Resource logo with tagline

ECP to invest $300m in Braya Renewable Fuels

The investment from Energy Capital Partners completes the financing for the conversion of Braya's Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada refinery to renewable fuel operations.

Braya Renewable Fuels, a Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada-based producer of low-emission renewable fuels, today announced a $300m preferred equity investment from Energy Capital Partners (ECP), a leading energy transition focused investor in the electricity, clean energy, renewable and sustainable infrastructure sectors.

The investment from ECP completes the financing for the conversion of Braya’s Come-By-Chance refinery to renewable fuel operations, which processes and refines renewable feedstocks for renewable fuel production, and builds on Braya’s recent agreement with ABO Wind for the joint development of green hydrogen production at the facility. The proposed multi-phased ABO Wind project will provide hydrogen for Braya’s needs as well as green ammonia for global export.

Combined, these fuels – renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, hydrogen, and ammonia – will provide alternatives to fossil fuels and reduce the emissions associated with hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy transport, aviation and heavy industry.

Once operational, the project will initially supply 18,000 barrels per day of low carbon renewable fuel with expansion plans to increase capacity and enhance production of sustainable aviation fuel.

ECP joins Braya’s current owners, Cresta Fund Management and North Atlantic Refining Corp., which is managed by Silverpeak. Dallas-based Cresta has been Braya’s majority owner and controlling investor since 2021. NARC/Silverpeak, in addition to owning a minority stake in Braya, also owns and controls NARL Marketing, ensuring the continued supply of fuel to Newfoundland and Labrador as well as surrounding areas.

“We are excited to join forces with ECP to drive innovation, scale production, and create long-term value for our investors and stakeholders,” said Frank Almaraz, CEO of Braya. “This investment is a testament to the Braya team – in particular those on-the-ground in Newfoundland and Labrador – who have been working over the last 18 months to convert the Braya refinery to renewable fuel operations. This is an exciting time for Braya as it moves closer to completing the first phase of its multi-stage growth plans and commencing the production and sale of renewable fuel later this year.”

“We welcome ECP, a seasoned investor in the energy transition sector, to the Braya team,” said Cresta’s Managing Partner, Chris Rozzell. “This investment is a major step in positioning Braya to become one of the largest independently owned renewable fuel producers in the world.”

“We are pleased to partner with Braya and its existing owners and expand our exposure to renewable fuel infrastructure,” said Rahman D’Argenio, a partner at ECP and a member of its Investment Committee. “Our investment in Braya is not only a reflection of our commitment to funding infrastructure crucial to the energy transition, but also of our conviction in the Company’s strong management team, unique location and experienced operations staff. We look forward to supporting Braya as they capitalize on the significant long-term growth opportunities in the renewable fuels sector that will be required to decarbonize heavy transport, industry and aviation.”

Lazard acted as Braya’s financial advisor in the transaction, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, McInnes Cooper and Sidley Austin LLP represented Braya. Latham & Watkins and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP represented ECP.

Unlock this article

The content you are trying to view is exclusive to our subscribers.
To unlock this article:

You might also like...

Black Hills Energy acquires RNG facility in Iowa

The South Dakota-based utility purchased the RNG production facility at the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency site.

Black Hills Corp., through its nonregulated subsidiary, Black Hills Energy Renewable Resources, completed the purchase of a renewable natural gas production facility in Dubuque, Iowa, according to a news release.

The acquisition of the production facility at the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency site includes onsite infrastructure and the rights to RNG production at the landfill under a long-term contract. The facility currently injects RNG into the natural gas distribution system serving Dubuque, which is owned and operated by Black Hills Corp.’s regulated natural gas utility in Iowa.

“This investment advances our goal to responsibly integrate renewable resources as a component of our overall emissions reduction strategy,” said Todd Jacobs, senior vice president of growth and strategy. “This acquisition represents our entry into the production of RNG as a nonregulated business while leveraging our expertise in owning and operating regulated natural gas pipeline systems, including RNG interconnections.”

The RNG produced from the landfill facility captures methane that would otherwise vent into the atmosphere. It is delivered under long-term contracts to a third party that purchases the RNG and its related environmental attributes, in conformity with the U.S. EPA Renewable Fuel Standard Program.

“Investing in the production facility will allow BHERR to focus on growing its RNG business with an efficient and sustainable lower-carbon fuel,” said Jacobs.

Read More »

Heliogen appoints new CEO

Heliogen CFO Christie Obiaya will take over as CEO after Bill Gross was removed.

