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Landowners file petition against Indiana Class VI sequestration permits

Indiana landowners have filed a petition for a further a review of the EPA's approval of two Class VI well permits issued to Wabash Carbon Services for a blue ammonia production facility.

A group of Indiana landowners has filed a petition against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5’s recent issuance of two Class VI Underground Injection Control Permits to Wabash Carbon Services LLC for carbon sequestration wells linked to a hydrogen and ammonia production facility.

The petitioners argue that the EPA violated the National Environmental Policy Act by not adequately assessing cumulative impacts or considering alternatives, failed to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act by approving an insufficient post-injection site care plan, and made arbitrary decisions in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

They request that the permits be vacated and call for a review of the EPA’s actions, according to the document.

“EPA has long relied on the ‘functional equivalence doctrine’ to claim that its permitting actions under the SDWA are exempt from NEPA because EPA’s own requirements and those of the SDWA are functionally equivalent to NEPA,” lawyers from Vinson & Elkins wrote in a policy paper last week. “This view has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and the EAB in various UIC challenges.”

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Fast fission tech co. signs PPA LOI with Diamondback Energy

Oklo, a nuclear fuel recycling startup with backing from Sam Altman, has signed an LOI for a power purchase agreement with Diamondback Energy for a project in the Permian Basin.

Oklo Inc., a fast fission clean power technology and nuclear fuel recycling company backed by Sam Altman, has reached an agreement with Diamondback Energy Inc., the largest independent producer headquartered in the shale-oil region to collaborate on a long-term Power Purchase Agreement, according to a news release.

The LOI signed by Diamondback outlines its intent to enter into a 20-year PPA with Oklo. The proposed agreement focuses on engaging Oklo’s Aurora powerhouses to supply reliable and emission-free electricity to Diamondback’s operations in the Permian Basin.

According to the terms of the LOI, Oklo intends to license, build, and operate powerhouses capable of generating 50 MW of electric power to Diamondback E&P LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Diamondback near Midland, Texas.

The LOI outlines options to renew and extend the potential PPA for an additional 20-year term. Oklo’s powerhouse designs are intended to be able to operate for 40 years, and because of Oklo’s design-build-own-operate business model, potential customers like Diamondback are expected to be able to purchase power without complex ownership issues or other capital requirements.

“By developing and providing a low-cost, high-reliability, and emission-free energy source, Oklo is poised to help meet the growing energy requirements of operators like Diamondback,” added DeWitte. The collaboration between Oklo and Diamondback represents a significant step towards emissions reductions and supporting national energy security by providing reliable access to electricity to power domestic energy operations.

On July 11, 2023, Oklo and AltC Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: ALCC) announced that they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement that upon closing would result in the combined company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “OKLO.”

AltC is the SPAC of Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI.

The 2023 deal valued Oklo at $850m. It currently trades with a $660m equity market cap.

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Iberdrola and BP to collaborate on green hydrogen production

Iberdrola and BP today announced their plan to form a strategic collaboration aiming to help accelerate the energy transition.

Iberdrola and BP today announced their plan to form a strategic collaboration aiming to help accelerate the energy transition.

The companies intend to develop large scale green hydrogen production hubs in Spain, Portugal and the UK, as well as production of derivatives such as green ammonia and methanol, which could be exported to Northern Europe.

This collaboration will combine Iberdrola’s world-class track record in renewables development and its global customer base, with BP’s experience in gas processing, trading and its global customer portfolio, according to a press release.The companies aim to jointly develop advantaged hydrogen production hubs with total capacity of up to 600ktpa, integrated with new renewable power.

The green hydrogen project at bp’s Castellón refinery will be part of the agreement. The two companies, together with the Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía, have submitted the Castellón project to the Spanish government’s hydrogen value chain PERTE call.

Likewise, Iberdrola’s industrial hydrogen projects under development, as well as new projects, will be part of the agreement. Based on this collaboration in Spain, Portugal and the UK, Iberdrola and bp intend to explore potential future opportunities for green hydrogen production in other geographies.

