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LanzaJet starts production at Georgia SAF facility

The Soperton, Georgia facility will produce 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel per year from ethanol.

LanzaJet has opened LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels, the world’s first ethanol to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility.

Located in Soperton, Georgia, LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels represents one of the most promising SAF technologies in nearly a decade to reach commercial readiness, and will produce 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel per year from low carbon, sustainable, and certified ethanol which meets U.S. and global standards, according to a news release.

LanzaJet’s technology enables current and future supply volume to support a scaled SAF industry as well as the White House’s SAF Grand Challenge, which calls for a supply of at least 3 billion gallons of SAF annually by 2030 to tangibly reduce aviation emissions. With its proprietary ethanol to SAF technology, LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels serves as a blueprint for utilizing first-of-its-kind innovation to scale SAF production and combat the worsening climate crisis.

LanzaJet’s Freedom Pines Fuels plant represents the culmination of a history of firsts within the SAF industry, dating back to its origin in 2010 as the first ethanol to SAF technology to have derived in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL), the company said. The technology’s first commercial flights were completed with Virgin Atlantic and All Nippon Airways (ANA) in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

LanzaJet was joined at Wednesday’s event by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, Treutlen County Commissioner Phil Jennings, and Soperton Mayor John Koon.

Additionally, the opening of Freedom Pines Fuels also featured LanzaJet shareholders International Airlines Group (IAG), LanzaTech, Mitsui & Co, Shell, and Suncor Energy and investors such as the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Breakthrough Energy, British Airways, and All Nippon Airways (ANA).

LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels is fully funded and has committed offtake agreements for all fuel produced in the next 10 years.

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Energy Vault appoints CFO

Energy Vault has appointed Michael Beer as chief financial officer.

Energy Vault Holdings, Inc., a provider of sustainable grid-scale energy storage solutions, announced today the appointment of Michael Beer as Chief Financial Officer.

Beer will replace Jan Kees van Gaalen, who has served in the role since November 2022 and plans to retire. The appointment is effective April 15, 2024, the company said in a news release.

Energy Vault offers proprietary gravity-based storage, battery storage, and green hydrogen energy storage technologies.

Prior to Energy Vault, Beer served as Chief Financial Officer for FreeWire Technologies, Inc. (FreeWire), an industry leader in ultra-fast EV charging, battery storage and energy management solutions, since 2021. Prior to FreeWire, he served as Head of Financial Strategy & Investor Relations at Luminar Technologies, Inc (Nasdaq: LAZR), culminating in the company’s public listing.

Before Luminar, Beer spent seven years at Citigroup Inc., serving as a Senior Research Analyst in Hong Kong and Singapore, covering the transportation, logistics and infrastructure space across Asia. Previously, he covered the North American transportation sector at Bear Stearns and Wolfe Research in New York. Beer also currently serves on the Board of Directors at UK-based venture builder, Cambridge Future Tech Ltd. (CFT) and is a Partner at Vest Coast Capital.

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Heliogen planning H2 plant on public land in Arizona

Heliogen intends to develop a green hydrogen facility on leased land in the Brenda Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in Arizona.

Heliogen intends to develop a green hydrogen facility on leased land in the Brenda Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in Arizona, according to a press release.

The US Bureau of Land Management awarded Heliogen, a provider of AI-enabled concentrated solar energy, the exclusive right to lease the land. The company plans a project capable of producing approximately 20,000 metric tonnes of hydrogen per year.

The Brenda SEZ is situated on 3,343 acres of land in La Paz County, Arizona on the California border. The site has direct access to Interstate 10 for distribution of hydrogen to nearby natural gas pipelines for blending and transport, as well as to the Phoenix metropolitan area and the Port of Los Angeles for domestic and international shipping.

“The Brenda SEZ is an ideal location for commercial-scale green hydrogen production due to the ample local water supply and its close proximity to potential offtake partners and key distribution channels,”  Bill Gross, CEO of Heliogen, said in the release.

Heliogen and Bloom Energy successfully generated green hydrogen by integrating the companies’ technologies – Heliogen’s concentrated solar energy system and Bloom Energy’s Electrolyzer. The successful hydrogen production demonstration in Lancaster, California, completed in November 2021, showcased the companies’ complementary green power and hydrogen production technologies.

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Lummus and Biohydrogen Technologies form blue H2 partnership

A cross continental partnership between UK and US entities is meant to develop and deploy blue hydrogen production technologies.

Lummus Technology and Biohydrogen Technologies have an agreement to develop synthesis gas reactor technology to produce blue hydrogen, according to a news release.

Lummus’ Green Circle business unit will provide Biohydrogen Technologies hydrogen and synthesis gas plant design, reactor scale-up and equipment supply.

“This technology is an economically attractive solution to address the large-scale production of blue hydrogen,” the release states.

The partnership is meant to allow bulk hydrogen production from natural gas.

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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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Reaching bankability: The developing financial landscape around green hydrogen

Panelists at the S&P Platts Global Power Markets conference discussed existing and future opportunities to finance hydrogen production, storage and transport.

Decarbonizing is no longer an option: almost every company in every industry understands that’s the direction in which they need to be moving – now.

And for some companies, hydrogen is the only solution, Fanny Charrier, hydrogen Americas coordinator at Crédit Agricole CIB, said during the Fueling Tomorrow with Hydrogen panel at the S&P Platts Global Power Markets conference this week.

Even so, the project menu is limited.

“We haven’t seen many projects to finance,” Charrier said. “Everybody’s waiting.”

