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HydrogenPro to build 500 MW electrolyzer facility in Texas

The Norway-based company will spend between $30m - $50m on the facility.

HydrogenPro will take its first major step into the US market with the establishment of 500 MW manufacturing capacity in Texas, US, with an estimated total investment cost of $30m to $50m.

The brownfield investment includes a separate advanced electrode manufacturing facility, representing a technology game changer in the HydrogenPro solutions offering, according to a news release.

This move will increase HydrogenPro’s manufacturing capacity to 800 MW in total and represents a major milestone in establishing a global presence as part of the strategy to become #1 provider of large-scale green hydrogen technology & systems.

In the US, HydrogenPro has agreements in place with DG Fuels to supply green hydrogen technology with a capacity of approximately 1.7 GW to the Louisiana and Maine sustainable aviation fuel projects.

The new site is planned to have an initial capacity of 500 MW with the option to significantly scale up the capacity to several gigawatts in due time.

The US market is HydrogenPro’s top priority, and manufacturing capacity on this continent provides a fundamental platform to succeed with the announced growth ambitions. With this, HydrogenPro will take a market-leading position and become the only viable large-scale player providing high-pressure alkaline electrolyzer technology & systems, the news release states.

The company recently hired Tarjei Johansen as CEO. Johansen previously held senior roles at the Houston-based operations of Bureau Veritas, Kemira, and Schlumberger.

HydrogenPro has conducted an extensive strategic review of various US states to determine the most suitable location. All locations have been assessed based on several factors, incl. access to site and skilled workers, infrastructure, ease of sourcing raw materials, proximity to end-users and incentive programs offered by different states.

The US market has been served by HydrogenPro’s European sales team for some time, which has resulted in a significant pipeline of relevant and attractive projects already in progress. The US organization will be ramped-up in parallel with the manufacturing expansion.

“The US factory will be our bridgehead into the North American market. A key factor for us to become the leading provider of green hydrogen technology & systems is our presence across continents, securing sustainable and local supply chains,” said Johansen, adding: “We have great confidence in our technology & systems being an excellent fit for large-scale industrial applications, where we are now seeing an unprecedented increase in demand for green hydrogen following the IRA.”

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New renewable diesel plant transacts at $499m

Camber Energy, a NYSE-traded energy company, has reached a deal to acquire 100% of the interests in New Rise Renewables, the owner of a newly developed renewable diesel plant in Reno, Nevada.

Camber Energy, a NYSE-traded energy company, has reached a deal to acquire 100% of the interests in New Rise Renewables, the owner of a newly developed renewable diesel plant in Reno, Nevada.

The plant, which will produce 43,000,000 gallons per year (5,971,585 MMBTUs) of renewable diesel from triglyceride oils such as corn, was purchased for $499m, representing a purchase price of $750m less $251m of existing company liabilities, according to a securities filing. The seller is RESC Renewables Holdings, a predecessor company to Ryze Renewables, which developed the project.

The renewable diesel produced by New Rise Renewables Reno is completely interchangeable with diesel derived from petroleum and can efficiently power diesel engines, such as semi-trucks and large-scale emergency generators. Phillips 66 is under contract to supply all of the feedstock for New Rise Renewables Reno and will purchase 100% of the renewable diesel product for use and sale nearby in California.

The parties had reached a framework for the deal in late 2021, subject to purchase price adjustments and other closing conditions.

Reno-based Greater Commercial Lending (GCL) facilitated $112.6m in government-guaranteed credit for the development of New Rise Renewables Reno. Eighty percent of the GCL-arranged financing for New Rise Renewables Reno is guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) via its 9003 Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biodiesel Production Manufacturing Assistance Program. The financing structure includes participation by GCL parent Greater Nevada Credit Union, other credit unions, insurance companies and secondary market groups.

Renewable diesel is made by causing chemical reactions through the addition of hydrogen to the natural fats and oils. New Rise has deployed proven state-of-the-art efficient and cost-effective technology methods, which involves hydrogenating the triglycerides, according to an August news release. The process uses hydrogen, pressure, catalyst and heat in an efficient manner, allowing reactions to be uniform and controlled – increasing yield, lowering operating costs and allowing for feedstock flexibility.

