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Fortescue and HTEC collaborating on GH2 offtake

Fortescue and HTEC are exploring building Canada’s first domestic green hydrogen supply chain co-located with an export facility in British Columbia.

Fortescue and Vancouver-based HTEC have signed an MOU to develop offtake opportunities for green hydrogen, according to a news release.

The deal will see Fortescue and HTEC work together to explore building Canada’s first domestic green hydrogen supply chain that is co-located with an export facility in British Columbia.

Fortescue is proposing the development of a green hydrogen and green ammonia production facility in Prince George. An Initial Project Description was filed with the BC Environmental Assessment Office in September 2023.

Under the terms of the MOU, HTEC would offtake green hydrogen from Fortescue’s site to facilitate the growth of the green hydrogen transportation market.

Specific details of the offtake commitments will be defined during the negotiation of definitive agreements and will be subject to the feasibility assessment and final investment decisions of both parties with respect to the production facility and HTEC’s hydrogen fueling station network in BC.

Both parties are working on local market development to maximize the domestic emissions reduction potential of the project. That work is aimed at securing strategic partnerships with utilities, heavy-industry, fleet operators, vehicle manufacturers, and technology providers.

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H2 Green Steel evaluating North American projects

Sweden’s H2 Green Steel is evaluating projects in North America in partnership with Vale.

Swedish green steel start-up H2 Green Steel is considering projects in North America through a joint feasibility study with Vale that would enable sustainable steel production.

The company said it would explore the potential to produce low-carbon steel value chain products like green hydrogen and hot briquetted iron in industrial centers in North America as well as Brazil.

H2 Green Steel yesterday closed on a €1.5bn equity private placement co-led by new investor Hy24, together with existing investors Altor, GIC and Just Climate. The transaction also includes new investors Andra AP - fonden and Temasek as well as a group of existing investors that continue to support H2 Green Steel with additional equity funding, including AMF, Cristina Stenbeck, Hitachi Energy, IMAS Foundation, Kinnevik, Schaeffler, Vargas and Wallenberg Investments holding company FAM.

The proceeds of that transaction will finance the construction and development of H2 Green Steel’s flagship large-scale green steel plant in Boden, Sweden. Groundworks have been ongoing on the site in Boden since summer 2022, and through this transaction H2 Green Steel takes another big leap towards start of operations end of 2025.

The plant will deliver steel with up to 95 percent less CO2 emissions compared to steel produced with traditional blast furnace technology. This is made possible by replacing coal in the production process with hydrogen, produced on-site with Europe’s largest electrolyzer, using electricity from renewable sources.

Since launch in 2021, H2 Green Steel has raised more than €1.8 billion of equity in three financing rounds. The company closed its series A equity round of €86 million in May 2021 and announced the close of its series B1 round of €260mn October 2022. On the debt side, H2 Green Steel announced in 2022 the structure for its debt financing of over €3.5 billion and renewed commitment letters in July 2023.

Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc acted as sole financial advisor to H2 Green Steel in the private placement.

In the green industrial hubs, Vale is expected to build and operate briquette plants, which will feed direct reduction reactors for the production of HBI and other metallics. The number of industrial hubs that will be built, their location and production capacity will be defined following feasibility studies to be developed jointly by the two companies.

In July, Vale and H2 Green Steel also signed an agreement to supply direct reduction pellets to the Boden plant. Vale expects to reach a production capacity of 100 million tons of agglomerates (briquettes and pellets) after 2030.

“We announced early on our journey that we want to explore other geographies where we can accelerate the decarbonization of the steel value chain. Both Brazil and parts of North America have great potential due to the access to both renewable energy sources, high quality iron ore, and political willingness to support decarbonization projects and it’s a great opportunity for us to explore our partnership with Vale beyond the pellet supply to our flagship plant in Boden,” said Kajsa Ryttberg-Wallgren, EVP growth and hydrogen business of H2 Green Steel, in a news release.

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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.

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GIC and Carlyle invest in green ammonia developer Eneus

Global investment firm Carlyle and GIC have invested in green ammonia developer Eneus Energy Limited

Global investment firm Carlyle and GIC have invested in green ammonia developer Eneus Energy Limited to support the development of a more than 14 GW pipeline, , according to a news release.

Founded in 2013, Eneus has industrial scale production plants in a global market for green ammonia and green hydrogen in the US ad the UK.

The comapny was advised by A. Brown + Company Ltd. and Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati. Carlyle and GIC were advised by Allen & Overy and Ashurst.

The capital will finance Eneus’s development of a portfolio of green ammonia projects globally.

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Green hydrogen developer in exclusivity with new investor

New York-based green hydrogen developer Ambient Fuels is in exclusivity with a new investor, with proceeds from the capital raise slated to fund project development and acquisitions.

Ambient Fuels, the New York-based green hydrogen developer, is in exclusivity with a new investor for a bilateral capital raise, CEO Jacob Susman said in an interview.

