Resource logo with tagline

Hydrogen/SAF plant advancing at Pittsburgh International Airport

KeyState Energy, CNX Resources, and Pittsburgh International Airport are collaborating on an integrated facility producing hydrogen solely, reaching up to 68,000 mtpa, or SAF exclusively, up to 70m gallons per year.

KeyState Energy, CNX Resources, and Pittsburgh International Airport are collaboration to accelerate regional and national hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel development, according to a news release.

The integrated facility on airport property can produce hydrogen solely, reaching up to 68,000 mtpa, or SAF exclusively, up to 70m gallons per year. The plant will offer the flexibility to produce both products simultaneously at lower varying individual volumes and customize production to meet specific demands.

Building upon CNX and PIT’s previously announced alternative fuel strategy in 2022, this initiative supports the national goal of significantly reducing hard-to-abate sectors’ emissions by 2030, positioning the region as a key player in the hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel industries.

KeyState and CNX recently signed a Letter of Intent to advance the approximately $1.5bn project if the US Department of Treasury enables a pathway for ultra-low carbon intensity fugitive coal mine methane (CMM) under the 45V Hydrogen Production Tax Credit.

The partners are evaluating several potential market targets for the usage of SAF in the aviation industry and clean hydrogen for local heavy trucks and equipment, and power generation, among other applications for hard-to-abate sectors of the economy.

Unlock this article

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

You might also like...

Technip and Casale to jointly offer blue hydrogen technology

The companies will offer a process design package, equipment, and entire plants using oxidative reforming, autothermal reforming, and partial oxidation technologies.

Technip Energies (PARIS: TE) and Casale announce a new partnership to jointly license oxidative reforming-based technologies; autothermal reforming (ATR) and partial oxidation (POx) technologies for the blue hydrogen market, according to a news release.

ATR is a process to produce syngas that contains hydrogen, CO and CO2. It becomes cost-effective for low-carbon hydrogen when combined with carbon capture technology and suitable for larger-scale facilities.

As part of this collaboration, Technip Energies and Casale will be co-licensors of the technology and will offer Process Design Package (PDP), proprietary equipment and entire plants. In order to decarbonize hydrogen facilities, the ATR-based solution could achieve up to 99% of carbon capture rate.

Technip Energies’ two centers of excellence for hydrogen, Claremont CA, US and Zoetermeer, NL, will jointly execute with Casale PDP for ATR-based blue hydrogen projects.

Loic Chapuis, SVP gas & low carbon energies of Technip Energies, commented: “We are excited to announce this partnership with Casale, which will allow us to offer cutting-edge ATR-based solutions for the blue hydrogen market. By leveraging our global leadership in hydrogen, having delivered more than 30% of the installed capacity worldwide, with our combined proprietary technologies, we are confident that we can provide advanced and cost-effective solutions that will meet the needs of our customers. ATR-based solutions will be complementary to T.EN’s proprietary SMR-based solutions, allowing us to offer a complete range of solutions in the low-carbon hydrogen market. We look forward to working with Casale to drive innovation and decarbonize hydrogen production at scale.”

Federico Zardi, CEO of Casale SA, said: “We are delighted to enter this partnership with Technip Energies, a global leader in hydrogen plants. This partnership can provide the market with advanced solutions for the decarbonization of the world, leveraging our long history of developing and applying advanced ATR and POx technologies with several ATR-based mega production units already delivered, in combination with Technip Energies’ technological expertise in the hydrogen field.”

Read More »

House budget bill would repeal clean energy incentives

The Republican budget bill unveiled Wednesday would repeal recently established tax incentives for clean hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel, among others.

A Republican-led bill introduced in the US House of Representatives would repeal clean energy incentives passed into law as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, according to the text of the bill.

The legislation, unveiled Wednesday by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, would repeal credits for clean hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuel and clean fuel, advanced manufacturing, and clean electricity investment and production, among others.

“Congress should not waste time or energy on political messaging bills that do not advance the national interest,” said American Clean Power Association CEO Jason Grumet in response to the plan. “The American Clean Power Association is interested in working with Republicans and Democrats on permitting reform, energy security, and the real challenges facing the energy sector and our economy.”

The White House budget office also issued a statement in opposition to the bill, noting that it “would repeal tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act that are leading to hundreds of billions of dollars in private sector investment in the United States and thousands of jobs.”

Read More »

Southwest Airlines acquires SAFFiRE Renewables

Southwest transitions from investor to sole owner of SAFFiRE, a developer of sustainable aviation fuel from ethanol.