ACES Delta in Utah is thus far the only producing green hydrogen project in the US to raise financing, Charrier said. Credit Agricole is thus focused on M&A debt and equity advisory.

“What we’re looking at is mostly pure green hydrogen projects,” she said. Green ammonia shipping to Europe is a main end-use and market. Project sizes range from a few million up to USD 5bn. “We’re also supporting some electrolyzer manufacturing plants.”

Mobility, heavy trucks and shippers looking for hydrogen is a potentially huge market, but hasn’t materialized yet, she said.

Demand signals

In Europe, commitments to close traditional power generation assets hold promise for clean fuels, António Fayad, manager of hydrogen strategy at EDP Renewables, said during the panel. In the US, EDP is mainly looking to industry to buy hydrogen at or adjacent to factories and other relevant facilities.

There has been a strong, customer-led demand signal from the US, said Sam Bartholomaeus, vice president of power and renewables at Woodside Energy. Woodside was already considering a hydrogen project in Oklahoma when the IRA was passed.

“The signal was already there in terms of seeing demand sectors that need to be decarbonized and seeing that we had a competitive proposition,” he said of the hydrogen portfolio Woodside is developing in the US.

Woodside recently signed a contract for Air Liquide to provide liquefaction equipment for a hydrogen project in Ardmore, Oklahoma. First production at that project will begin in 2026 and Woodside is targeting FID this year.

Government support and finding offtake  

Last year, the USD 504m loan guarantee for the US Department of Energy was a huge boost for the ACES Delta in Utah, Susan Fernandez, senior director of strategy at ACES-Delta, said.

That kind of support from governments and legislatively mandated decarbonization quickens the proliferation of new hydrogen technologies and projects.

“Others will also have the ability to receive more loan guarantee dollars,” Fernandez said of the post-IRA landscape. “We’ll see more projects come to the space.”

Still, offtake is key to reaching bankability, Charrier said.

“The key is always the offtake,” she said. Rather than a chicken-and-egg metaphor, she said she likes to mention a domino effect. “Yes, at the beginning we’ll have to pay a premium, but if it’s driven by a net-zero commitment everything will fall into place.”

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Green hydrogen firm secures offtake LOI for Texas project

Clean Energy Holdings has secured an LOI for offtake from a European buyer for phase 1 of a green hydrogen project currently under development in Texas.

Clean Energy Holdings (CEH), a green hydrogen firm, has secured offtake for phase 1 of a green hydrogen project currently under development in Clear Fork, Texas.

A critical component of the project’s progress, the letter of intent for hydrogen offtake was signed this week with a European buyer, CEH chief executive Nicholas Bair said in an interview. He declined to name the offtaker but described it as a national energy security issue for the buyer.

The offtake agreement covers the first 30,000 kg per day of production from the site starting in 4Q24, which encapsulates phase 1 of the project. CEH President Cornelius Fitzgerald said the facility will eventually ramp up in four phases to around 130,000 kg per day of production.

CEH, which develops but also plans to own and operate projects, has assembled a coalition of industry partners, which it calls The Alliance, to provide “soup-to-nuts delivery,” Bair said. “We oversee projects from the first day to the last day the lights are on and the last use of each molecule.”

He added: “In the energy transformation, availability, security, and reliability matter.”

In addition to CEH, the group includes Bair Energy, Chart Industries, Equix, RockeTruck, Coast 2 Coast Logistics, The Eastman Group, and, most recently, HSB.

Bair emphasized the importance of the recent $4.4bn merger announcement between Chart Industries and Howden for its impact on vertical integration for CEH’s projects. Chart and Howden said in a press release last week that the merger will expand Chart’s equipment portfolio and process technology offering for multiple molecules and applications across high growth areas, including hydrogen.

“The acquisition gives CEH high confidence in security of supply from the Chart scope, and when paired with Chart’s performance history and customer centric experience, we believe Chart has increased its important position for our platform and our industry in general,” Fitzgerald added.

CEH had already put in a $100m purchase order for equipment with Chart, which is advising The Alliance on liquefaction, storage, reverse osmosis, and water, but the order jumped to $400m in a phased approach over the next 24 – 36 months following the Howden announcement, Bair said.

Project finance

In order to finance the Clear Fork project, CEH is seeking to raise just under $1bn through sponsor equity and project finance debt, using ING as financial advisor, the executives said. The tenor of the debt will likely come in between seven and 10 years, in line with the terms of the offtake agreement.

CEH has received interest from 142 “top notch” investors for the equity piece, and interest from 42 investors that could do both debt and equity, Bair said.

Bair and Fitzgerald declined to discuss pricing for the offtake contract, but noted the terms were “economically responsible” even without factoring in expanded tax credits included in the Inflation Reduction Act. “We meet the hurdle rates of our investors and our bank” without the tax credits, Bair said.

CEH is on a baseline schedule to reach FID on the Clear Fork project by April, 2023, Bair said, and is working with Norton Rose Fulbright as legal counsel.

More projects

Meanwhile, CEH and its partners are seeking to assemble an ambitious pipeline of projects over the next decade, and have held discussions with additional potential offtakers in foreign and domestic markets.

A project announced last year — CEH’s first — seeks to advance a wind-powered green hydrogen plant in Colorado.

With The Alliance, “The amount of intelligence and experience that we’ve had at the table at the early design phase of these projects has been of tremendous value,” Fitzgerald said.

“Once there’s been enough experience and a bit more trust built up within those relationships, now we’re seeing opportunities to start to come from our platform around where an offtake might be needed,” he added, equating it to a development model that “shops backward” from where the molecule is needed.

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