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European and Asian multinationals developing ammonia project in Texas

RWE, Lotte Chemical and Mitsubishi are studying a clean ammonia production and export project at the Port of Corpus Christi as part of an alliance to develop large-scale green and blue ammonia supply chains in Asia, Europe and the US.

RWE , Lotte Chemical Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation have formed an alliance to develop large-scale green and blue ammonia supply chains in Asia, Europe and the US, according to a press release.

The companies have signed a Joint Study Agreement to develop a large-scale integrated clean ammonia production and export project at the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas.

The prospective facility would produce for international exports with a focus on Asia and Europe.

“The partners target first production by 2030 and a phased build-out of production capacity with multiple production units,” the release states. “In the final build-out stage the project is envisaged to produce up to 10 million tons of clean ammonia per year.”

The land required for the project is under discussion with the Port of Corpus Christi Authority.

“This JSA complements other preliminary efforts to develop large-scale clean ammonia projects including the South Texas region.”

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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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CleanBay Renewables signs LOI for SPAC takeover

The proposed transaction values CleanBay, a producer of RNG, green hydrogen and controlled-release fertilizer, at $330m.

CleanBay Renewables, a producer of RNG, green hydrogen and controlled-release fertilizer, has signed a letter of intent for a potential business combination with NASDAQ-listed SPAC BurTech Acquisition Corp., according to a news release.

Under the terms of the letter, CleanBay’s existing equity holders would convert 100% of their equity into the combined public company. The proposed transaction values CleanBay at $330m. The BurTech trust account currently holds approximately $294m in cash.

“BurTech expects to announce additional details regarding the proposed business combination when a definitive merger agreement is executed in the second quarter of 2023,” the release states.

CleanBay’s process converts agricultural byproducts into fertilizer. CleanBay’s Chief Executive Officer Donal Buckley said in the release that the company is pursuing new facility developments for that purpose.

“We are excited to partner with CleanBay and believe that access to capital markets will enable CleanBay to commercialize and scale its proprietary and patented processes,” BurTech Chairman and CEO Shahal Khan said in the release. “CleanBay’s ‘shovel-ready projects’ present an attractive investment opportunity for existing and future shareholders.”

The release also highlights Maryland and California state policies to assist in financing such plants and produce RNG, hydrogen and natural fertilizer on an industrial scale.

“With nine identified facilities and eight potential future facilities in the pipeline, we believe that CleanBay will become a significant player in the North American RNG and natural fertilizer market,” Khan said.

According to CleanBay’s management, at full capacity, each CleanBay bioconversion facility can recycle more than 150,000 tons of poultry litter annually. By repurposing a potential source of excess nutrients, each facility can generate more than 750,000 MMBtus of sustainable RNG, 100,000 tons of natural, controlled-release fertilizer, and up to an estimated 1,000,000 tons of CO2 equivalent carbon credits that can be available for monetization in global carbon markets.

As an alternative to renewable natural gas, the facilities can also produce clean hydrogen at an estimated rate of 20,000 tons per year. CleanBay has accumulated proprietary intellectual property covering its conversion process to include trade secrets, a U.S. patent and pending patent applications in the U.S. and Europe.

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Cement plant being decarbonized by TotalEnergies and Holcim

TotalEnergies and Holcim in Belgium have signed an MOU to work on the decarbonization of a cement production facility in Obourg, Belgium.

TotalEnergies and Holcim in Belgium have signed an MOU to work on the decarbonization of a cement production facility in Obourg, Belgium, according to a news release.

Various energies and technologies will be assessed for the efficient capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) of around 1.3 million metric tons of CO2 per year.

The partnership will implement a new air-oxyfuel switchable kiln to capture and CO2 in the flue gases and TotalEnergies will use that CO2 for an e-fuel producing scheme and/or deposit it in geological storage in the North Sea.

“TotalEnergies will assess the development of renewable projects to power a new electrolyzer, which would generate the green hydrogen needed to produce e-fuels,” the release states. “This new renewable energy production capacity would also power Holcim’s new oxyfuel kiln, thus contributing to the decarbonization of the cement plant. Finally, the oxygen emitted by the electrolyzer would be used to fuel the new kiln.”

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Low-carbon tech company targeting hydrogen at 35 cents per kilogram

A North Carolina net-zero solutions company has plans to raise capital and is scouting for a location in the US Gulf Coast for its first clean hydrogen production facility.

8 Rivers Capital, the North Carolina net zero solutions company and technology commercialization platform, will need to raise capital and is scouting for a location in the US Gulf Coast for its first clean hydrogen production facility, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder Bill Brown said on the sidelines of CERAWeek in Houston.

Brown declined to elaborate on the capital raise, but said he is well connected to finance from previous roles he held at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The company received a $100m investment from South Korea-based SK Group last March.

8 Rivers has technology for power generation, hydrogen production, gas processing, and direct air capture. Through its involvement with affiliate Net Power, 8 Rivers has developed the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle, a power cycle that uses the oxy-combustion of carbon-based fuels and a high-pressure CO2 fluid in a highly recuperated cycle that captures emissions. Net Power was recently acquired in a SPAC deal with Rice Acquisition Corp. II, which valued the company at $1.459bn.

In hydrogen, 8 Rivers has developed 8RH2, a process to make hydrogen from natural gas that produces lower emissions and higher efficiencies, according to its website.

8 Rivers announced in November that it signed an MoU with Japan-based JX Nippon to evaluate the US Gulf Coast for “commercial-scale deployment of 8 Rivers technologies across ammonia and other net-zero projects, including potential projects using CO2-rich natural gas.”