Southwest Airlines Co. has acquired SAFFiRE Renewables, LLC as part of the investment portfolio of its wholly owned subsidiary Southwest Airlines Renewable Ventures, LLC (SARV).

SARV is dedicated to creating more opportunities for Southwest® to obtain scalable sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), according to a news release.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

SAFFiRE is part of a project supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and produce scalable renewable ethanol that can be upgraded into SAF. SAFFiRE expects to utilize technology developed at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to convert corn stover, a widely available agricultural residue feedstock in the U.S., into renewable ethanol.

“This acquisition marks Southwest’s transition from investor to sole owner of SAFFiRE, expressing our confidence in SAFFiRE’s technology and its potential to advance our sustainability goals as well as the goals of the broader industry,” said Bob Jordan, President & CEO of Southwest Airlines. “Championing SAF is a key pillar of Southwest’s Nonstop to Net Zero plan and our work toward a more sustainable future for air travel. We look forward to continuing our journey with SAFFiRE as part of our efforts to propel this promising technology forward.”

Southwest first invested in SAFFiRE during phase one of the pilot project in 2022. With this acquisition, SAFFiRE is expected to proceed with phase two of the project by developing a pilot plant hosted at Conestoga’s Arkalon Energy ethanol facility in Liberal, Kansas. Initially, this plant is intended to utilize SAFFiRE’s exclusive technology license from NREL to process 10 tons of corn stover per day for the production of renewable ethanol. Then, the plan is for the ethanol to be converted into SAF by LanzaJet, Inc. (LanzaJet).

“Renewable ethanol is an important feedstock to realizing high-volume, affordable SAF, which is a critical part of the journey to net zero carbon emissions,” said Tom Nealon, President of SARV and CEO of SAFFiRE. “We are enthusiastic about the ethanol-to-SAF pathway and SAFFiRE’s potential ability to produce renewable ethanol at a scale that is economically viable.”

The acquisition of SAFFiRE comes shortly after Southwest announced an investment in LanzaJet, a SAF technology provider and producer with a patented ethanol-to-SAF technology and the world’s first ethanol-to-SAF commercial plant.

Read More »

Exclusive: Australian fuels producer looking for US development partners

An Australian fuels producer and concentrated solar power developer partnered with German and US fossil interests is developing its first US clean fuels project in Texas, and is looking for development partners with eyes on the greater southwest.

Vast Energy, the Australia-based and NASDAQ-listed concentrated solar power (CSP) developer and fuels producer, is in the early stages of developing a project near El Paso, Texas – the company’s first in the US – and is seeking US development partners to generate a pipeline of projects throughout the country, CEO Craig Wood said in an interview.

Vast is in process with two projects in Port Augusta, South Australia: VS1, a 30 MW solar/8 MWh storage plant, and SM1, a demonstration solar-to-methanol plant co-located with VS1, producing up to 7,500 mtpa of green methanol from VS1 electricity and heat with extra power available on the grid.

VS1 is scheduled for FID in 3Q24 with FID on SM1 coming the following quarter, Wood said.

Vast recently announced funding agreements with German partner Mabanaft for up to AUD $40m for SM1, after the SM1 project was selected last year as a part of the German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator (HyGATE).

Methanol from the $80m SM1 will in part be exported to Germany. Vast is also working with EDF to provide additional financing, Wood said.

“Essentially it’s going to be debt free and on balance sheet,” Wood said.

German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd recently signed an MOU with Mabanaft to explore options for the supply of ammonia as bunker fuel to Hapag-Lloyd in the Port of Houston.

US opportunity

In the US, where Vast listed to be primed for opportunistic growth, the company has a shortlist of locations around El Paso, has engaged with regional economic development leaders, and held early talks with EPC providers, Wood said.

The El Paso project is being developed in conjunction with Houston-based oil and gas drilling business Nabors Industries, Wood said. Nabors backed the SPAC that took Vast public at a valuation of up to $586m in early 2023. Its current market cap is $64m.

There are ongoing discussions on whether to produce eSAF or methanol in El Paso, Wood said.

To produce eSAF, Vast would use a solid-oxide electrolyzer coupled with the Fischer-Tropsch process, Wood said. Meanwhile, the methanol distillation process lends itself well to Vast’s ability to produce low-cost heat.

CSP has a lower level of embedded carbon than any renewables technology other than wind, Wood said.