The fuel plant is located in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, the largest industrial park in the world. Other occupants include Tesla, Walmart, Google, FedEx, Switch and Panasonic.

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Aemetis projects huge growth

Aemetis, a California-based RNG and renewable fuels producer, projects that it will generate $645m of adjusted EBITDA in 2028.

Aemetis, Inc., a renewable natural gas and renewable fuels company focused on negative carbon intensity products, has released an updated Aemetis five-year plan that projects the company will generate $1.95bn in revenues and $645m of adjusted EBITDA in year 2028.

The 2024 plan states revenues are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38%, and adjusted EBITDA is expected to grow at a projected compound annual growth rate of 83% for the years 2024 to 2028.

In the Aemetis 2024 Five Year Plan, the company’s revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth is expected from 75 dairies producing RNG by 2028; from a 90 million gallon per year sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel (SAF/RD) plant in Riverbank, California; from a CO2 Carbon Sequestration and Underground Storage (CCUS) well located near the Riverbank and Keyes biofuels plant sites in California; from the completion of solar, mechanical vapor recompression and other energy efficiency, carbon emission reduction, and electrification projects at our Keyes biofuels plant; and from the continued expansion of biodiesel and tallow refining production at the Aemetis plant in India. The presentation also describes the tax credits expected to be received by Aemetis from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for its renewable fuel and sequestration projects.

“Through the expansion of our RNG, biodiesel, SAF/RD, CCUS, and ethanol businesses, Aemetis is poised to rapidly grow revenue to almost $2 billion by the end of 2028,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis.  “Additionally, Aemetis closed $50 million of new USDA funding and received $55 million from the sale of IRA tax credits in the past year.  With strong financing support from the USDA for renewable fuels projects, the passage of the $380 billion Inflation Reduction Act to provide funding to renewable energy projects, and EPA approval allowing 15% ethanol blends in 49 states which expands the ethanol market by almost 50%, the regulatory and financial climate for renewable energy projects continues to support our overall growth plan,” added McAfee.

Significant milestones were achieved in the past year under the previous 2023 Five Year Plan, including the transition to receiving revenue and positive operational cash flow from the biogas-to-RNG upgrading facility and dairy digesters; receiving the Use Permit and CEQA approval for the SAF/RD plant at the Riverbank site; receiving the first private carbon sequestration characterization well drilling permit issued by the State of California; completing construction and commissioning of the 1.9 megawatt solar microgrid with battery backup; installing an Allen Bradley distributed control system with AI capabilities to optimize energy use and other operational performance of the Keyes ethanol plant; completing design engineering and are now procuring equipment for the Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) unit at the Keyes plant to utilize low carbon intensity electricity instead of fossil natural gas; completing deliveries of biodiesel to the Oil Marketing Companies in India under the first $40 million of contracts; and receiving awards for an additional $150 million of allocations from the three India government Oil Marketing Companies to be fulfilled using a Cost-Plus pricing formula.

Due to uncertainties regarding timing, the 2024 Plan does not include several other growth initiatives that are actively under development at Aemetis, including revenues and EBITDA from the planned operation of the 50 million gallon per year capacity, debt-free, India refined tallow plant.  The export of tallow from India to North America customers at approximately $4 to $5 per gallon for 50 million gallons per year, increasing revenues by up to $250 million per year, is excluded.  The 2024 Plan projections include using the refined tallow from India as a feedstock supply source for the operations of the SAF/RD plant under development in California to improve profit margins.

In addition to the $55 million received in Q4 2024 from the sale of transferable tax credits, the Inflation Reduction Act is expected to provide transferable investment and production tax credits to Aemetis related to our U.S. renewable fuels and CO2 sequestration projects, which are included in the 2024 Plan.

The Five Year Plan for Aemetis Dairy RNG operations projects revenues will grow from $18 million in 2024 to $190 million in 2028, while Dairy RNG project EBITDA is expected to expand from $7 million in 2024 to $123 million in 2028. The RNG plan accounts for the delays in receiving LCFS revenue that are caused by the current regulatory process to obtain LCFS pathway approvals for each dairy digester that may be shortened if pending regulatory changes are adopted by the California Air Resources Board.

