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HydrogenPro to expand in Europe

Norwegian electrolyzer maker has partnered with international technology group ANDRITZ to scale up manufacturing and assembly in Europe.

HydrogenPro, a leader within green hydrogen technology and systems, and international technology group ANDRITZ have entered into a partnership to collaborate on scaling up manufacturing and assembly of electrolyzers for the European market, according to a news release.

The collaboration will bring together HydrogenPro’s expertise in high-pressure alkaline electrolyzer (AEL) technology with ANDRITZ’s competence in manufacturing and assembly. This non-exclusive partnership will allow ANDRITZ to include HydrogenPro’s technology in its EPC offering of green hydrogen solutions. HydrogenPro, as a fast-growing global green hydrogen technology company, will be able to speed up its technology offering to the European market.

Sami Pelkonen, executive vice president green hydrogen at ANDRITZ GROUP, said, “ANDRITZ aims to become a leading global provider of complete green hydrogen plants and solutions based on different electrolysis technologies. We look forward to working with HydrogenPro to contribute to the increase in electrolysis capacities needed to support the emerging green hydrogen economy in Europe. Our expertise in plant engineering and turnkey projects will help us to successfully execute complete projects for our customers.”

Tarjei Johansen, CEO of HydrogenPro, added, “This strategic partnership unlocks a significant potential as it combines our pioneering electrolyzer design and expertise in underlying technologies with ANDRITZ’s operational excellence and experience as an EPC supplier. With this partnership HydrogenPro will have a solid global footprint, in Europe, the US and Asia respectively. Further, it is an important move to reach our ambition of more than 5 GW of electrolysis capacity in five years. We look forward to building on this relationship.”

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DOE awards $130m for CCUS projects

The US DOE has announced $131m for 33 research and development projects to advance the wide-scale deployment of carbon management.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $131m for 33 research and development projects to advance the wide-scale deployment of carbon management technologies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution, according to a news release yesterday.

The projects will address technical challenges of capturing CO2 from power plants and industrial facilities or directly from the atmosphere and assess potential CO2 storage sites, increasing the number of sites progressing toward commercial operations. Expanding commercial CO2 storage capacity and related carbon management industries will provide economic opportunities for communities and workers, helping to deliver on President Biden’s goal of equitably achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

DOE is investing $38m in 22 projects awarded under the “Carbon Management” funding opportunity that will develop technologies to capture CO2 from utility and industrial sources or directly from the atmosphere and transport it either for permanent geologic storage or for conversion into valuable products such as fuels and chemicals. Projects will examine commercial viability and technical gaps, while also examining environmental and community impacts of the technologies.  Selected carbon dioxide removal projects will support the cost and performance goals of DOE’s Carbon Negative Shot initiative, which calls for innovation in pathways that will capture CO2 from the atmosphere and permanently store it at meaningful scales for less than $100/net metric ton of CO2-equivalent. CO2 storage projects announced today under this FOA will look specifically at assessing potential resources for mineral carbon storage—where the CO2 becomes permanently stored as a solid mineral through a chemical reaction. A detailed list of the selected carbon management projects can be found here.

DOE is investing $93m in 11 projects awarded under the “CarbonSAFE: Phase II – Storage Complex Feasibility” funding opportunity that will improve procedures to safely, efficiently, and affordably assess onshore and offshore CO2 project sites within a storage complex at a commercial scale. Projects were selected under DOE’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative, which focuses on developing geologic storage sites with potential to cumulatively store 50 or more million metric tons of CO2. A detailed list of the selected CarbonSAFE projects announced today can be found here.

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Calumet buys second reactor for SAF expansion

The specialty refiner has purchased a second reactor to expand production of sustainable aviation fuel, citing interest from its sale process involving strategic investors.

Calumet Specialty Products subsidiary Montana Renewables recently acquired the second reactor needed to expand the scope of its sustainable aviation fuel production, according to a company update.

