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Icelandic fuels producer sourcing domestic renewable power

Green Fuel has signed a MOU with one of the largest fishing companies in Iceland to collaborate on the development of ammonia-powered fishing vessels.

ATOME’s Icelandic subsidiary, Green Fuel ehf has entered a non-binding term sheet with HS Orka, a producer of renewable energy in Iceland, for the supply of up to 40 MW from geothermal and hydroelectric power, according to a news release.

The intention is for both parties to enter a binding PPA prior to year-end. The power is due to be delivered for the start of Green Fuel’s commercial operation, scheduled in 2026.

In addition to the 40MW from HS Orka, Green Fuel has also signed a LOI with ON Power, another company generating power from the same sources in the country, for the supply of up to 20 MW of renewable power available from 2027.

Green Fuel’s green ammonia facility has start-up targeted by the end of 2026.

“Iceland is a prime location for green hydrogen and ammonia production, through its 100% green electricity grid from baseload geothermal and hydro sources, with a strong focus on decarbonizing its domestic shipping and transport sectors,” the release states.

Green Fuel’s green products are aimed at decarbonizing the maritime sector. To this end, Green Fuel has signed a MOU with Samherji, one of the largest fishing companies in Iceland, to collaborate on the development of ammonia-powered fishing vessels.

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Oberon Fuels adds executives

The renewable fuels firm has added executives from Key Capture Energy and Chevron.

Oberon Fuels, a renewable fuels firm, has hired its first Chief Financial Officer Ann Anthony and new Chief Operating Officer Derek Winkel to drive the company’s growth.

Both Anthony and Winkel will play critical roles in growing the business as it scales up the commercializations of its renewable DME and methanol, the company said in a news release.

Along with additional senior leaders, Anthony and Winkel will help Oberon scale to decarbonize  the propane industry — which emits emissions equivalent to the commercial aviation market — while accelerating hydrogen infrastructure.

“Ann and Derek each bring invaluable experience to support Oberon Fuels on its journey to commercialization and deliver the full impact that renewable fuels can have on reducing carbon emissions,” said Oberon Fuels President & CEO Rebecca Boudreaux.

Anthony brings nearly 30 years of experience helping innovative energy companies scale and successfully introduced OPAL Fuels, a renewable natural gas company, to the public markets. Before OPAL Fuels, Anthony served as the chief financial officer and secretary for Key Capture Energy, a VC-backed start-up focused on stand-alone battery storage in key electricity markets, where she played an instrumental role in the company’s acquisition by SK E&S Co., Ltd. She was also responsible for leading the company’s finance and human resources function, including financial planning and analysis, corporate procurement and capitalization efforts.

Winkel has nearly two decades of experience leading and scaling operations for renewable energy innovators. He most recently served as the vice president of manufacturing development, commercial performance and services for Chevron following the company’s acquisition of Renewable Energy Group (REG) at a $3.15B valuation. Following the acquisition, Winkel played a pivotal role in the improvement and expansion of their renewable diesel production facility, which took total site production capacity from 90M gallons per year to 340M gallons per year.

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Renewable fuels company Raven SR awarded EU commission grant

The Wyoming-based company received the grant for the development of a waste-to-hydrogen plant in Spain.

Raven SR Inc., a renewable fuels company, has been awarded a €1.7m (USD$1.75m) grant from the European Commission for the development of a waste-to-hydrogen production facility in the Aragón region of Spain, according to a news release.

The funding is part of a broader €14m European Commission grant to Hy2Market, a multi-regional project led by the New Energy Coalition to research and produce hydrogen on an accelerated timeframe.

The company has been working on a $100m capital raise expected to close last month, as reported by ReSource.

Raven SR earlier this year established Raven Iberia, a wholly owned subsidiary in Zaragoza, the capital of Aragón, in conjunction with planning the $35m waste-to-hydrogen production facility in the region. The modular project’s commercial operations are targeted to begin in 2024 and the fuel supply will serve hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The Raven SR project in Aragón will produce 1,600 metric tons per year of renewable hydrogen from approximately 75 tons of organic solid waste per day. Raven SR’s patented, non-combustion technology reduces waste and emissions while creating clean, renewable fuel. Its design provides higher energy output per ton of waste than any other waste-to-hydrogen technology worldwide.

“We are honored to receive such broad support for our first waste-to-hydrogen production facility in Europe,” said Raven SR CEO Matt Murdock. “This initial project in Spain provides a foothold in a regional market that is highly supportive of shifting away from carbon-intensive fuels to achieve a net-zero energy economy. We also look forward to collaborating within the wider Hy2Market consortium to potentially expand to additional sites in the European Union.”