Susman declined to name the private equity provider but said the backing will allow Ambient to develop several projects, as well as acquire projects from other developers. The deal is proceeding without the help of a financial advisor.

Once the company reaches its run rate, Ambient plans to complete three to four projects per year costing $50m and up, Susman said, with the first expected to reach operation in 2025.

The company’s initial geographic focus is on the Gulf Coast, centered on the Port of Corpus Christi, Susman said. New York, California, the Pacific Northwest and traditional wind energy states in the Midwest and West are areas of additional work.

Hydrogen hubs

Ambient is closely following the DOE hydrogen hub applications process, Susman said. Which regions are awarded funding could make a difference for where the company locates new projects.

According to ReSource‘s project tracker, Ambient is involved in at least two of the hubs that were encouraged by the DOE to submit a final application: California’s Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), and the Port of Corpus Christi Green Hydrogen Hub.

In 2021 Ambient completed a funding round led by SJF Ventures. Several other VC funds and angel investors also participated.

Open for offtake business  

Ambient is looking for offtakers in industries that use the molecules for feedstock and energy but need to meet decarbonization targets.

The company is working to provide hydrogen as an industrial feedstock and energy source to sectors including transportation, oil and gas, mining, glass and steel production and automobile manufacturing. Supplying hydrogen for ammonia fertilizer is another target market.

Advisors with clients in those industries should reach out to Ambient, Susman said.

M&A strategy

Ambient strives to be a fully integrated devco with the resources, capital and expertise to take a project to fruition, Susman said. Projects developed by smaller companies can look to Ambient as a buyer for their projects.

“We want to be a home for those great projects that are being developed independently,” Susman said. “Absolutely we will be acquiring projects.”

Smaller developers with good projects could also be targets for takeover with the backing from the new investor, Susman said. The firm could also make a technology buy in software for project development, operations, or possibly the equipment side, though Susman said there’s a low probability of that.

Financial advisors that have leads on good projects Ambient can acquire are welcome to pitch, Susman said.

Susman said he is not in a hurry to exit Ambient and can see the company being independently financed for years to come.

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Methanol-to-hydrogen firm planning capital raise

An early-stage provider of distributed methanol-to-hydrogen solutions is planning a capital raise as it scales up.

Kaizen Clean Energy, a Houston-based methanol-to-hydrogen fuel company, is planning to raise additional capital in support of upcoming projects.

The company, which uses methanol and water to produce hydrogen with modular units, recently completed a funding round led by Balcor Companies, in which Balcor took a minority interest in Kaizen.

Additional funding in the capital raise was provided by friends and family, Kaizen co-founder and chief commercial officer Eric Smith said in an interview.

But with its sights on larger project opportunities this year, the company is already targeting an additional capital raise to support continued growth, Smith said. He declined to comment further on the capital raise and potential advisors, but noted that the company’s CFO, Craig Klaasmeyer, is a former Credit Suisse banker.

Kaizen’s methanol model utilizes a generator license from Element 1 and adds in systems to produce power or hydrogen, targeting the diesel generator market, EV charging and microgrids as well as hydrogen fueling and industrial uses.

Compared to trucking in hydrogen, the model using methanol, an abundant chemical, cuts costs by around 50%, Smith said, noting that Kaizen’s containers are at cost parity with diesel.

In addition, the Kaizen container is cleaner than alternatives, producing no nitric or sulfur oxide, according to Smith. Its carbon intensity score is 45, compared to 90 for the California electric grid and 100 for diesel generators.

Smith also touts a streamlined permitting process for Kaizen’s containerized product. The company recently received a letter of exemption for the container from a California air district due to low or no emissions. The product similarly does not require a California state permit and similarly, when off grid, no city permits are required, he added.

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Exclusive: Ambient Fuels options land in Texas

Ambient Fuels recently entered into an option agreement to purchase land in Texas. Among only a handful of green hydrogen developers to attract equity capital last year — from Generate Capital — Ambient has not yet made public announcements about its projects or locations. 

Ambient Fuels, a green hydrogen developer backed by Generate Capital, recently signed a 24-month option to purchase a plot of land in Chambers County, Texas, according to filings made with the clerk there.

A memorandum outlines the option to purchase land in Mont Belvieu, to the east of Houston. The agreement is effective as of October 2, according to the filing.

Ambient declined to comment.

According to the ReSource project tracker, Ambient has been involved in three Gulf Coast hydrogen hub efforts: The Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) hub; the Port of Corpus Christi Green Hydrogen Hub; and the Horizons Clean Hydrogen Hub (HCH2). ARCHES was selected for DOE funding.

ReSource reported in June that Ambient Fuels had begun to evaluate potential acquisitions of hydrogen projects that are under development.

In May, 2023, Generate Capital, a sustainable infrastructure investment and operating company, made an investment into Ambient, including a commitment to fund up to $250m of green hydrogen infrastructure.

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