Iberdrola and BP aim to finalize both joint venture agreements by end 2022, subject to regulatory approvals

The companies also intend to collaborate to significantly expand fast EV public charging infrastructure to support the adoption of electric vehicles.

Iberdrola and BP plan to form a joint venture that intends to invest up to €1 billion to roll-out a network of up to 11,000 rapid and ultra-fast EV public charge points across Spain and Portugal, significantly expanding access to charging for consumer and fleet customers thus accelerating electric mobility.

The plan includes installing and operating an initial 5,000 fast charge points by 2025, and up to a total of 11,000 by 2030, including Iberdrola’s existing fast charging hubs.

The companies are also looking at options to jointly serve EV customers in the UK.

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Sumitomo eyeing stake in Calgary carbon capture project

Sumitomo has been granted the right to acquire an equity interest in the East Calgary Carbon Transportation & Sequestration Project.

Reconciliation Energy Transition Inc. and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, have entered into an agreement whereby RETI has granted Sumitomo the exclusive right to acquire a significant equity interest in the East Calgary Carbon Transportation & Sequestration Project.

The CTS Hub is a proposed CO2 transportation and sequestration development project that is expected to involve constructing compression capacity, a COpipeline network, and injection and monitoring wells to support permanent sequestration of CO2 in deep saline aquifers at a location east of Calgary, according to a news release.

The project has an estimated first phase targeted CO2 storage volume of 3.0 million tonnes per annum.

“We are pleased to welcome Sumitomo to our East Calgary CTS Hub. They are one of the world’s leading trading and business investment companies and we are excited to work with their dedicated CCUS team. This partnership, with our commitment to Indigenous ownership, is a pivotal step to bring the CTS project to fruition.” said Stephen Mason, Chairman & CEO of RETI.

“We are delighted to partner with RETI and its commitment to meaningful Indigenous ownership on the development of the CTS Hub. The mitigation of climate change is one of our key areas of focus and we recognize that CCUS is a key technology in that battle,” said Shinichi “Sandro” Hasegawa, General Manager of Energy Innovation Initiative Americas at Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.

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Exclusive: Waste-to-fuels developer preparing capital raise

A waste-to-fuels developer has lined up an advisor and is planning a capital raise for a project in West Texas, in what is expected to be the first of up to 20 similar fundraising efforts totaling $500m in external capital needs.

Recover, Inc., a Calgary-based waste-to-fuels project developer, is preparing to launch a capital raise for its first US-based projects in West Texas.

The company has lined up CIBC to assist with the capital raise while a large Canadian Crown Corporation is expected to sign on as a lending partner for the debt portion of the cap stack, CFO Shane Kozak said in an interview.

Kozak said he will need to raise $70m – $75m for the West Texas project, which will process waste from oil and gas drilling fluids and recover 800 barrels per day of low carbon intensity diesel fuel from 800 tons of waste.

Existing equity backers Azimuth Capital and BDC will participate in the capital raise, but the company is seeking additional project equity investors to take part in a 60% debt to 40% equity capital structure, Kozak said.

While the cost of the West Texas project is estimated at $55m, the company needs to raise approximately $70m to account for debt servicing and underwriting fees, he added.

Recover has mapped out a strategy to build 20 projects in oil and gas basins across the US, and estimates it will need to raise $500m in external capital over 10 years to fully develop those projects.

Project model

The company already operates a similar facility in Alberta that became operational in 2018, at a cost of CAD 20m and producing about half of what the West Texas project will produce.

“This has been commercially proven in Canada, and we’re going to a better market with a lot more drilling waste production” in the US, Kozak said.

The waste stream from oil and gas drilling contains large amounts of diesel fuel: a typical well will create 400 – 500 tons of waste, 30%-40% of which is recoverable low carbon intensity diesel, Kozak said.

In Texas, the drilling fluid waste often ends up in pits near drilling rigs or in industrial landfills, where it biodegrades over time and emits CO2 and methane into the atmosphere.

