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Hyundai Motor North America appoints head of commercial vehicle and hydrogen business development

Jim Park will be responsible for Hyundai's hydrogen initiatives in North America, which includes commercial vehicle sales, infrastructure development, commercialization of hydrogen, and related future mobility solutions.

Hyundai has hired Jim Park as the senior vice president, commercial vehicle and hydrogen business development, Hyundai Motor North America, effective June 12, according to a news release.

In this new role, Park is responsible for Hyundai’s hydrogen initiatives in North America, which includes commercial vehicle sales, infrastructure development, commercialization of hydrogen, and related future mobility solutions.

Park reports directly to José Muñoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America and president and Global COO of Hyundai Motor Company, and functionally via dotted-line to Ken Ramirez, executive vice president, head of global commercial vehicle and hydrogen business, Hyundai Motor Company.

“Hyundai is committed to accelerating the development of hydrogen technology as it provides a scalable zero-emissions solution for a variety of applications,” said Muñoz. “Jim’s extensive career in automotive business development will help us build the team and obtain the tools and resources we need to continue our hydrogen expansion in North America.”

Park has more than three decades of experience in the automotive industry with leadership roles at both Harman-Samsung and Chrysler. Prior to joining Hyundai, Park was president of Harman International Korea, where he initiated strategies for its automotive business units and Samsung’s Automotive Electronic Business. He managed and led four divisions including connected car, car audio, consumer electronics and professional solutions, and oversaw respective KPI’s such as sales revenue growth, market share, cost management, compliance, and employee development.

Before joining Harman International, Park was the president and CEO of Global Auto Systems, an advisory and consulting services company he formed in 2000, a role he held until 2018. In nearly two decades, his group of consultants worked with leaders and top decision makers around the world providing in-depth industry insights, product, market knowledge and strategic perspectives. Park also previously served on the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea.

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Hydrogen tech firm looking for distribution partners with eye on Series B

A Florida-based hydrogen technology company is hoping to find strategic partners with distribution networks as part of its impending Series A capital raise, with an eye on a much larger Series B later.

BoMax Hydrogen, the Florida-based hydrogen production technology firm, is searching for strategic partners with distribution networks as part of its soon-to-launch Series A capital raise, CEO Chris Simuro said in an interview.

BoMax, founded in 2014 and headquartered in Orlando, will launch a $15m Series A on November 1, Simuro said. The company has hired Taylor DeJongh to run the process, as recently reported by ReSource.

Greenberg Traurig is the company’s law firm, Simuro said. They use a regional accountant in Florida.

Taylor DeJongh is looking for three to five investors to put in between $3m and $5m each. BoMax is in discussions with French container shipping company CMA-CGM as a potential investor, he said.

“We are truly searching for distribution partners,” Simuro said, adding that company doesn’t envision itself touching the end-use customer.

The Series A funds should provide up to 24 months of runway and expand the company’s manufacturing capacity, Simuro said. A follow-on Series B capital raise will likely be $100m or more.

BoMax has raised some $5m to date, including from state government aerospace economic development agency Space Florida.

Funds from the Series A will be used to make a beta prototype, scale operations at the company’s labs in Orlando and prepare for commercial production.

No electrolysis

The company touts a novel technology making hydrogen from visible light without the need for solar electrolysis, according to a pre-teaser marketing document seen by ReSource. An alpha prototype has been awarded by the US Department of Energy.

Requiring a larger footprint, electrolysis can ultimately produce 38 liters of hydrogen per hour per square meter, Simuro said. BoMax believes it can reach 50 liters per hour in six months time.

“It replicates how hydrogen is made in the natural world,” Simuro said. “In order to do this globally, we are going to need partners.”

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Enedym and Toyota converting diesel tuggers

Enedym and Toyota Tsusho Canada have formed a strategic partnership to convert diesel tuggers to battery or hydrogen power.

Enedym and Toyota Tsusho Canada have formed a strategic partnership to convert diesel tuggers to battery or hydrogen power, according to a press release.

