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Marubeni enters share subscription agreement on Canada CCS projects

The Meadowbrook CCS Project, one of the projects being developed by Bison, is located near Edmonton, Alberta, and aims to develop a world-scale storage operation of 3 million tons of CO2 per annum.

Bison Low Carbon Ventures Inc. has entered into a share subscription agreement with Marubeni Corporation, to facilitate development of Bison’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in Alberta, Canada, according to a news release.

The Meadowbrook CCS Project, one of the projects being developed by Bison, is located near Edmonton, Alberta, and aims to develop a world-scale storage operation of 3 million tons of CO2 per annum. Detailed geological evaluation work such as drilling, as well as further detailed formation evaluation, will start over the second half of 2023, with plans to commence storage operations starting from the end of 2024 and expanding to full capacity as market demand for sequestration services develop.

The Project is expected to transport and store CO2 emitted from the Alberta Industrial Heartland Area and industries within its proximity, thus contributing to Canada and Alberta’s 2050 carbon neutrality goal and to the creation of new industries such as blue hydrogen and blue ammonia production. Through its relationship with Bison, Marubeni will also have the opportunity to invest in the North Drumheller CCS Project and other Bison-developed energy transition initiatives.

Marubeni released its GC2024 Mid-Term Management Strategy in February 2022, under which it aims to become a forerunner in green business. CCS is a critical technology for achieving carbon neutrality worldwide, and Marubeni will contribute to the decarbonization of hard-to-abate industries utilizing the insights gained through its CCS projects, including Meadowbrook and the CTSCo CCS project in Queensland, Australia.

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Canadian government unveils hydrogen tax credit proposal

In a bid to keep pace with the U.S. following passage of the IRA, Canada has unveiled a proposal for investment tax credits for clean hydrogen.

In a bid to keep pace with the United States following approval of the Inflation Reduction Act, policymakers in Canada have unveiled proposals to incentivize investments in clean energy including hydrogen.

In its 2022 Fall Economic Statement, the Canadian government is seeking establish an investment tax credit to support investments in clean hydrogen production.

The proposed investment tax credit will be refundable, according to the statement, and available for eligible investments made as of the day of Budget 2023. The credit will be phased out after 2030. The lowest carbon intensity tier that meets all eligibility requirements is proposed to receive an investment tax credit of at least 40%. If a company does not meet certain labour conditions, the maximum tax credit rate will be reduced by 10%, which will help incentivize companies to support and create good jobs for the workers our economy relies on.

In the coming weeks, the Department of Finance will launch a consultation on how best to implement an investment tax credit for clean hydrogen based on the lifecycle carbon intensity of hydrogen. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) introduced carbon intensity tiers to guide the level of support to clean hydrogen projects. As outlined in the IRA, support would begin to be provided when emissions from the production of clean hydrogen are 4.0kg of CO2e or less per kg of hydrogen, while the highest level of support would be provided where emissions are 0.45kg of CO2e or less per kg of hydrogen. The consultation will seek input on:

  • An appropriate carbon intensity-based system for the Canadian context; and,
  • The level of support needed for different production pathways in Canada.

Through this investment tax credit, the government will promote jobs and skills for a net-zero economy, such that the level of the credit will depend on whether certain labour protection requirements are met. The Department of Finance will consult with a broad group of stakeholders, but especially with unions, on how best to attach labour conditions to the investment tax credit for clean hydrogen to ensure that wages paid are at the prevailing level in the local labour market, and that apprenticeship training opportunities are being created.

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Microsoft invests in LanzaJet

Microsoft’s investment in LanzaJet enables it to gain access to sustainable fuels – SAF and renewable diesel – as well as SAF Certificates from future LanzaJet projects.

LanzaJet, a sustainable fuels technology company and sustainable fuels producer, has received an investment from Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund.

The investment enables LanzaJet to continue building its capability and capacity to deploy its sustainable fuels process technology globally. In addition, LanzaJet and Microsoft intend to explore how Microsoft can supply its data and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to improve LanzaJet’s corporate functions and ethanol to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) process technology, according to a news release.

