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Exclusive: North Dakota blue ammonia project kicking off FEED study

Catalyst Midstream is set to launch a FEED study for a 1 million ton blue ammonia facility in Berthold, North Dakota, with expected offtake in the Asia-Pacific marketplace. The project has not been previously announced or reported.

Catalyst Midstream is set to launch a FEED study for a blue ammonia facility in North Dakota that will produce over 1 million tons per year for export.

The project, which has not been reported previously, applied for a $10m North Dakota Clean Sustainable Energy Authority grant for the construction of a blue ammonia facility in Berthold, North Dakota. That’s in addition to $37.5m it requested from the North Dakota Development Fund’s Fertilizer Facility Loan Fund in September 2023.

The facility would be capable of producing 1,080,000 tons/year, using approximately 120,000 mcf gas/day.

Total project cost, according to the grant application, would be $960m.

As of September 2023, Catalyst Midstream was under contract to purchase a 330-acre rail loading facility for the project and had invested $15m in key project asset purchase and early project design work.

In February 2024, Catalyst Midstream employed Windom Peak Corporation to design, construct and operate the 2.4 million tonne per year CO2 sequestration part of the project.

Catalyst Midstream is owned by Edward Neibauer, who has been in project development in the oil and gas industry for several decades. When reached for comment, Neibauer noted the project would soon be kicking off a FEED study.

He added that the project was nearing agreements with offtakers in the Asia-Pacific marketplace, and that he expects to raise debt and equity to fund construction of the facility.

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BayoTech hires VP of development

The new hire, Jack Hedge, will be responsible for leading the development of hydrogen projects in North America.

New Mexico-based BayoTech Hydrogen has hired Jack Hedge as its new vice president of hydrogen hub development, according to a press release.

Hedge will be responsible for leading the development of hydrogen projects in North America. He will lead a team that is developing relationships with host property managers, community stakeholders, regulators, and local government officials who are interested in decarbonization.

“BayoTech is on the verge of making hydrogen production local and hub development is how we achieve it,” said BayoTech President & CEO, Mo Vargas. “Jack has years of experience in developing and executing major projects for some of the most recognized ports in the nation. That experience paired with his dedication to clean energy projects is exactly why we thought he was the right person to lead this phase of growth. We are delighted to have Jack’s leadership, passion for making the world better and experience both as a developer and as a project host to support customers decarbonization goals and drive projects to completion.”

“I am excited to begin this next chapter and blend all my previous experience into something truly meaningful and impactful. Working with the team at BayoTech we will lead the way to truly “smart, sustainable and equitable” supply chains,” Hedge said in the release.

Prior to joining BayoTech, Jack served as president of Utah Inland Port Authority, where he was responsible for developing and building one of the nation’s leading sustainable intermodal logistics hubs. Jack has also worked as the director of cargo and industrial real estate for the Port of Los Angeles where he lead the development, leasing, and asset management functions of the largest container port complex in North America.

BayoTech last year agreed to a memorandum of understanding with Carbon Clean under which the two parties will work togeterh on a demonstration facility to evaluate, design, and operate a carbon capture plant at a BayoTech site in North America which is expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

Investors in BayoTech include Newlight Partners, Opal Fuels, Nutrien, The Yield Lab, Cottonwood Technology Fund, Sun Mountain Capital and Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc.

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Chevron to study ammonia carriers with Greek shipper

The initial study will evaluate the ammonia transportation market, existing infrastructure, safety aspects, potential next generation vessel requirements and a preliminary system to transport ammonia between the U.S. Gulf Coast and Europe.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiary Chevron Shipping Company LLC, and the Angelicoussis Group, through its Energy Transition division, Green Ships, announced a Joint Study Agreement (JSA) to explore how tankers can be used to transport ammonia, a potential lower carbon marine fuel, according to a news release.

The initial study will evaluate the ammonia transportation market, existing infrastructure, the safety aspects of ammonia, potential next generation vessel requirements and a preliminary system to transport ammonia between the U.S. Gulf Coast and Europe. Future opportunities will focus on additional global markets.

Ammonia is a carrier of hydrogen and is believed to have potential to lower the carbon intensity of the marine industry. Through the JSA, the Angelicoussis Group and Chevron aim to advance ammonia’s technical and commercial feasibility at scale, particularly as an export for petrochemicals, power, and mobility markets.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the Angelicoussis Group on this study, help advance lower carbon energy at scale and progress marine transportation of ammonia,” said Mark Ross, president of Chevron Shipping Company. “I’m proud of the collaboration between Chevron Shipping, Chevron New Energies and the Angelicoussis Group and look forward to driving progress toward our energy transition goals.”

“Global value chain solutions are critical for growing the hydrogen market, and we believe shipping will play a crucial role. Chevron is leveraging its international functional marine expertise and collaborating with the Angelicoussis Group to pursue the delivery of lower carbon proof points to the market,” said Austin Knight, Vice President, Hydrogen, Chevron New Energies.

“Through collaborating with Chevron Shipping Company on this study, we aim to make a meaningful contribution to prepare our industries for the transition towards lower carbon operations,” said Maria Angelicoussis, CEO of the Angelicoussis Group. “Combining our many years of experience in seaborne transport of liquid and gaseous energy sources with Chevron’s vast experience in the energy business provides a solid basis for this endeavor.”

