’s E-Jet fuel is produced using the company’s carbon transformation technology, which uses only renewable energy and water to transform COinto critical chemicals and materials conventionally made from fossil fuels. With up to 90% lower lifecycle emissions compared to conventional fossil-based fuels, E-Jet fuel is a drop-in synthetic fuel that works seamlessly with existing aircraft and faces no constraints on feedstock, offering the best viable long-term solution to address emissions in the aviation industry. Transitioning to E-Jet fuel not only reduces reliance on fossil fuels, but also reduces particulate emissions from aviation and decreases impacts on neighboring communities.

“Washington maintains its widely-recognized leadership in the aviation and aerospace industries by creating a competitive business environment that fosters technology innovation, such as carbon transformation, that will help decarbonize the global aviation industry,” said Gov. Inslee. “We’re excited for Twelve to join the growing number of innovative companies that recognize everything that Washington has to offer.”

“Commercial-scale production of E-Jet fuel is a major milestone in our mission of creating a world run on air,” said Twelve co-founder and CEO Nicholas Flanders. “Washington is the perfect location for our facility, with its abundant renewable energy resources to power our carbon transformation process and longstanding global leadership in the aviation industry.”

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US hydrogen developer to raise $1bn in 2023

Avina Clean Hydrogen will need $600m or more of debt and between $200m and $300m of equity. Capital raising talks are focused on the operating company and project level.

Avina Clean Hydrogen, a U.S.-based developer of hydrogen production plants, will seek to raise approximately $1bn, or possibly more, in 2023, CEO Vishal Shah said in an interview.

The company will need $600m or more of debt and between $200m and $300m of equity, Shah said. Capital raising talks are focused on the operating company and project level.

Avina is also in discussions with potential investment bankers, but has not hired anyone yet, Shah said.

“The capital needs for us are going to continue to grow,” Shah said. “We are certainly open to bringing on additional partners.”

Four development projects have offtake agreements in place, Shah said. The first operational plant will open in Southern California next year or early 2024, followed by Avina’s 700,000 mtpa green ammonia project in the Texas Gulf Coast. Additional projects are underway in the Midwest.

Three of those projects, each with offtakers in place, will reach FID in 2023 and need project debt, Shah said.

Avina is engaged with half-a-dozen potential customers and will seek to develop additional projects within that existing footprint.

Renewable energy procurement is also an important concern for Avina; the Texas project alone will require 900 MW of renewable energy to power, Shah said. The company is in offtake discussions with regional IPPs, mostly in solar and battery storage, but could use help with those agreements. Shah declined to name the firm’s legal advisor.

Avina was founded more than three years ago and is principally backed by Hydrogen Technology Ventures, a firm headed by Shah.

An equity raise was completed in early Q4, Shah said, declining to provide details. The company has a “large industrial firm” as a strategic investor that it hopes to announce soon. Looking forward, the company will look for a second strategic investor, as well as project finance.

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It’s an electrolyzer – but for CO2

A New Jersey-based start-up is seeking to commercialize an electrocatalytic technology that transforms CO2 into a monomer for the plastics industry.

RenewCO2 is developing and seeking to commercialize a modular technology that converts waste CO2 into a usable product.

The New Jersey-based company is advancing a pilot project at an Ace Ethanol plant in Wisconsin that will take CO2 and convert it to monoethylene glycol, which can be used by the plastics industry.

The project was recently selected by the US DOE to receive a $500,000 grant. It seeks to demonstrate the technology’s ability to reduce the ethanol plant’s carbon footprint and produce a carbon-negative chemical.

In an interview, RenewCO2 co-founders Anders Laursen and Karin Calvinho said their technology, which was developed at Rutgers University, is geared toward carbon emitters who can not easily pipe away their CO2 and who may have use for the resulting product.


“It’s a matter of economics,” said Calvinho, who serves as the company’s CTO. Using the RenewCO2 technology, the ethanol plant or other user is able to keep 45Q tax incentives for capturing CO2 while also creating a product that generates an additional revenue stream.

Additionally, the modular design of the technology prevents emitters from having to build expensive pipeline infrastructure for CO2, she added. “We want to help to facilitate the use of the CO2 on site,” she said.

One of the goals of the project is to measure the carbon intensity of these technologies in combination, which ultimately depends on the electricity source for the electrochemical process, similar to an electrolyzer, Laursen, who is the CEO, said.