Enedym will design and develop SRMs and inverters with rated nominal power of approximately 45kW for use in North America and Japan. The magnet-free electric motors will convert small commercial vehicles, or tuggers, commonly used at airports and manufacturing plants, from diesel fuel to battery or hydrogen power.

The collaboration’s first output, an electric-powered commercial tugger, will be piloted at one of Toyota Tsusho’s affiliates located at one of Toyota Motor’s North American manufacturing plants in 2023.

Enedym’s innovative SRM motor technologies remove the need for rare earth metals, thereby reducing costs by approximately 40%.

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US DOE awards $118m for sustainable biofuels projects

The US Department of Energy has awarded $118m in funding for 17 projects to accelerate the production of sustainable biofuels for transportation and manufacturing needs.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $118m in funding for 17 projects to accelerate the production of sustainable biofuels for America’s transportation and manufacturing needs, according to a news release.

The selected projects, located at universities and private companies, will drive the domestic production of biofuels and bioproducts by advancing biorefinery development, from pre-pilot to demonstration, to create sustainable fuels that reduce emissions associated with fossil fuels, the release states.

Projects selected as part of this funding opportunity will contribute to meeting DOE’s goal to achieve cost-competitive biofuels and at least a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

Made from widely available domestic feedstocks and advanced refining technologies, energy-dense biofuels provide a pathway for low-carbon fuels that can lower greenhouse gas emissions throughout the transportation sector and accelerate the bioeconomy. Financing for novel biorefinery process systems can be a barrier to commercializing advanced biofuels, and this funding will reduce technological uncertainties and enable industry deployment.

The selected projects include pre-pilot, pilot, and demonstration projects that will scale-up existing biomass to fuel technologies that will eventually create millions of gallons of low-carbon fuel annually. By investing in these technologies, the projects will create good-paying jobs in rural and underserved communities in nine states. Plans submitted by the selected projects show intent to collaborate with local school districts to educate and train the bioenergy workforce of tomorrow.  Additionally, the funded projects align with renewable fuels goals in the first-ever U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization, a multi-agency framework for reducing emissions, creating a robust transportation workforce, and securing America’s energy independence. The projects also support the U.S. Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge goal of enabling the production of three billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel annually by 2030 and 35 billion gallons annually by 2050.

The 17 selected projects fall into four areas:

  1. Pre-Pilot Scale-Up of Integrated Biorefineries,
  2. Pilot Scale-Up of Integrated Biorefineries,
  3. Demonstration Scale-Up of Integrated Biorefineries, and
  4. Gen-1 Corn Ethanol Emission Reduction.

The selected projects are located in nine states and Washington, DC, and focus on technologies including anaerobic digestion, conversion of cellulosic sugars to SAF, catalytic biorefining, among others.

The following projects were selected:

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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: OCI Global exploring ammonia and methanol asset sales

Global ammonia and methanol producer OCI Global is working with an investment bank to explore a sale of ammonia and methanol assets as part of the re-opening of its strategic business review.

OCI Global is evaluating a sale of several ammonia and methanol assets as part of the re-opening of its strategic business review.

The global producer and distributor of methanol and ammonia is working with Morgan Stanley to explore a sale of its ammonia production facility in Beaumont, Texas, as well as the co-located blue ammonia project under development, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The evaluation also includes OCI’s methanol business, one of the sources said.

Representatives of OCI and Morgan Stanley did not respond to requests for comment.

As part of the earlier strategic review announced last year, OCI in December announced the divestiture of its 50% stake in Fertiglobe to ADNOC, and the sale of its Iowa Fertilizer Company to Koch Industries, bringing in $6.2bn in total net proceeds.

However, OCI has received additional inbound inquiries from potential acquirers for the remaining business, leading it to re-open the review, CEO Ahmed El-Hoshy said last month on OCI’s 4Q23 earnings call.

“As such, OCI is exploring further value creative strategic actions across the portfolio, including the previously announced equity participation in its Texas blue clean ammonia project,” he said, adding: “All options are on the table.”