“Ammonia has potential as a hydrogen vector and is considered one of the alternative fuel options to decarbonize shipping. We believe this study will contribute towards identifying the technical, operational and commercial challenges of carrying ammonia at scale and using it as a fuel in a safe and sustainable way,” said Stelios Troulis, green Ships and energy transition director for the Angelicoussis Group.

Chevron and the Angelicoussis Group have a long-standing relationship dating back to 2000. Since then, the partnership has grown from conventional vessels to include multiple LNG carriers, as well as joint work on energy transition initiatives. The teaming of Chevron Shipping, Chevron New Energies and the Angelicoussis Group on this study supports and accelerates both organizations’ ambitions to become leading, global clean energy providers by focusing on all aspects of the hydrogen supply chain.

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Marquis sells ethanol plant to United Cooperative

Ethanol producer Marquis has sold a 100 million gallon per year facility in Wisconsin to United Cooperative.

Illinois-based Marquis has sold its Necedah, Wisconsin ethanol facility to United Cooperative.

The facility, which has a production capacity of 100 million gallons of ethanol per year, will operate under the new name of United Energy Necedah. The asset sale will be effective May 31, 2024, according to a news release.

In addition to ethanol, the facility produces DDGs, high-protein animal feed, and corn oil.

“The purchase of Marquis’ Necedah ethanol plant aligns with our strategic initiative of investing in agriculture, opening new markets, and providing value-added products for our member-owners,” stated David Cramer, President and CEO of United Cooperative. “This type of diversification supports our mission, our local farmers, and the U.S. economy. Our investment also promotes our sustainability efforts by continuously improving the stewardship of the air, soil, and water, safeguarding our natural resources for generations to come.”

Mark Marquis, CEO of Marquis, said, “The sale of our Wisconsin facility aligns with our commitment to strategic growth in developing the world’s first carbon-neutral industrial complex in Hennepin, IL. We extend our sincerest gratitude to our valued grain customers, the supportive Necedah community, and to the incredible and talented team of employees at Marquis Energy Wisconsin for their hard work and dedication. We look forward to the continued success of United Energy Necedah LLC under the stewardship of United Cooperative.”

As part of the sale, Marquis will collaborate with United Cooperative to provide ongoing marketing and team support and looks forward to a prosperous future of working with the United Cooperative team.

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Ammonia-to-industrial heat provider raising early-stage capital

An early-stage technology provider targeting clients in hard-to-abate industries is engaging investors and financial advisors to raise a seed round, with sites on a Series A in 2025.

Captain Energy, a Houston-based provider of ammonia-to-industrial heat technology, is seeking strategic investors for an early-stage seed round with plans for an eventual Series A, co-founder and interim-CEO Kirk Coburn said in an interview.

The company is developing a single-step process that can create industrial heat from cracked ammonia up to 700 degrees Celsius with zero NOX emissions, with hydrogen as a byproduct, Coburn said. The process uses a ceramic-based tubular solid oxide fuel cell that Captain manufactures in Dundee, Scotland.

“The results from the testing are that we’re 85% efficient,” Coburn said.

He likened the company to Amogy, but serving steel, cement and chemicals instead of transportation. Getting the kind of high-quality heat those industries need in a clean way can only come from a few sources, he noted.
“Ammonia is one of the greatest ways to do it if you can crack it efficiently like we can,” he said.
Past lab

The company is “past the lab stage” and needs to develop a pilot product to showcase to customers, Coburn said. About $5m will get the company to a 100-kilogram-per-day product, up from 25 kilograms now.

“That’s not, probably, big enough for most customers, but we can stack them,” Coburn said. “At this point we need to demonstrate commercially the product… after showcasing it we want to make larger units.”

Captain is owned by three co-founders, including Coburn. They have an 18-month line of site on a “much larger” Series A, Coburn said.

Strategic investors that would be end users of the technology are of interest to the company, particularly in Asian and European markets.

“We’re not getting in the game of making ammonia,” Coburn said. “We have to buy green ammonia.”

The company’s model is at “grid-parity” in Europe now, Coburn said, pointing to Germany in particular.

“We think we’re almost at subsidy-free pricing,” he said.

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Exclusive: CO2-to-SAF tech firm in new capital raise

A technology company with a novel process to convert CO2 into fuels and chemicals is extending a capital raise that previously closed with inputs from several oil and airline majors.

OXCCU, the UK-based clean fuels production company, is extending a Series A raise it closed last year with an eye on growth in the US, CEO Andrew Symes told ReSource. 

The raise, characterized as a Series A2 by Symes, is being conducted in-house, he said. It builds on the GBP 18m (USD 22.7m) Series A it finished last year, led by Clean Energy Ventures.

Aramco, ENI and United Airlines are also among the company’s backers.

OXCCU, a spin out of Oxford University, plans to raise additional money to scale its catalytic process converting hydrogen and carbon dioxide into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and other products. A patent grant, filed in 2020, is anticipated this year.

“We don’t want to be the project developer, we want to license to the project developer,” Symes said of the company’s business model.

Fuel made combining carbon dioxide (captured from industry or power plants) with green or clean hydrogen will be cheaper based on OXCCU’s iron-catalyst process, Symes said, which requires one step instead of the traditional two-step process.

OXCCU is looking for partners to engage with on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) projects in the US, Symes said. This year the company will deliver a pilot plant in the US and plans to complete a 160 kilogram-per-day plant in Sheffield, UK in 2026.

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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.

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