Heliogen, Inc., a provider of AI-enabled concentrating solar energy technology, yesterday announced that its board of directors has appointed Christie Obiaya as chief executive officer and added Obiaya to the board of directors, effective immediately.

Obiaya, head of Heliogen’s executive committee and formerly its chief financial officer, replaces Bill Gross, who was removed as CEO and has resigned from the board of directors, according to a news release.

The company, which trades on the NYSE, has been working to advance a hydrogen project in Lancaster, California, and another in Arizona.

“As Heliogen moves forward on commercial projects, Christie brings almost two decades of operational and financial experience, with degrees and a working background in both business and engineering,” said Robert Kavner, Heliogen’s lead independent director. “Having served as chief financial officer of Heliogen and chair of the executive committee, she is intimately familiar with our innovative renewable energy technology, our customers, and the priorities to drive our future success. This knowledge, together with her experience growing and managing energy and infrastructure development and sustainable technologies, make her the right person to take on these additional responsibilities. Christie, together with the rest of Heliogen’s management team, will focus on and advance the company’s strategic plan.”

Obiaya joined Heliogen in March 2021 as CFO and has worked closely with the company’s management team on commercializing its solar energy and thermal storage systems technology. Prior to joining Heliogen, Obiaya served as the head of strategy and chief financial officer for Bechtel Energy’s multi-billion-dollar, global energy business unit from 2017 to 2021. She also held various leadership roles at Bechtel in finance, strategy, project development, investment, and execution from 2010 to 2017. Prior to Bechtel, Obiaya worked on renewable energy projects in Kenya and India from 2008 to 2009.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the company as we bring Heliogen’s renewable energy technology to customers looking to decarbonize their operations,” said Obiaya. “I look forward to bringing together Heliogen’s exceptional talent with our industry partners, and to delivering with excellence for our customers, employees, and stockholders.”

As part of the leadership transition, Kelly Rosser has been appointed interim CFO. Rosser has served as Heliogen’s chief accounting officer since August 2022.

Read More »

Southwest Airlines to offtake SAF from USA BioEnergy facility

Southwest plans to begin purchasing SAF from USA BioEnergy’s facility near Bon Wier, Texas, as early as 2028.

Southwest Airlines Co. has reached an offtake agreement with USA BioEnergy for up to 680 million gallons of neat sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), according to a news release.

Over the term of the 20-year agreement, once blended with conventional jet fuel, the SAF could produce the equivalent of 2.59 billion gallons of net-zero1 fuel and avoid 30 million metric tons of CO2. 

Southwest plans to begin purchasing SAF from USA BioEnergy’s facility near Bon Wier, Texas, as early as 2028. Additionally, as part of the offtake agreement, Southwest and USA BioEnergy have established a long-term strategic relationship offering Southwest the opportunity to purchase up to another projected 180 million gallons of SAF per year from future planned production facilities.

“This offtake agreement with USA BioEnergy marks important progress in the development of our SAF portfolio and furthers our goal to replace 10 percent of our total jet fuel consumption with SAF by 2030,” said Michael AuBuchon, managing director Fuel Strategy and Management at Southwest Airlines. “We look forward to the opportunity to grow our strategic relationship with USA BioEnergy and potentially purchase more SAF from them in the future.”

“Our agreement with Southwest Airlines is a perfect fit because it aligns Southwest’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and USA BioEnergy’s goal of becoming the leading producer of carbon-negative fuel,” said David Prom, chairman of the board, co-founder of USA BioEnergy. “USA BioEnergy is excited to work with Southwest on this initial project and, potentially, future sites we may add in our pipeline.”

Read More »

Exclusive: Seattle biomass-to-chemical firm planning equity round

A firm with plans for a biorefinery in Washington state will raise its first large equity round early next year.

Planted Materials, a Seattle-based biomass-to-chemicals company, is in early design stages for its first biorefinery in eastern Washington state and planning to raise an equity round in early 2025, co-founders Noah Belkhous and Greg Jenson said in an interview.

The company will seek to raise between $10m and $20m ahead of FID on the biorefinery, Belkhous said. The four-year-old company has raised $500k from angel investors to date and is currently raising another $1m from high net worth individuals in the Seattle region.

Planted Materials does not have a relationship with a financial advisor but is open to one, Belkhous said.

The company’s recycling model takes municipal landfill waste and converts it to chemical materials for pharmaceutical, paper, plastic and other manufacturing industries.

The proprietary recycling process is something the company would like to license to municipalities in the US and abroad, in addition to building biorefineries in the Pacific Northwest, Belkhous said. The company’s lab is currently based in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Early design work on the first biorefinery is underway. The duo expects CapEx to cap at $50m, reaching FID in 2026 and beginning construction that year.