“The work that we have done to date indicated that you would most likely power an eFuels project with a CSP plant that was configured to operate in the day and night,” Wood said.

As for project costs, envisioning a project producing some 200 million liters per annum, roughly $3bn would be needed for the power station, and then half that for the infrastructure to make the fuels.

Preliminary offtake for the El Paso project is going to be critical for attracting investment, Wood said. Offtake will depend on the type of fuel produced, though conversations are ongoing with shipping companies (methanol) and airlines (eSAF).

“We’re not expecting to have any problem placing the product,” Wood said. Offtake would likely be targeted for the Port of Los Angeles, LAX airport, the ports of the Gulf Coast, or Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Development of CSP makes sense anywhere climate is sunny and hot, Wood said. The company could logically expand into more of West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California.

The region around Farmington, New Mexico is particularly attractive for CSP development, Wood said. As a huge amount of coal-fired capacity in that area is retired, those interconnections, workforces and resources are ripe for repowering.

The turbines that one of those coal fired power stations would have is the same turbine at the core of Vast’s technology, Wood said. One difference is that Vast’s can be turned on and off quickly.

Development partnerships 

There is an opportunity for Vast to find a development partner, or partners, to stand up a pipeline of projects in two to three years’ time, Wood said.

“Almost everyone wants to wait until our project in Port Augusta reaches COD,” Wood said. “But we don’t want to wait that long to be developing projects in the US.”

Vast is capable of building CSP plants, which can be configured to operate in the day and night, co-located with existing larger-scale solar pv to provide additional generation and, critically, storage, Wood said. By directing sunlight to receivers and heating molten salt, CSP can store energy for 12-to-20 hours overnight to alleviate solar pv’s intermittency issues.

“Coming along and essentially retrofitting complementary CSP next to those [pv plants], we think is a very sensible way to go, both in terms of shared cost but also in terms of managing incremental transmission build,” Wood said. “We’re looking for people we can have conversations with.”

Read More »
exclusive

US hydrogen and LNG developer raising capital

A Texas-based project developer is conducting a development capital raise for a flagship LNG and green hydrogen project in the Northeast.

New Energy Development Company, a Katy, Texas-based developer with offices in Boston, Texas, is raising between $5m and $8m for an LNG liquefaction, storage and re-gasification facility with additional green hydrogen production and storage, Partner Scott Shields said in an interview.

The company is not using a financial advisor, Shields said, noting that a larger second round capital raise will likely start near the beginning of 2024.

New Energy has secured a brownfield site for a peak-shaving LNG facility in New England with 2 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and 50 MW of solar pv, Shields said. Also planned is an expandable 40 MW PEM electrolyzer line.

He declined to name the state in which the project is located, adding that the company is trying to put a strong support system and marketing plan in place before the location is made public.

The proceeds of the capital raise will go in part to hiring local lawyers and engineering and design work (pre-FEED and FEED), through to FID, Shields said. The project will be built in two phases, Phase 1 being the LNG component and Phase 2 focusing on green hydrogen.

The LNG facility will be the offtaker for the hydrogen, which will run the plant when the solar is insufficient. Through an open season process New Energy has identified five investment grade offtakers for the LNG.

Ramping capex

“We’ve been self-funding up until now,” Shields said of New Energy, which has also put capital and development resources into half-a-dozen other projects around the country.

It’s time for a ramp up in capital expenditures and New Energy is in discussions with strategic and private equity providers, Shields said, noting that the company would prefer the former. Discussions include options to fund just the flagship project, as well as platform equity.

Shields noted that he has investment banking experience and that New Energy Managing Partner Alexander “Hap” Ellis serves as chairman of Old Westbury Funds and the George and Barbara Bush Foundation.

New Energy has partnered with McDermott International to develop patented GreenER hydrogen facilities, a modular, expandable hydrogen facility that can produce 24,000 kg per day (2,760 MMBtu) of renewable hydrogen. The companies in 2021 completed engineering deliverables for multiple designs which are marketed as ideal for grid-scale blending with natural gas pipelines, blending for existing or new power generating facilities and storage injection into salt caverns and above ground storage tanks.

The company has also combined GreenER LNG and hydrogen production and storage plants into an integrated energy hub, capable of producing an additional 200,000 MMBtu of LNG.

New Energy recently hired Chico DaFonte, formerly a vice president at Liberty Utilities, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power, as executive vice president working on LNG and hydrogen projects.

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 »

Welcome Back

Get Started

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