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Hyzon promotes from within for key executive roles

The heavy-duty fuel cell vehicle maker is in the midst of a search for a permanent CFO.

Hyzon Motors has promoted two members on its senior leadership team to execute a strategy of developing and manufacturing hydrogen-powered fuel cell systems and the deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles, according to a news release.

Jiajia Wu has been named interim Chief Financial Officer, responsible for overseeing all financial operations including financial planning and analysis, accounting, and reporting.

Before joining Hyzon in 2021 as Chief Accounting Officer, Wu served as the Global Director of Cost & Technical Accounting and Reporting at UL Solutions. Prior to that role, she held various positions at EY.

Hyzon has launched a search for permanent CFO.

Pat Griffin, formerly President of Vehicle Operations, has been named President of North America and will oversee and manage Hyzon’s North America business regions, including full commercial, operational, and financial responsibilities. He will continue leading Hyzon’s global engineering, procurement, and operation efforts, and overseeing fuel cell production, US-based vehicle development and production, and US operations.

Griffin previously held leadership roles at multiple transport companies, including as CEO at Crane Carrier Company and President of Light Duty Truck & EV Solutions at Fontaine Modification.

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Developer taps ING to raise project finance for Texas H2 plant

Clean Energy Holdings is assembling a roster of advisors to advance its Clear Fork green hydrogen project.

ING Americas will take the lead in securing project financing for Clean Energy Holding’s 250 MW Clear Fork, Texas renewable energy supplied green hydrogen and liquefaction project.

The project has a baseline schedule slated to enter commercial operations in the third quarter of 2024. The project is expected to produce a levelized average of 30,000 kg a day of liquefied green hydrogen. The CEH Platform is designed to attract leading edge and emerging technologies to integrate into our projects for validation and certification.

CEH is assembling a Renewable Energy and Technology Alliance, which now includes Equix Inc., a well-established and highly respected infrastructure firm. Bair Energy, LLC (BE) joins The Alliance as the Program Management Construction Management (PMCM) and serves as The Alliance Representative for the CEH Platform. The Alliance is working with an experienced commodities group to market and lead offtake negotiations for its projects.

CEO of Clean Energy Holdings, Nicholas Bair, stated: “Our Alliance is leading energy transformation, and we are committed to continue to lead the North American market in the production and implementation of green hydrogen for industrial, chemical, and mobility applications. We are also driving technological advancements developed through our projects. We have assembled a group of industry leaders as well as local and state governments to navigate through the potential challenges as we deliver our projects from concept to delivery and provide turnkey projects with a complete basis for design. Our Alliance delivers on contract and safety, with guaranties. This project is a strategic priority for The Alliance to showcase its turnkey design, long term operations and production guaranties.”

CEH President, Cornelius Fitzgerald, added, “These early, large-scale, projects will help define the green hydrogen industry in North America. Our Alliance partners and advisors have been carefully selected as both best-in-class for their respective roles and dedication to make these projects a success.”

Chair of Bair Energy, Candice McGuire stated, “flawless project delivery is the focus of the CEH Platform and The Alliance to lead the nation in energy security.”

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Aemetis closes $25m USDA loan to fund eight additional projects

When completed, the biogas digesters for the combined 15 dairies are designed to produce more than 400,000 MMBtus per year of carbon negative renewable natural gas.

Aemetis, Inc., a renewable natural gas and renewable fuels company focused on negative carbon intensity products, has closed its second $25m, 20-year term loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a total of $50m of Aemetis Biogas project financing arranged by Greater Commercial Lending (GCL) in the past nine months.

The Aemetis Biogas Central Dairy RNG Project is now fully funded to build biogas digesters and related assets for eight additional dairies using the $9.4m of equity financing already provided by Aemetis and the $25m of new debt financing guaranteed by the USDA. Magnolia Bank of Elizabethtown, Kentucky provided the primary funding for the $25 million loan to Aemetis Biogas 2, LLC (AB-2), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aemetis, Inc, according to a news release.

“The USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) provides long term, 20-year financing that enables the construction of projects that improve air quality and reduce carbon pollution such as the Aemetis Biogas Central Dairy Digester Project,” stated Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis. “We appreciate the good working relationship that has been developed with the team at Greater Commercial Lending and we are pleased to have Magnolia Bank as the new primary lender for the AB-2 phase of the project.”

Aemetis Biogas has built and is fully operating dairy biogas digesters for seven dairies, a 40-mile biogas pipeline, the central biogas-to-RNG production facility and the PG&E gas utility interconnection unit. When completed, the biogas digesters for the combined 15 dairies are designed to produce more than 400,000 MMBtus per year of carbon negative renewable natural gas.

The long-term, 20-year project financing was guaranteed by the USDA through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and carries approximately an 8.75% fixed interest rate for the first five years. With two REAP loans closed and three more REAP loans in process, Aemetis Biogas is currently arranging $125 million of 20-year debt funding for the development, construction and operation of the Aemetis Central Dairy Digester project which has already signed 37 dairies and plans to build digesters for 65 dairies within the next 60 months.

Aemetis Biogas is building passive solar anaerobic digesters at dairies to capture biomethane from animal waste. After removal of key contaminants and gas pressurization at the dairy, a biogas pipeline connects the dairies to a central facility located at the Keyes ethanol plant where the biogas is converted into below zero carbon intensity RNG. The RNG is tested and odorized in an interconnection unit, then injected into the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) gas pipeline for delivery to transportation fuel customers throughout California. In addition to delivery of RNG through third parties, Aemetis is building an onsite RNG fueling station to fuel local trucks.

