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Hexagon Purus opens new hydrogen cylinder manufacturing facility in Maryland

The 60,000 square foot facility will support the annual production of up to 10,000 cylinders for heavy duty vehicle applications.

Hexagon Purus has opened a new manufacturing facility for hydrogen Type 4 composite cylinders in Westminster, MD.

The 60,000 square foot facility will support the annual production of up to 10,000 cylinders for heavy duty vehicle applications and will employ up to 150 skilled workers, according to a news release.

The new facility expands cylinder production capabilities and capacity and allows for further expansion by adding additional production equipment as demand for hydrogen storage cylinders continues to grow.

The company is a provider of hydrogen Type 4 high-pressure cylinders and systems, battery systems and vehicle integration solutions for fuel cell electric and battery electric vehicles. Hexagon Purus’ products are used in a variety of applications including light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, buses, ground storage, distribution, refueling, maritime, rail and aerospace.

“We are currently providing hydrogen storage solutions for several heavy-duty trucking and transit bus OEMs such as Nikola, Hino and New Flyer, that demand the highest standards. This site will serve a dual role, not only as a top-of-the-line production site but also a technical center of excellence, providing engineering, research, and development for Hexagon Purus Group,” says Michael Kleschinski, EVP at Hexagon Purus.

As part of the Group’s overall capacity expansion program, Hexagon Purus is relocating its current operation in Taneytown, MD where it has been based since 2003. The Taneytown facility produces 1,200 cylinders annually and employs 50 people.

“Deciding on the site for this world class facility was an easy choice. Maryland continues to evolve and grow, allowing us to attract top talent in all areas of our organization”, says Jim Harris, managing director at Hexagon Purus in Westminster.

“As the nation looks to continue their growth in alternative energy, I am thrilled to have Hexagon Purus, a company focused on clean energy solutions through hydrogen and battery systems located in Westminster, MD. Not only will we benefit from their innovation, we will also benefit from their economic development and jobs which they will bring to the city,” says The Mayor of the City of Westminster, Mona Becker.

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IFM acquires majority interest in South Carolina RNG firm

IFM Investors has acquired a majority interest in GreenGasUSA, a South Carolina-based developer, owner and operator of renewable natural gas assets.

IFM Investors via the IFM Net Zero Infrastructure Fund (NZIF) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in GreenGasUSA (GreenGas), a US-based renewable natural gas (RNG) developer, owner and operator, according to a news release.

GreenGas is a fully integrated renewables platform headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina with a track record of originating, developing and operating RNG projects. The company utilizes mature technologies to capture, purify and transport biogas from existing organic waste streams for its end use as pipeline quality RNG. GreenGas sells the RNG and associated environmental attributes under long-term offtake contracts with investment grade commercial & industrial customers, such as Mercedes-Benz, Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Duke University.

RNG projects operated by GreenGas can deliver significant emission reductions from waste streams by capturing methane, which has a 25 times more harmful impact on atmospheric warming than CO2 per the Environmental Protection Agency, demonstrating strong alignment with the net zero energy transition.

CEO and Founder Marc Fetten will continue to lead GreenGas alongside the existing management team. The acquisition marks a significant milestone for the company and secures long-term investment capital to expand its footprint of renewable natural gas projects and continue delivering on its mission to help food processors, farmers and industrial manufacturers capture greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.

“Our new partner IFM will be investing in GreenGas as a platform to meet the growing demand for renewable energy solutions across the United States,” said Fetten. “Our projects not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but help RNG buyers decarbonize their energy intensive operations. We look forward to working with IFM to grow the platform.”

Launched in 2022, IFM NZIF is an open-ended fund targeting essential infrastructure assets that seek to accelerate the world’s transition to a net-zero emissions economy. GreenGas represents NZIF’s first investment in the low carbon fuels sector, a core target sector of the fund.

“We are excited to welcome GreenGas into the IFM NZIF portfolio and support its next phase of growth,” said Kyle Mangini, global head of infrastructure at IFM Investors. “RNG projects operated by GreenGas can deliver significant emissions reductions, which is well aligned with IFM’s net zero commitments and our purpose to protect & grow the long-term retirement savings of working people.”

Transaction close is targeted for Q1 2023 and subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Marathon Capital, LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to GreenGas on the transaction.

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Certarus to supply Michigan gas plant with hydrogen

Over a two-week test, Certarus’ mobile energy distribution platform supplied 1,000+ kilograms of hydrogen at blend rates up to 25%.

Certarus, the Calgary-based on-road low carbon energy solutions, has been selected by WEC Energy Group to supply hydrogen and blending equipment to the A.J. Mihm natural gas-fired power plant near Pelkie, Michigan, according to a press release.

WEC is joined by partners Wärtsilä Corp., Mostardi Platt, the Electric Power Research Institute, and EPC firm Burns & McDonnell.

Over the course of a two-week test, Certarus’ mobile energy distribution platform successfully supplied more than 1,000 kilograms of hydrogen at blend rates up to 25% in an 18 MW Wärtsilä natural gas engine.

During that test, the hydrogen blend generated efficient power to support full engine capacity and produced fewer carbon dioxide and methane emissions compared to natural gas.

EPRI supported the development of the project and led the technical implementation. That company will share a complete analysis of the project in early 2023.

Certarus has supported more than 20 hydrogen customers to date.

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Heliogen rejects cash offer from Continuum Renewables

An offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Heliogen for cash consideration of $0.40 per share was rejected by the company’s board of directors.