The Five Year Plan projects that the Aemetis Sustainable Aviation Fuel and Renewable Diesel plant will provide revenue of $672 million with adjusted EBITDA of $195 million in year 2027 from the 90 million gallon plant that received the Use Permit and CEQA approval in September 2023 to be built at the 125-acre Riverbank Industrial Complex which has 100% renewable hydroelectricity; a rail line and storage for 120 railcars; 710,000 square feet of buildings; and 50 acres of developable industrial land.

In connection with the carbon reduction upgrades at the Keyes plant, expansions of the India biodiesel plant, and expanded market opportunities resulting from changes to governmental policies, the Five Year Plan projects that the Company will generate annual revenue from ethanol and biodiesel of approximately $826 million in 2028, up from $368 million of expected revenue in 2024.

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Yara Growth Ventures invests in electrolyzer start-up

Yara Growth Ventures has made an investment in Dynelectro, an electrolyzer start-up aiming to increase the lifetime of solid-oxide electrolysis systems.

Yara Growth Ventures has invested in Dynelectro, a developer of technologies to unlock the potential of solid oxide electrolysis (SOE), according to a news release.

Dynelectro’s approach increases the lifetime of SOE systems dramatically from typically 2 to 10 years, and it also allows for integration of SOE with intermittent renewable electricity – a key requirement for large scale adoption.

“While solid oxide electrolysis has the best potential for low cost, it suffers a niche existence due to system lifetime issues. We believe Dynelectro will overcome these issues and pave the way to make low-cost renewable hydrogen a reality,” said Björn Heinz, Investment Director and part of the Yara Growth Ventures team.

The investment follows the company’s seed investment round, which was led in May 2023 by The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO), Denmark’s national promotional bank and export credit agency, with contributions from Vsquared Ventures, a leading European deep-tech fund, and further local venture investors. The funding will be used for demonstration projects and further technology development.

Additional details of the investment were not disclosed.

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Renewable hydrogen developer in exclusivity with strategic investor

A renewable hydrogen developer based in the western US is reaching the final stages of a capital raise with an investor in exclusivity.

NovoHydrogen, the Colorado-based renewable hydrogen developer, is in exclusivity with clean energy investment platform Modern Energy, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

ReSource reported in February that GreenFront Energy Partners was advising the company on a Series A.

NovoHydrogen CEO Matt McMonagle said previously that the company has about 30 projects in development in the US, ranging from a few megawatts to hundreds of megawatts. Its most active markets are the West coast, Northeast, Appalachia, Texas and the Rocky Mountains, though the company is not geographically constrained.

The company aims to begin construction on its first projects by the end of this year, the executive had said.

NovoHydrogen declined to comment. GreenFront and Modern Energy did not respond to requests for comment.

Modern Energy, a certified B-Corporation, recently put $90m into net metered solar developer Industrial Sun along with partner EIG. In 2020 EIG committed USD 100m to Modern Energy through a debt facility to fund the development of clean energy assets.

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Pharma and fuels tech provider could be ready for public listing

International biotechnology firm Insilico Medicine is applying the algorithms that produce novel drugs to synthesizing more sustainable petrochemical fuels and materials.

Insilico Medicine, a global biotechnology firm serving the pharmaceutical and carbon-based energy industries, could be ready for a public listing in the next phase of its corporate evolution.

Insilico, founded in Baltimore and now based in Hong Kong, has raised about $400m in private capital to date and is in the position of a company that would be exploring a public listing in the US and Hong Kong, CEO Alex Zhavoronkov said in an interview. He declined to say if he has hired a financial advisor to run such a process but said a similar company in his position would have.

The generative AI platform that the company uses to produce novel drugs can be applied to produce more sustainable carbon-based fuels, Zhavoronkov said. The objective is to maximize btu and minimize CO2, making the fuels burn longer and cleaner.

Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Aramco is a user of the technology and participated in Insilico’s $95m Series D (oversubscribed and split between two sub-rounds) last year through its investment arm Prosperity7.

Petrochemistry is going to be needed well into the future, Zhavoronkov said. In addition to renewable energy and other ESG efforts, the efficiency of petrochemicals should be a top priority.

“If you burn certain petrochemicals in certain combinations, you can achieve a reasonably clean burn and an energy efficient burn,” he said. For specific tasks like space travel or Formula 1 racing, combined fuels produce the necessary torque, and generative chemistry can achieve those objectives in a more sustainable way. “I think that we can make the world significantly cleaner just by modifying petrochemical products.”