The comments echoed the remarks of Nassef Sawiris, a 40% shareholder of OCI, who recently told the Financial Times that OCI could sell off most of its assets and become a shell for acquisitions.

In the earnings presentation, El-Hoshy took time to lay out the remaining pieces of the business: in particular, OCI’s 350 ktpa ammonia facility in Beaumont; OCI Methanol Group, encompassing 2 million tons of production capacity in the US and a shuttered Dutch methanol plant; and its European ammonia/nitrogen assets.

Texas blue

The Texas blue ammonia project is a 1.1 million-tons-per-year facility that OCI touts as the only greenfield blue ammonia project to reach FID to date. The company has invested $500m in the project as of February 24, out of a total $1bn expected investment, according to a presentation.

“Commercial discussions for long-term product offtake and equity investments in the project are at advanced stages with multiple parties,” El-Hoshy said. “This reflects the very strong commercial interest and increasing appetite from the strategics to pay a price premium to secure long-term low-carbon ammonia.”

El-Hoshy’s comments highlight the fact that, unlike most projects in development, OCI took FID on the Texas blue facility without an offtake agreement in place. The executive did, however, highlight the first-mover cost advantages from breaking ground on the project early and avoiding construction cost inflation.

Additionally, the project was designed to accommodate a second 1.1 mtpa blue ammonia production line, which would be easier to build given existing utilities and infrastructure, El-Hoshy said, allowing for an opportunity to capitalize on additional clean ammonia demand at low development costs.

“Line 2 probably has the biggest advantage, we think, in North America in terms of building a plant where a lot of the existing outside the battery limits items and utilities are already in place,” he said, emphasizing that by moving early on the first phase, they avoided some of the inflationary EPC pressures of recent years. 

At the facility OCI will buy clean hydrogen and nitrogen over the fence from Linde, and Linde, in turn, will capture and sequester CO2 via an agreement with ExxonMobil.

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Low-carbon crude refinery developer lining up project cap stack

The developer of a low-carbon crude refinery is in talks with banks and strategics to line up project financing for a $5.5bn project in Oklahoma.

Texas-based Southern Rock Energy Partners is holding discussions with banks and potential strategic investors with the aim of shaping a $5.5bn capital stack to build a low-carbon crude refinery in Cushing, Oklahoma.

The project, a first-of-its-kind 250,000 barrel-per-day crude refinery, would make it the first crude facility of that size built in the United States in several decades.

The company is evaluating a project finance route with a debt and equity structure for the project, and has held talks with several major investment banks as well as “industry-leading” strategics in midstream, industrial gas, and electricity generation, Southern Rock Managing Partner Steven Ward said in an interview.

In support of the refinery, the city of Cushing and the Cushing Economic Development Foundation approved $75m in tax-exempt private activity bonds, Ward noted. He added that the company could also tap industrial revenue bonds as well as PACE equity financing.

Seed capital for project development has so far come from strategic partners, some of which are operational partners, Ward said. He declined to comment further on the capital raise, noting that engagement letters have yet to be signed.

Engineering firm KBR is conducting a feasibility study for the Cushing project, and the company is moving through land acquisition, air permit preparation, and EPC selection, Ward said.

While most crude refineries consume natural gas, off-gasses, and ambient air, Southern Rock’s proposed refinery would use oxygen along with blue hydrogen produced from the refining off-gasses and green hydrogen from electrolysis. The process would eliminate 95% of greenhouse gas emissions at the proposed refinery.

“Our furnaces and our process heating units are fed 100% hydrogen and oxygen,” Ward said, noting that this type of system does not currently exist in the market. The company is expanding on technology it licenses from Great Southern Flameless, he said.

The size of the refinery would make it the largest to be built in the US since Marathon Petroleum built a 200,000 barrels-per-day facility in 1976.

Certain other low-carbon crude projects have been in the market for several years. Meridian Energy has been seeking to build cleaner crude refineries in North Dakota. Raven Petroleum ran up against environmental concerns while seeking to build a clean refinery in Texas. And MMEX is aiming to build an “ultra clean” crude refinery in West Texas.

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