While the company has not made a final installation decision, great interest from the existing Lazard process warranted the opportunistic reactor purchase, the release says.

“Our strategy to retain a downsized crude oil refinery while carving out Montana Renewables meant a higher degree of difficulty compared to simply converting a closed refinery,” said Bruce Fleming, EVP Montana Renewables and Corporate Development. “Delivering an aggressive timeline, navigating two winter construction seasons, minimizing 2022 downtime for turnaround and carveout, building safely on an operating site, and moving quickly through commissioning all demonstrate the high capabilities of the Great Falls workforce.  While not without setbacks, we are proud of the journey. Going forward, the full economic contribution of the specialty asphalt refinery will follow normal seasonal patterns, and Montana Renewables will reach steady state earnings after the first quarter commissioning sequence is complete.”

Montana Renewables commissioned its modified hydrocracker in renewable diesel service on November 5, then retrofitted additional winterization capability during the month of November. It generated a full month of on-spec Renewable Diesel production in December and commenced rail shipments late in the month after establishing product inventories. Catalyst performance has been consistent and met the expected performance envelope provided by Haldor Topsoe. The current 6,000 bpd capacity will increase to 12,000 bpd with the sequential commissioning of renewable hydrogen, SAF, and feedstock pre-treater which are expected online in that order in 1Q2023.

Preliminary engineering and procurement is beginning for the expected 2024 expansion including the option to maximize SAF yield to 85%, according to the update.

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Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners invests in 220 GW green hydrogen pipeline

CIP, through its Energy Transition Fund I, has acquired a 26.67% stake in a development platform within CWP’s green hydrogen business.

CWP Global and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) today announced CIP’s strategic investment in CWP’s development portfolio of ultra-large-scale green hydrogen hubs, including projects across Africa, Australia and the Americas, according to a news release.

Under the deal announced today, CIP, through its Energy Transition Fund I, has acquired a 26.67% stake in a development platform within CWP’s green hydrogen business, thus seizing the opportunity to invest in the latter’s pipeline of green hydrogen hubs under development globally.

The investment brings together CWP’s leading green hydrogen team, built off the back of a two-decade track record in developing and operating utility-scale renewables projects, and CIP’s expertise in financing and developing large-scale green transition infrastructure. CIP’s backing represents a significant vote of confidence in the emerging green hydrogen sector from one of the world’s largest renewable energy infrastructure investors, according to the release.

As it currently stands, CWP’s green hydrogen hub portfolio has a planned combined renewable power generation capacity of nearly 220 GW.

Alex Hewitt, CEO of CWP Global, said, “We’re thrilled to welcome CIP to the CWP family, a new partnership that could not have come at a more important time. The race to net zero is on, and green hydrogen at scale will be a critical pillar for global decarbonisation, perhaps meeting one-fifth of global energy demand by 2050.”

Felix Pahl, Partner at Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, said, “Achieving decarbonisation targets requires green hydrogen and green ammonia to be produced at scale. Through this investment, CIP’s Energy Transition Fund now further expands its participation in the development of gigawatt scale PtX developments. CWP has a proven track record in delivering onshore renewables and has already built a strong pipeline of PtX development projects.

With a strong management team and established regional footprints in Australia, Africa and Latin America, we expect CWP to become a global leader in developing ultra gigawatt-scale PtX projects and contribute significantly to decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors.”

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US gas compression firm raising $432m

A Houston-based CNG company is raising money to develop a virtual marine pipeline between the US Gulf Coast and the Caribbean.

Andalusian Energy, a natural gas compression, export and transportation company, is undergoing a $432m capital raise to develop and build a compression and filling station in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and export line to Honduras, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Whitehall & Co. is advising on the transaction, the sources said. Capital allocation will also support the purchase of CNG containers and destination port improvements in Puerto Cortes, Honduras.

Targeted initial equity is $168m, or 40%, according to a teaser seen by The Hydrogen Source. Targeted COD of the project is 2H25.