Heliogen has rejected the unsolicited, non-binding proposal it received from Continuum Renewables to acquire all its outstanding shares of common stock for $0.40 per share, according to a news release.

“After careful consideration and consultation with legal and financial advisors, the Board concluded that the non-binding proposal substantially undervalues Heliogen,” the release states. “In fact, the proposal would result in an implied equity value for Heliogen common stockholders that is materially below Heliogen’s available liquidity.”

The company’s board concluded that the proposal is subject to material contingencies, including CRI obtaining financing, the release states

“The Board remains fully committed to Heliogen’s management team and its strategic priorities of increasing sales, installing commercial projects and improving the Company’s financial position,” Julie Kane, chair of the board, said in the release. “We strongly believe that our new leadership’s execution of this dynamic plan is the best way to drive sustainable long-term value creation for all stockholders and is a superior path compared to CRI’s opportunistic proposal.”

Late last year Heliogen received notice from the New York Stock Exchange that the average closing price of its common stock over the prior consecutive 30 trading-day period was below $1.00 per share, which is the minimum average share price for continued listing on the NYSE. The company’s stock was trading at $0.29 at close of business on Monday.

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US salt cavern developer selling hydrogen storage project

A US-based developer of salt cavern projects for hydrogen storage has retained a financial advisor to sell its first project and is informally seeking an equity investor.

Phoenix Hydrogen, a salt cavern storage developer based in Berkeley, California, has hired a financial advisor to run a sale of its primary project in Arizona, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Scotiabank is leading the process, which will launch next week, the sources said. The sale is for 100% of the company’s first project near Kingman, Arizona. The project is expected to reach FID in the next 18 months.

Phoenix CEO Shawn Drost said in an interview that the company is informally seeking a platform equity investment as well but is only willing to take on a minority partner. An equity sale would need to raise an amount in the “low-tens” of millions, he said. It’s a difficult proposition, as equity providers in the space tend to demand majority positions.

The company wants to bankroll projects from beginning to end as an owner operator, he said, but requires capital to do so.

Phoenix, a six-person team, has a relationship with GHD Group for EPC, he said. The company is seeking relationships with production-side developers to sign site and storage leases.

Scotiabank did not respond to requests for comment.

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Exclusive: Mississippi green hydrogen developer assembling banks for debt raise

The developer of a potentially massive network of green hydrogen production, transport and salt cavern storage — estimated to cost billions — is seeking banks to support a project debt raise.

Hy Stor, the developer of hydrogen generation and salt cavern storage, is currently raising “billions” in project finance for the first phase of its home state hub in Mississippi, Chief Commercial Officer Claire Behar said in an interview.

The first phase is expected to enter commercial service in 2026, guided by customers, Behar said.

Connor Clark & Lunn are equity partners in the Mississippi hub and is helping Hy Stor with its debt raise. Hy Stor is working with King & Spalding as legal advisor.

“We are already seeking banks and lining up our needed debt,” Behar said. She declined to say a precise amount the company will raise but said it will be in the billions.

Hy Stor plans to soon announce their renewable development partner to build dedicated off grid renewables, Behar said. The same is true for offtake in non-intermittent 24-hour industries like steel, plastic and fertilizer manufacturing.

“The customers are willing to pay that twenty-to-thirty percent premium that the market would need,” Behar said. “The business case is there.”

When asked if traditionally carbon intensive industrial manufacturing interests were actively seeking to co-locate with Hy Stor in Mississippi, Behar said the company has been advancing those agreements and hopes to have announcements soon. 
There is evidence of this type of activity in the state. Recently American steel manufacturer Steel Dynamics announced Columbus, Mississippi as the location of its upcoming aluminum flat rolled millwith a focus on decarbonization. Job postings for engineering roles at a separate facility detail plans to convert biomass into a direct carbon replacement suitable for steelmaking. 

Hy Stor hopes to have announcements in the coming weeks about a co-location opportunity, she added. Both domestic and international strategics are interested in the geology offering co-located salt cavern storage and geography offering river and deepwater port logistics networks, as well as highway and rail corridors.

Off-grid renewable generation means the company is not at the mercy of transmission interconnection queues. It also offers reliability because the lack of grid adage helps guarantee performance, and affordability because the company doesn’t have to pay utility rates, Behar said. Additionally, the electricity is decoupled from the grid and therefore absolutely decoupled from fossil fuels, which is important to Hy Stor’s prospective offtakers.

“This is what customers are demanding,” Behar said, adding that first movers are highly dedicated to decarbonization, needing quantitative accounting for all scope emissions, driven often by pressure from their customers.

The company has received a permit to take 11,000 gallons per minute of unpotable water from the Leaf River in Mississippi, Behar said, and is also looking at in-house wastewater treatment and water recycling.

Don’t go after gray users

Behar said the concept that users of gray hydrogen are the first targets for green hydrogen developers is misguided.

“The refineries, the petrochemicals, for them hydrogen is an end product already used within their system,” Behar said. “Those are not going to be the first users that are going to pay us a premium for that zero carbon.”

Hy Stor is instead focusing on new greenfield facilities that can co-locate.

“We’ve purposefully outsized our acreage,” she said of the 70,000 acres the company has purchased outside of Jackson, Mississippi, the Mississippi River Corridor, and the state’s southern deepwater ports in Gulfport and Port Bienville. New industrial projects can co-locate and have direct access to the salt cavern storge.

Looking forward the company’s acreage and seven salt domes mean they are not constrained by storage, Behar said. At each location, the company can develop tens and hundreds of caverns.

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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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