“The main constraint from a location point of view is the availability of reliable and affordable green power,” Laursen added.

Creating a market

The principal target market for RenewCO2’s technology is existing producers of monoethylene glycol (MEG), which is used to make recycled plastics, as well as ethanol producers and other emitters with purified CO2 streams.

Producers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – one of the most recycled plastics globally – are also potential customers since they use MEG in their production process and have CO2 sources on site.

“Right now, MEG produced in the US is, for the most part, not polymerized into PET – it’s shipped overseas for making PET plastics used in textiles, and then made into fibers or shipped further,” Laursen said. “So if you can shorten that transport chain, you can reduce the CO2 emissions associated with the final product.”

RenewCO2 is looking for partners to help build the modular units, and is evaluating the purchase of existing PEM electrolyzer units that can be reconfigured, or having the units custom manufactured.

“We’re talking to potential manufacturing partners and evaluating whether we should do the manufacturing ourselves,” Calvinho said. And if they choose the latter route, she added, “we will have to build our own facilities, but it’s early to say.”

The company has raised a total of $10m in venture investment and grant funding, including a pre-seed round of over $2m from Energy Transition Ventures, a Houston-based venture capital fund.

While not currently fundraising, Laursen said they are always taking calls to get to know the investors that are interested in the space. He added that the company may need to raise additional capital in 12 to 18 months.

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CCS developer initiating discussions for corporate capital raise

Following its sale of a stake in a mega-scale carbon capture project in the Gulf Coast, Carbonvert is planning to initiate conversations to raise additional corporate capital, with plans to deploy as much as $500m into new projects.

Carbonvert, a Houston-based carbon capture and sequestration developer, is planning to start conversations soon with an eye to raise corporate capital that will allow it to advance mega-scale CCS projects, CEO Alex Tiller said in an interview.

Owned by a group of outside investors and the management team, Carbonvert is advancing a business model that takes advantage of the group’s expertise in early-stage project development, Tiller said.

The company recently completed the sale of its 25% interest in the Bayou Bend CCS project to Norway’s Equinor, which will now own the development alongside Chevron (50%) and Talos Energy (25%).

Bayou Bend CCS is the type of mega-scale project that Carbonvert will be pursuing in coming years, and for which the company will need to raise as much as $500m in corporate capital due to the capital-intensive nature of the projects, Tiller said.

Chevron last year bought its 50% operating stake in Bayou Bend for $50m, implying a $100m valuation for the project, which is positioned to become one of the largest CCS developments in the US for industrial emitters, with nearly 140,000 gross acres of pore space – 100,000 onshore and 40,000 offshore.

Carbonvert’s stake sale, announced yesterday, was “a positive result” for the company, Tiller said, though he declined to comment further on the valuation.

“It delivers capital to our balance sheet and allows us to grow our pipeline of projects and fund additional projects,” he said. Carbonvert used Jefferies as sell-side financial advisor in the sale to Equinor, he added.

Tiller, a veteran of the renewable energy industry, is a founding member of Carbonvert alongside Chief Development Officer Jan Sherman, who previously had a 30-year career with Shell and helped build the oil major’s Quest CCS project in Alberta, Canada.

For the upcoming capital raise, Carbonvert has not decided on whether to use a financial advisor; the structure of the capital raise will likely determine if an advisor is needed, Tiller said.

“We’ll definitely be out raising more corporate capital – these projects are tremendously expensive,” he said. “We’ll be starting conversations soon.”

The company has a line of sight to deploy as much as $500m of capital into its own projects over the next several years, he said, an indication of how much capital it will need to raise.

“These are large infrastructure projects that are going to take many years to bring to fruition, followed by decades of operations,” he said. “We live at the front end of the projects,” he added, “and when the appropriate parties are at the table, it’s really an act of humility to say ‘hey, maybe we’ve taken this as far as we can or should,’” a reference to finding the right time to sell the company’s stakes in the projects it is developing.

In addition to the Bayou Bend CCS project, Carbonvert is part of a consortium that’s developing a carbon hub in Wyoming. The company is also collaborating on an exploratory study for the direct air capture and storage of CO2 emissions from a nuclear power plant in Alabama.

“You can expect to see project announcements that look like Bayou Bend in the future,” Tiller said. “We like that type of mega-scale project, we like offshore, and we’re also pursuing some opportunities onshore that are less mature.”

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