Gross-cumulative investment could exceed $2bn. The phase I estimated project cost of approximately $421m is expected to be split 40% to permanent equity capital ($168m) and 60% to structured debt ($253m).

Andalusian uses lightweight composite cylinders to ship compressed natural gas (CNG) at ambient temperature to the Caribbean, Central America and eastern Mexico. Marketing materials state the process is lower cost than shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The company has installed a demonstration facility in Choloma, Honduras to import natural gas from CNG.

The Louisiana compression facility will be constructed with two adjacent docks and a site with utility connections. Natural gas will be supplied using a combination of regional pipeline networks including Southern Natural Gas pipeline and High Point Gas Transmission Pipeline. An agreement has been reached to provide interconnection and construction of a 1.5 mile lateral.

Andalusian completed its development capital raise with a strategic investment by MAN Energy Solutions USA, a division of Volkswagen AG, and equity investments by HBG, Progressive Energy and Grupo IDC.

Additional marine engineering, consulting, and ship classification services are being provided by DNV GL and confirmed by the Norwegian Maritime Authority.

Additionally, to monetize spare ship capacity and based on a contract to deliver CNG to an IPP in Honduras, Andalusian has reached an agreement with a global shipping company to transport commercial container cargo between Louisiana and Honduras, the teaser states.

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Biomass-to-hydrogen developer in talks for development capital, series A

A California developer that uses woody biomass to make green hydrogen is in discussions to raise capital for project development and a series A funding round.

Yosemite Clean Energy, a California-based biomass-to-hydrogen start-up, is in discussions with potential investors to raise development capital for projects and a series A round.

The company is currently seeking around $20m of development capital that would help advance woody biomass-to-hydrogen projects to FID, CEO Tom Hobby said in an interview.

Hobby said he is also in discussions with strategic capital partners about a series A funding round. The company is not using an advisor for the capital raise, Hobby said, but is working with the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

The company has so far raised less than $2m at the corporate level from friends and family and an additional $5m – including grants – for projects, Hobby added. The development capital as well as the series A raise would be conducted at the project level.

Yosemite has signed a letter of intent and term sheet for offtake from its first project in Oroville, California, which will produce approximately 24,000 kg per day (2,760 MMBtu) of green hydrogen from woody biomass, and is set for FID later this year. Hobby declined to name the offtaker but described it as a “global trading house.”

Hobby, whose family has lived in the Sierra Nevada for generations, emphasizes the company’s role as a partner with local communities to help manage forest waste, which has served as fuel for explosive wildfires in recent years.

“It’s de-risking their communities from catastrophic wildfires,” he said.

Design incentives

Under the original design for the Oroville facility, the company had planned to produce 31,000 kg per day of RNG and 12,200 kg per day of green hydrogen. But due to incentives for green hydrogen in the Inflation Reduction Act, the company has pivoted to a hydrogen-only design, Hobby said.

The $3/kg incentive for green hydrogen in the IRA created “additional value for no real capital cost differential,” he said.

Yosemite’s second project is in Toulumne County, California and will follow a design substantially similar to the Oroville facility.

The company employs dual-bed gasification technology licensed from Austrian firm Repotec, while Primoris is doing detailed design and engineering.

The technology takes wood and creates a medium-strength BTU gas that can be used to make different products, Hobby said. “Once it’s in a gaseous form, we can use it for a lot of purposes: we can take it to make power, we can produce hydrogen, we can use the Fischer-Tropsch process to make second-generation biofuels like aviation fuel, and we have a patent that can do hydrogen and RNG.”

Project ownership

Meanwhile, Yosemite has hired a Texas-based firm to help raise capital for projects, which are estimated to cost $250m at the outset, but could decline once efficiencies are achieved, Hobby said.

The company’s project ownership model is unique in that it seeks to bring in local wood businesses – in logging, land clearing, and orchard removal – as providers of biomass and also equity investors in the projects.

“To have their investment and their wood at the same time is huge,” Hobby said.