“We significantly reduce GHG emissions and create a fuel source that can be reused, and every barrel that we recover is a barrel of fuel that would otherwise have to come from a fossil fuel source,” he said.

Recent changes to Texas policy regarding oil and gas drilling waste could increase the availability of feedstock for the company. The Texas RailRoad Commission, which oversees the state’s oil and gas industry, is seeking to modernize disposal practices that would redirect waste from drilling pits to more centralized industrial landfills.

“The good thing for us is that, in the Permian Basin, about 70% – 80% of the wells use these pits, and our strategy is to build our facility directly on industrial landfills,” Kozak said.

Recover is working with a large landfill management company with operations across the US to develop its facilities, he added. The company does not pay for feedstock, given the synergistic relationship between Recover and the landfill management company.

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Electrolysis start-up seeking seed money

A two-man hydrogen electrolysis and storage startup based in the southeastern US is seeking an equity investment from a strategic or venture capital investor.

Green Fuel, an early-stage hydrogen technology start-up, is seeking USD 2m in seed money from a strategic or venture capital investor to get its technology off the ground, CFO William Green said in an interview.

The Alabama LLC is comprised of the two founders: Green and inventor Gordon Marsh. Green is based in Missouri.

A patented electrolysis and storage tank system (200 psi) is currently being used for grilling on site of storage, Green said. That prototype application could be scaled up, but the company is interested in pursuing licensing applications in HVAC, fuel cell vehicles, and methanol production.

Green Fuel said in a news release that the atmospheric pressuring system can reduce the cost of hydrogen by 60% by eliminating the need for transportation and compression.

The technology can be scaled to on-site production and tank storage of between 5,000 psi and 10,000 psi, Green said. Proving out that use case is part of the investment need.

“This is a real world solution,” Green said of the invention, which addresses problems in hydrogen transportation and storage. The company is also presenting its technology to the military.

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exclusive

Mobility solutions provider to raise up to EUR 200m

Quantron, the German and US-based mobility solutions provider, is set to launch a capital raise that could entail the sale of up to 20% equity.

Quantron, the German and US-based mobility solutions provider, is set to launch a capital raise that could entail the sale of up to 20% equity, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The company is seeking between EUR 150m and EUR 200m in the process, the sources said, implying a valuation of up to EUR 1bn.

Quantron, which recently expanded into North America with the opening of an office in Detroit, will also consider debt as a part of the raise, one of the sources said.

At a ceremony at the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (DGIC) in Washington D.C. on 12 October, Quantron signed a deal to supply TMP Logistics with 500 Class 8 trucks. The trucks will be operated by Quantron’s as-a-service (QaaS) vertical; they are scheduled for delivery in 2024.

Quantron AG CEO Michael Perschke told ReSource at that event that the company is in discussions with US investors about the capital raise, which has not formally launched but is tentatively scheduled to wrap up in 2Q23. Quantron is also in pre-closure discussions with several US law firms.

A fourth source said Quantron has worked with Danish consulting firm Ramboll Group on past deals.

Perschke said his company has relationships with PwC and EY, the latter especially on IPO readiness.

Quantron in September closed on a EUR 50m Series A with NASDAQ-listed Ballard Power Systems and German machinery manufacturer Neuman & Esser as investors.

Looking forward the company would like to work with a US strategic or private equity interest committed to hydrogen.

Utilities or corporates investing in hydrogen production but still building out the offtake structure would be of interest to Quantron, Perschke said. He noted that private equity interest like Ardian’s HY24 and Beam Capital are also active in the space.

Quantron is in the final stages of a deal with an oil company that Perschke declined to name, but said the company has 2,000 fueling stations across Europe that they are considering for conversion to hydrogen.

Perschke said his company plans to build out its presence in California and then could look for expansion in the northeast, Gulf Coast or Canada. The company aims to be an early mover in US hydrogen-fueled long-haul trucking along with peer Nikola Motor.

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