While the majority of the company’s feedstock will likely come from the major metropolitan regions in the western PNW, refining capacity is more attractive in the east for reasons of space and existing waste management infrastructure. Jenson noted the presence of the relevant research campus of Washington State University in Pullman, as well as the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.

Recently, the team accompanied Washington Governor Jay Inslee and members of the Washington State Department of Commerce on a trip to Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. The company has applied to a pair of $350k grants from the state.
Read More »
exclusive

California renewables developer taps advisor for capital raise

Utility-scale solar and storage developer RAI Energy has tapped an advisor for a capital raise. The company is evaluating co-development conversion for green ammonia production at projects in Arizona and California.

RAI Energy, the utility-scale solar and storage developer, has hired an advisor as it pursues a capital raise.

The company is working with Keybanc Capital Markets in a process to raise up to $25m, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

In an interview, RAI Energy CEO and owner Mohammed S. Alrai said the company “is excited about having [Keybanc] act as our financial advisors on this fundraising round.” He noted that RAI is first a solar-plus-storage developer and is approaching investors as such.

However, RAI is evaluating co-development conversion for green ammonia production at two of its project sites in Arizona and California, he said.

“Hydrogen is a natural next step,” Alrai said of his company, adding that the end-product would be green ammonia for use in fertilizer production and industrial sectors. Pure hydrogen could also be kept for use in transportation.

A variety of partnerships would be required to develop hydrogen at RAI’s solar sites, Alrai said. The company could need advisory services to structure those partnerships.

RAI is working with engineers on the hydrogen question now and is open to additional technology and finance advisory relationships, he said. The company is also evaluating several electrolyzer manufacturers.

“It’s an open book for us right now,” Alrai said of hydrogen production. “We’re always open to talking to people who can help us.”

For hydrogen project development, RAI would seek project level debt and equity similar to its solar developments, Alrai said. Early-stage project sites in Colorado and New Mexico could also be candidates for hydrogen co-development.

Keybanc delined to comment for this story.

Read More »

Exclusive: Monarch Energy targeting green hydrogen FID in 2024

Monarch is moving forward with several green hydrogen projects in the Gulf Coast region, most notably a 500 MW project near Beaumont, Texas and a 300 MW project near Geismar, Louisiana.

Green hydrogen developer Monarch Energy aims to take its first final investment decision as soon as next year, CEO Ben Alingh said in an interview.

Monarch is moving forward with several green hydrogen projects in the Gulf Coast region, most notably a 500 MW project near Beaumont, Texas and a 300 MW project near Geismar, Louisiana.

Alingh said the company is seeking to advance the projects to FID by late 2024 and early 2025. Monarch has not engaged a project finance banker yet, he said.

The company recently announced a $25m preferred equity investment and $400m project equity commitment from LS Power.

The proceeds of the preferred equity raise will fund pre-FID aspects of Monarch’s 4.5 GW green hydrogen development platform: overhead, project development, interconnection, land, permitting, and engineering.

The $400m commitment, meanwhile, is earmarked for project equity investments in Monarch’s pipeline of projects. Under the arrangement, the projects will be dropped into a new entity, Clean Hydrogen Fuels, LLC, where LS Power provides the capital and Monarch provides the project, Alingh said.

“On a project-by-project basis the projects will be transferred to Clean Hydrogen Fuels if they are selected,” he said. The Clean Hydrogen Fuels entity is jointly owned by Monarch and LS Power.

Monarch did not use a financial advisor for the capital raise. Clean Energy Counsel served as Monarch’s law firm.

For both the Beaumont and Geismar facilities, Monarch has signed MoUs with Entergy to supply long-term renewable power. Monarch is engaged with industrial users of hydrogen in each location as potential offtakers. It plans to deliver hydrogen via local Monarch-developed hydrogen pipelines that it is developing with EPC partners, he said.

“We endeavor to be as close to our end user as possible with our electrolyzer project, to limit development and execution risk on delivery,” he said. For the volumes of Monarch’s projects, trucking solutions are not on the table, he said, as it would simply require too many trucks.

The company has additional production facilities under development in Freeport, Texas, as well as four other locations in Texas, according to the ReSource project database.

Monarch is also interested in end markets for hydrogen derivatives like methanol and ammonia, but Alingh notes that every project “starts with one core focus, and that is making the cheapest green hydrogen possible.”

Read More »

Welcome Back

Get Started

Sign up for a free 15-day trial and get the latest clean fuels news in your inbox.