In raising capital for the projects, in addition to equity and debt investors, Yosemite is evaluating a mix of sources in the tax-exempt bond market as well as lower-interest loans from within California and export finance solutions. The company recently received two $500,000 Forest Biomass to Carbon-Negative Biofuels grants from the California Department of Conservation.

Hobby would like to build 50 woody biomass plants in California, which would utilize approximately 5 million tons of the 35 million tons of waste woody biomass available annually in the state.

“Our goal is not to have to truck and ship wood more than 50 miles,” he said. “If you put circles around every place in California that’s a decent wood basket […] I think we could sign about 50 facilities across the state.”

The company is also planning to expand beyond California to other states with a low-carbon fuel standard, Hobby said.

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Caliche CEO talks hydrogen and CO2 storage expansion

Following the acquisition of assets in Texas and California, Caliche Development Partners CEO Dave Marchese discusses opportunities for growth in the hydrogen and C02 storage market.

Caliche Development Partners II has made a pair of acquisitions with the aim of expanding into growing hydrogen and CO2 storage markets in Texas and California, CEO Dave Marchese said in an interview.

The company, which is backed by Orion Infrastructure Capital and GCM Grosvenor, this week announced the purchase of Golden Triangle Storage, in Beaumont, Texas; and the anticipated acquisition of Central Valley Gas Storage, in Northern California – two regions with increasing demand for storage to support variable power loads, natural gas liquefaction, and high penetrations of renewable resources.

Caliche and seller Southern Company did not use financial advisors for the transaction. Caliche used Willkie Farr as its law firm for the financing and the transactions.

Marchese, who has a private equity background and first worked on a successful investment in a fuel cell company in the year 2000, has also racked up years of experience investing in and operating underground storage assets. The Caliche team developed and sold a natural gas liquids and helium storage business – called Coastal Caverns – earlier this year.

“We know how to put things underground and keep them there, including very small molecules, and we have relationships with many of the customers that are using hydrogen today,” he said.

Roughly a third of the industrial CO2 emissions on the Gulf Coast come from the Golden Triangle area, a region in Southeast Texas between the cities of Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange. Much of this CO2 comes from the steam methane reformers that are within 15 miles of Caliche’s newly acquired Golden Triangle asset, Marchese said. The site is in similar proximity to pipelines operated by the air companies – Air Products, Air Liquide, and Praxair – that run from Corpus Christi to New Orleans.

“We’re within 15 miles of 90% of the hydrogen that’s flowing in this country today,” he added. “Pipeline systems need a bulk storage piece to balance flows. We can provide storage for an SMR’s natural gas, storage for its hydrogen, and we can take away captured CO2 if the plant is blue.”

The Golden Triangle site, which sits on the Spindletop salt dome, has room and permits for nine caverns total, with two currently in natural gas service. Three of those caverns are permitted for underground gas storage. “We could start a hydrogen well tomorrow if we had a customer for it,” Marchese said.

The Central Valley assets in Northern California are also positioned for expansion, under the belief that the California market will need natural gas storage for some time to support the integration of renewables onto the grid, he said. Additionally, the assets have all of the safety, monitoring and verification tools for sequestration-type operations, he added, making it a good location to start exploring CO2 sequestration in California. “We think it’s an expansion opportunity,” he said.

“Being an operator in the natural gas market allows us to enter those other markets with a large initial capital investments already covered by cash flowing business, so it allows us to explore incrementally the hydrogen and CO2 businesses rather than having to be a new entrant and invest in all the things you need to stand up an operation.”

Caliche spent $186m to acquire the two assets, following a $268m commitment from Orion and GCM. The balance of the financial commitment will support expansion.

“We’re capitalized such that we have the money to permit, build, and operate wells for potential CO2 sequestration customers,” he said. “The relationship with these stable, large investors also meets the needs of expansion projects: if somebody wanted not only a hydrogen well but compressors as well, we have access to additional capital for underwritten projects to put those into service.”

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