Hydrogen at 35 cents?

Brown isn’t too concerned with the source, or color, of hydrogen. He’s much more concerned with the price per kilo, and says his goal is to make low or zero-carbon-intensity hydrogen without concern for its provenance.

“If we can get hydrogen at 35 cents, you would never build a new power plant, because you’ve got hydrogen cheap enough to use a traditional hydrogen turbine,” Brown said. “I can make the cheapest hydrogen from methane, or coal for that matter. I can’t make it from electricity without subsidy.”

Hydrogen at 35 cents is USD 3 per MMBtu, making it competitive with gas.

“One-dollar hydrogen, to me, is worthless,” he said. “Let’s face it, right now, we have one-dollar hydrogen in the world, not clean, but we have seen the full demand already.”

“8 Rivers does not want to be the company that says ‘here, take my technology,’” Brown said. “8 Rivers wants to be the company that says ‘come to us and we will give you the cheapest hydrogen and we’re agnostic as to where it came from, but we can tell you it’s green.’”

Target markets include customers that are blending hydrogen, Brown said. With USD 50bn of hydrogen assets already deployed in the US, he’s not concerned about offtake.

“It’s the system,” Brown said. “The system is the offtake.”

For ammonia, island nations in transition, commercial shipping and coal replacement all present large potential markets, Brown said. If ammonia can be produced at USD 100 per ton, it will be more competitive than coal as an export fuel.

But Brown is adamant that hydrogen blending in existing infrastructure presents the best and most immediate use for hydrogen.

“All it takes is offtake,” Brown said. “The easiest thing to do with hydrogen is not converting it to ammonia to ship it overseas with some supply contract, the easiest thing to do is put it in a pipeline.”

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See all 79 DOE hydrogen hub applicants

The list, obtained by this publication, shows whether projects were ‘encouraged’ or ‘discouraged’ to submit a final application.

The complete list of 79 applicants to the US Department of Energy’s hydrogen hub funding opportunity includes previously unreported projects from oil majors and renewable energy giants.

The list, obtained by this publication via a FOIA request, shows whether or not projects were ‘encouraged’ or ‘discouraged’ by the DOE to submit a final application before the April 7, 2023 deadline. The program is expected to offer $8bn in federal funding for six to 10 clean hydrogen hubs, with no single project receiving more than $1.25bn. A decision of funding recipients is expected this fall.

Over nearly nine months, the DOE FOIA office was unwilling to send information about the initial 79 applications that were submitted last year, citing confidential materials in the concept papers. The resulting list is therefore scant in details, showing only the name of the project and the lead entity.

While many of the concepts have been publicly announced by proponents, several major projects that have not been reported previously appear on the list: among others, ExxonMobil was encouraged to apply for funding for a project called “Hydrogen Liftoff Hub”; and NextEra has a “Southeast Hydrogen Network” project, which was also encouraged to apply.

The full list of project names and proponents has been added to The Hydrogen Source’s project database, which now showcases over 370 projects in North America, including hydrogen, ammonia, and sustainable aviation fuel as well as eFuels, carbon capture, direct air capture, and more.

The full database is available only to paid subscribers. Simply click over to the database and select the “DOE applicants” filter for the full list.

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New clean fuels firm takes first external financing

A clean fuels startup aiming to provide turnkey decarbonization solutions will be in the market for additional capital shortly.

Elemental Clean Fuels has closed on its first round of external financing from investors Piney Point Capital and Fusion Fuel Green plc, according to a company spokesperson.

The money will be used to build out the company’s pipeline and add new projects, which it plans to develop, own and operate. Clean fuels would be produced from renewables via electrolysis, followed by storage and transportation solutions, according to the company’s website.

Capital investment provided by Piney Point will be utilized by ECF to further develop its existing decarbonization portfolio in North America, as well as to expand its internal capabilities and add additional project assets (including the projects contributed by Fusion Fuel), according to a news release.

ECF is a business venture of CEO Zach Steele and CFO Jason Baran, former executives of Fusion Fuel who have executed and managed over $3bn in development projects in North America. They are joined by CDO Jeff Crone, a former vice president of engineering and construction services at Buckeye Partners.

In parallel, Fusion Fuel has also entered into a strategic technology partnership with Elemental, granting Fusion Fuel the right to bid on all PEM-based green hydrogen projects in Elemental’s North American pipeline for a period of three years, according to a release from Fusion Fuel.

Elemental has approximately 40 MW in pre-feasibility projects within its pipeline and is currently collaborating with Fusion Fuel on a feasibility study for a 2 MW green hydrogen project for a state utility to be delivered in 2024. This partnership will provide Fusion Fuel with exposure to the emerging North American green hydrogen market, whilst enabling the company to focus its near-term commercial efforts on the Iberian Peninsula and Northern Europe.

“We are extremely excited to have Piney Point as a partner as we progress our mission to drive growth in the emerging clean fuels market,” said Steele. “With investments in a broad range of companies across the energy transition, they are uniquely positioned to provide strategic partnerships and additional access across the value chain to drive scale.  Piney Point’s investment and expertise will accelerate the growth of our Company in the mobility and heavy industry sectors throughout North America.  We are also excited and optimistic about continued collaboration with Fusion Fuel going forward.”

“As investors, Piney Point Capital recognizes the immense potential of ECF in revolutionizing the clean fuel landscape. We believe in the vision and capabilities of the ECF team, and we are committed to supporting their mission to accelerate decarbonization through innovative projects and strategic partnerships across North America,” said Mike Keough, managing partner Piney Point Capital, a subsidiary of Racon Capital.

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