The technology can also be used to make organic matter in petrochemical products degrade more quickly, which is useful in the case of plastics, Zhavoronkov said.

The company’s AI is primarily based in Montreal and in the drug discovery business in China, but fuel research takes place in Abu Dhabi. Zhavoronkov said he has hired a lot of “AI refugees” from Russia and Ukraine to work at the latter location. The company has 40 employees in the UAE and will likely scale to 70.

Insilico is capitalized for the next two years or so, he said. That doesn’t account for revenue, which closed at just under $30m in 2022. The petrochemical and materials business is under the AI research arm of the business, which is covered by funds raised to date.

“Our board would probably not allow me to reinvent myself as an energy play,” Zhavoronkov said. But the board does not object to applying resources to petrochemical products.

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Exclusive: Green hydrogen developer planning capital raises for distributed portfolio

A developer of US green hydrogen projects will need to access the project equity, debt and tax equity markets in the near term for a pipeline of distributed assets nationwide.

NovoHydrogen, the Colorado-based renewable hydrogen developer, will be in the market for project financing for a portfolio of distributed green hydrogen projects in 2024, CEO Matt McMonagle said.

The company, which recently agreed to a $20m capital raise with Modern Energy, is aiming to attract additional private equity and infrastructure investors for the projects it is developing, the executive said.

“The opportunity is really there for attractive risk-adjusted returns at the project level based on how we’re structuring these projects with long-term contracted revenue,” he said.

The company plans to bring its first projects online in late 2024 or 2025.

“We don’t have the project financing set at the point that we can announce, but that’s something myself and my team have done in our careers,” McMonagle said, adding that he’s focused on bankability since founding the company. “We wanted to be as easy for the lenders to underwrite as possible.”

No financial advisors have been attached to the project financings, McMonagle said. A recently announced Series A, first reported by ReSource in February, gave the company exposure to investors that want to participate in project financings, he said.

“We’ll really be ramping that process up, likely after the new year,” McMonagle added, declining to say how much the company would need to raise in 2024.

NovoHydrogen doesn’t have a timeline on a Series B, he said.

Distributed pipeline

The company looks to do onsite projects adjacent to consumption, McMonagle said. The first projects that will go online will be 10 MW and smaller.

“Typically the permitting is straightforward in that we’re adding equipment to an already impacted industrial site,” McMonagle said. He declined to elaborate on where these projects are located or what customers they will serve.

The company also has off-site, or near-site projects, where production is decoupled from consumption. But the company still calls those distributed because they are being developed with a targeted customer in mind.

“We want to be as close as possible to that customer,” he said. Those off-site projects typically are larger and will begin coming online in 2026 and 2027.  

In Texas NovoHydrogen has two large-scale green hydrogen developments in production, co-located with greenfield renewables projects, McMonagle said. Partners, including EPC, are in place for those efforts. The company also has projects in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and along the west coast.

“Where can we add the most value and have the biggest competitive advantage?” McMonagle said of the company’s geographic strategy. “We have very specific go-to-markets in each of those regions which we feel play to our strengths.”

NovoHydrogen is a member of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub and is involved with the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2), though not in line to receive DOE funding through that hub.

Post-IRA, green hydrogen projects will look much like renewables deals from the equity, tax equity and debt perspectives, he said.

“We’re structuring and setting up our projects to take advantage of that existing infrastructure and knowledge base of how to finance deals,” he said. New options on transferability will enable additional financing options as well.

No flipping

NovoHydrogen does not plan to flip projects before COD, McMonagle said.

“We are planning to deploy hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in capex for these projects, and we’ll certainly need to partner with folks to deploy that capital,” McMonagle said. “But we will remain in deals with our customers because that relationship is really the fundamental value that we bring in our business.”

Hydrogen projects are different from renewables in that the customers need greater assurances of resiliency, security of supply and performance, than in a space like solar, he said.

Flipping projects before COD would be inconsistent with the trust required to attract offtakers.

“We don’t believe doing a flip reflects that level of importance and support and, frankly, incentive, behavioral incentive, that we have to show to our customers,” he said.

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