About 25% of the methane emissions in California are emitted from dairy waste lagoons. When fully built, the Aemetis biogas project plans to connect dairy digesters spanning more than 65 dairy farms, producing more than 1,650,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas from captured dairy methane each year. The project is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to an estimated 6.8 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide over ten years, equal to removing the emissions from approximately 150,000 cars per year.

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Developer planning $3.2bn methanol plant in Louisiana

Morgan Stanley is advising a developer expecting to take a final investment decision on a methanol plant with carbon capture by the middle of this year.

Lake Charles Methanol II, LLC (LCM) announced plans to invest $3.24 billion to construct a new manufacturing plant that will produce low-carbon intensity methanol and other chemicals at the Port of Lake Charles.

The company plans to use advanced auto thermal gas reforming technology and employ carbon capture and secure geologic storage to produce low-carbon hydrogen for conversion to methanol, according to a news release.

The project, which was first proposed in 2015, was originally going to gasify petroleum coke and convert it to methanol. It pivoted in 2022, and it submitted a new application to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in October 2023.

The developer previously said it has a long-term agreement to sequester its captured CO2 with Denbury Resources.

According to its website, LCM is being advised by Morgan Stanley on the process to raise equity for the project, and has a commitment to carry the project to FID, expected in mid-2024. It is also negotiating with the DOE for debt financing.

The proposed facility would reform natural gas and renewable gas feedstocks into hydrogen, while capturing carbon dioxide, which would then be used to produce about 3.6 million tons per year of methanol. Lake Charles Methanol plans to work with a third party to capture and sequester about 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, which would reduce the carbon intensity of the hydrogen for synthesis into low carbon intensity methanol.

“The project will deliver substantial tangible economic benefits to local communities while providing an environmentally beneficial blue methanol product to facilitate the transition to low-carbon chemicals and fuels,” LCM President Don Maley said. “With the strong support of state and local officials and the local community, we believe that Lake Charles is a fantastic location for this project and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to bring it to fruition.”

The project is currently undergoing a FEED study and regulatory permitting. Construction and commissioning of the facility are expected to take about three-and-a-half years, which would allow commercial operations to begin in late 2027.

To secure the project in Louisiana, LED offered a competitive incentives package that includes the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart. It also includes a Performance-Based Grant of $5 million to be used for reimbursement of company expenditures for infrastructure needs. The company is also expected to participate in Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.

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Waste-to-hydrogen developer hires advisor for equity raise

A California developer of waste-to-hydrogen projects has mandated a boutique advisor to raise equity for early-stage project development and is planning a larger funding round in early 2024.

Clean Energy Enterprises, the holding company of awaste-to-hydrogen project developer based in Long beach, California, hasmandated a financial advisor to raise equity for early-stage development, CEO Jean-LouisKindler said in an interview.

Costigan Capital Partners, of Vancouver, Canada, has beenretained to raise an early round of $5m, Kindler said. That liquidity, split evenlybetween a demonstration project in California and operations, will last aboutone year.

Clean Energy is the holding company of WaysH2, which is thecompany developing the projects.

Next year Clean Energy will conduct a raise of equity anddebt between $30m and $50m, Kindler said.

Clean Energy, which is owned by five founding partners and earlyfriends-and-family backers, is also narrowing options for the first WaysH2 commercialproject in the US, Kindler said. The company has a client that will use hydrogenfor municipal transportation in the southwest.

The group has a relationship with Spanish EPC firm TechnicasReunidas and plans to pursue another demonstration project in either Spain or Portugal.

The technology play is waste-to-hydrogen at landfillprojects to serve end users in local mobility and waste processing energyrequirements.

He pointed to California’s SB 1383 regulations, which mandatesa reduction of organic waste disposal by 75% by 2025.

“It will be used locally,” Kindler said of the hydrogen. Thecompany is also in discussions with foreign ammonia producers. “We want to beclose to our clients.”

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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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Quantron kicks off Series B equity raise

The German and American mobility provider is seeking to raise EUR 200m in a Series B equity raise, as the company plans to become a one-stop-shop for hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles, according to a teaser.

Quantron, the Germany and US-based hydrogen trucking manufacturer, is seeking to raise EUR 200m in a Series B capital raise, and has further plans to raise money in a Series C in 2024 or 2025, followed by an anticipated IPO beyond 2025.

The company plans to use proceeds from the Series B accelerate the roll-out of existing production and make additional market entries included expanding its operations in the US, according to a sale teaser seen by The Hydrogen Source. Stifel is leading the capital raise, as previously reported.

By advancing a full-scale zero-emission ecosystem, Quantron is seeking to take part in the sourcing and distribution of green energy and hydrogen, as well as building fuel cell and battery electric vehicles and components and offering customer solutions like aftersales, the teaser notes.

Quantron, which has offices in Augsburg, Germany and Detroit, Michigan, has brought in about EUR 28m in revenues since inception and expects EUR 60m in revenue this year, fueled by a EUR 100m order book and pipeline. The company has put 150 vehicles on the road to date and has 130 employees.

Its Series A capital raise of EUR 45m, completed in September, 2022, implied a EUR 250m pre-money valuation. The ongoing EUR 200m capital raise will come in the form of the Series B financing as well as working capital facilities.

The company recently announced commitments with FirstElement Fuel and Goldstone Technologies Limited. Quantron debuted its Class 8 hydrogen fuel-cell truck in the US at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Anaheim, California in April.

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