Raven SR’s project in Spain was chosen late last year by the S3 European Hydrogen Valleys Partnership as the best new industrial European initiative linked to hydrogen due to its advanced technological development stage and potential for scaling up in the European Union. Raven SR is also part of the Pilot Action Hy2Market and European Consortium related to the Interregional Innovation Investment Funding Instrument I3, which aims to support the commercialization and scaling up of interregional European innovation projects and investments through the development of European hydrogen value chains.

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Trafigura takes majority stake in hydrogen subsidiary

Trafigura Group will increase its shareholding in H2 Energy Europe AG to become majority owners. The firm is developing a 1 GW green hydrogen facility in Denmark, among others.

Trafigura Group Pte has agreed with H2 Energy Holding AG founders to increase its shareholding in H2 Energy Europe AG to become majority owners, as development plans ramp up for large-scale green hydrogen production projects and mid- and downstream hydrogen supply and distribution infrastructure in Europe.

H2 Energy Holding AG’s founders retain a minority ownership and will continue to contribute their extensive knowledge and expertise to the company.

In addition, Trafigura retains its support for and minority equity interest in H2 Energy Holding AG, which will continue to focus on developing green hydrogen eco-systems and green hydrogen technologies, according to a news release.

Rolf Huber, Founder of H2 Energy remarked: “This is a welcome development that strategically positions both companies for future growth and investment. As we move forward, our primary objective is to fortify our green hydrogen eco-system, focusing on infrastructural engineering projects, the development of fuel cell applications, and the development and commercialization of key hydrogen equipment. Collaborating closely with Trafigura, we aim to leverage each other’s expertise to advance our shared goal of making green hydrogen a cornerstone of the energy system.”

Julien Rolland, Head of Strategic Projects and Investments for Trafigura said: “Today’s announcement allows H2 Energy Europe to focus on developing large-scale green hydrogen projects and distribution networks across Europe, while H2 Energy Holding AG will focus on its core business and technology development. Trafigura and H2 Energy Holding AG will continue to co-operate closely and benefit from each partner’s respective expertise.”

Plans to build a 1 GW green hydrogen facility in Esbjerg, Denmark are progressing, with COWI commissioned in June this year to conduct the front-end engineering design (FEED) for the production plant. A final investment decision is expected in 2024.

In South Wales, H2 Energy Europe has recently submitted a formal planning application to construct a 20 MW green hydrogen production facility within the port of Milford Haven in South Wales, with local company InSite Technical Services Ltd currently undertaking the FEED study. The project has reached the final negotiation stage for funding under the UK government’s Hydrogen Business Model and Net Zero Hydrogen Fund: Electrolytic Allocation Round 2022, with final projects expected to be announced this year. Subject to government support, the facility should be commissioned within two years, using domestic renewable energy to produce green hydrogen for shipping and road transport, as a chemical feedstock and to provide power for industrial use across the South Wales Industrial Cluster.

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Carbon capture OEM eyeing US for manufacturing plant

A Vancouver-based maker of carbon capture equipment is considering building a manufacturing plant in the US. Its number one target market: gray hydrogen producers.

Svante, a carbon capture original equipment manufacturer based in Vancouver, is eyeing the US as it seeks to expand its market presence across North America.

The company has raised sufficient capital to construct its first plant in Vancouver, where it will make specialized filters and contactor machines used in the carbon capture and removal processes, Svante CEO Claude Letourneau said in an interview.

Within several years, Svante is planning to build a second manufacturing facility in the United States, closer to where its customers are located and where CO2 can be monetized, Letourneau said.

Svante raised $318m last year in a series E fundraising round led by Chevron New Energies. It will spend approximately $100m to build the Vancouver facility.

Letourneau says the company’s principal target market in North America is existing gray hydrogen facilities that use steam methane reforming, of which there are around 1,000. The cost of adding carbon capture to existing SMR plants brings the cost of blue hydrogen from $1.50 per kilogram to around $2 per kilogram, according to Letourneau, compared to green hydrogen that will cost between $3 – $6 per kilogram with a similar carbon footprint.

“It’s a good solution,” he said.

Optimizing costs

As an original equipment manufacturer, Svante has partnerships with some of the largest EPC companies in the world for carbon capture projects: Kiewit in North America, Technip in Europe, and Samsung in Asia.

“When you have a technology that you want to take to market, you need to get the benefit of a close relationship with these EPC contractors if you want to deploy quickly and reduce costs,” he said.

He noted that the filters and contactors typically make up between 10% – 15% of the cost of a carbon capture plant, while the rest is in the balance of plant. Filters typically have a lifespan of three to five years, he said, allowing for additional recurring revenues for Svante after the initial installation.

Svante is working on five to six projects with Kiewit in North America that are in the pre-FEED and FEED stages, with FIDs expected by the end of next year. It is also working with Linde on a Department of Energy-sponsored pre-FEED carbon capture project for Linde’s Port Arthur gray hydrogen facility.

Additionally, Svante has a partnership with Swiss-based Climeworks for direct air carbon capture technologies.

“We want to be for carbon capture what GE Aerospace is for the jet engine industry,” he said, using an analogy to a market in which there are only several OEMs in a large, consolidated industry.

Target market

There are around 10,000 emitting plants globally that need carbon capture in order to decarbonize; meanwhile there are only 40 carbon capture facilities in operation, according to Letourneau. Svante’s Vancouver plant will be able to make equipment for around 10 plants per year, but eventually the company would like to scale up to between 50 – 100 plants per year with additional manufacturing capacity.

“This is a big problem we’re trying to solve here,” he said.

To build the second plant in the US, the company will explore using project finance debt and seek to take advantage of US government incentives for clean energy manufacturing. The recently enhanced carbon capture tax incentives – of $85 per ton of CO2 captured versus $50 previously – will also benefit Svante’s carbon-emitting customers.

In addition to gray hydrogen, the company is targeting carbon emissions from oil and gas refining as well as pulp and paper mills.

Use cases

Svante’s modular solid sorbent technology can be inserted to capture flue gas at the end of the refining process instead of inside the plant, offering fewer disruptions to existing systems. Svante then concentrates the CO2 into a pipeline grade for storage or industrial use.

“Nobody makes these filters in the world,” Letourneau continued, “so if I want to convince somebody to give Kiewit and ourselves a purchase order for $300m to build a 1 million-ton-per-year plant, they need to see that we have a manufacturing plant to make the filters, they need to see that we have the size of the contactor done at commercial size, and they need to see that we’ve done all the engineering studies to justify that this project can be monetized, economical, and the like.”

The company is sufficiently capitalized to advance the projects in its pipeline, and is focused on completing the Vancouver plant and garnering purchase orders in order to become profitable. A potential future exit could come in the form of an IPO or sale to a larger player, Letourneau said.

“We understand the market is quite buoyant and probably a few large companies are going to try to dominate, and they may decide they want to acquire a company like us, so an M&A is a possible exit in the next five years, depending on the conditions,” he said.

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Exclusive: Appalachian biogas firm seeking project debt

An RNG developer based in Appalachia with projects across the US is seeking project debt financing.

Northern Biogas, the West Virginia-based developer and operator of anaerobic digester and RNG facilities, is independently seeking debt for its project pipeline, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Backed by HIG Capital, Northern Biogas serves diary, landfill, food waste and municipal projects. The company has raised some $200m in debt with assistance from alternative energy finance provider Pathward National Association, one source said. Project debt has typically been raised in tranches of $20m to $30m for individual projects.

Northern Biogas’ portfolio includes five dairy farm projects under construction in Wisconsin and one in Michigan, according to the company’s website. The company has a presence in Texas and Colorado as well.

Representatives of the company did not respond to requests for comment.
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Brookfield-owned renewables developer planning hydrogen co-location

An IPP and developer of wind, solar and storage projects is in early discussions with potential partners to co-locate electrolysis with its operating assets and projects in development.

Scout Clean Energy, the Boulder, Colorado-based IPP and renewables developer, is laying the groundwork to co-locate electrolysis for green hydrogen with its wind and solar assets, CEO Michael Rucker said in an interview.

The company’s Power2X team is charged with looking for alternative strategies, Rucker said.

“We are actively trying to match project opportunities with the future hydrogen economy,” he said, noting that the company’s operating wind portfolio provides a crucial piece of that. “Wind is an especially good fit for hydrogen production just in terms of pricing.”

Scout, which is owned by Brookfield Renewable, sees itself as producing green electrons and doesn’t want to get into marketing and distribution of hydrogen, Rucker said.

Brookfield acquired Scout in 2022 for $1bn, with the potential to invest an additional $350m to support development activities.

Scout has its first solar project in development in ERCOT, a market where shipping of hydrogen would make for a promising project, Rucker said. The company has also looked at the Midwest, where a robust SAF production ecosystem is forming, as well as the Pacific Northwest.

The company is already working with one hydrogen developer to match production to one of its wind farms, Rucker said. An exact location has not been selected.

Pricing diligence has been promising, Rucker said. But the offtake market in the US remains slow to develop despite regulatory encouragement.

“The IRA has given us maybe the most subsidized hydrogen production market in the world but it’s really being production-driven not demand-driven, so we really need to see more of the economy using hydrogen,” Rucker said. “I trust that will come, it’s just going to take longer than we think.”

Scout is not ready to take anything to market related to hydrogen, but ultimately there will be a need for financial advisory, Rucker said.
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