This investment in LanzaJet follows a $50m project finance investment from Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund in 2022 to support the construction of LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels in Soperton, Georgia, the world’s first ethanol to SAF production plant, which opened in January 2024. LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels will begin annual production of 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel in the second quarter of 2024.

Our continued alignment with Microsoft allows LanzaJet to build our team and capability at pace to support global deployment of our leading sustainable fuels process technology,” said Jimmy Samartzis, Chief Executive Officer of LanzaJet. ​Through its support of LanzaJet’s first-of-a-kind ethanol to SAF biorefinery, LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels, Microsoft has played a significant role in making SAF production a reality in the United States, and this investment reemphasizes its urgent commitment to decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors.”

Microsoft’s investment in LanzaJet enables it to gain access to sustainable fuels – SAF and Renewable Diesel – as well as SAF Certificates (SAFc) from future LanzaJet projects. Access to these products will help Microsoft on the path to becoming carbon negative by 2030.

Microsoft is proud to support LanzaJet with our investment in the growth of its sustainable fuel technology business,” said Brandon Middaugh, senior director, Climate Innovation Fund, Microsoft. ​Microsoft is investing in partners who share our commitment to advancing a net-zero economy and who are building the market for critical solutions like SAF and renewable diesel.”

In addition to Microsoft, LanzaJet’s portfolio of investors and funders includes All Nippon Airways (ANA), Breakthrough Energy, British Airways, LanzaTech, Mitsui & Co., Shell, Southwest Airlines, and Suncor Energy.

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Brookfield-backed LanzaTech hires EVP from Shell

LanzaTech Global has hired Aura Cuellar as EVP of growth and strategic projects. She was previously vice president of energy transition at Shell.

LanzaTech Global, Inc., an innovative carbon capture and transformation company, has hired Aura Cuellar as EVP of growth and strategic projects, according to a news release.

LanzaTech is pioneering a new circular carbon economy. The company captures carbon emissions and pollution from industries and uses a specialty microbe to convert them into the building blocks used to make everyday materials, including sustainable fuels, packaging, and textiles. This process patterns after traditional refining methods but offers a way of refining carbon that has already seen a primary use rather than processing virgin fossil carbon.

The company has a strong project pipeline in addition to three operating commercial scale plants and an anticipated three more coming online before the end of 2023. In October 2022, LanzaTech announced a strategic funding partnership with Brookfield Renewable to build additional commercial facilities. The funding will be provided through the Brookfield Global Transition Fund, which is the largest private fund in the world focused on the energy transition. Brookfield is LanzaTech’s preferred capital partner for project opportunities in Europe and North America and following initial investments totaling $500m, Brookfield could commit to making an additional $500m available for investments in the strategic partnership if sufficient projects are available at the agreed milestones.

With the appointment of Cuellar, who has a record of running and implementing large scale capital projects for the refining and chemicals sectors, LanzaTech installs a global executive with seasoned project management, construction, and commercial negotiation experience to accelerate deployment of projects and capital in partnership with Brookfield.

The creation of a team around Cuellar is expected to fast track growth and bring additional revenue to the newly listed company by accelerating capital deployment from Brookfield.

Prior to joining LanzaTech, Aura Cuellar most recently served as Vice President of Energy Transition for Shell in the United States. Originally hired into an engineering position, Cuellar advanced her 24+ year tenure at Shell across various senior executive roles in downstream manufacturing. Cuellar brings a proven successful track record of strategy development and implementation, strategic commercial partnerships formation for creating sustainable revenue pipelines, and management of an annual capital projects portfolio of $500m.

“LanzaTech continues to set an example for decarbonization, matching innovation with ambition,” said Natalie Adomait, managing partner, and CIO of Transition Investing at Brookfield. “With Aura at the helm of this infrastructure initiative, we look forward to continuing the work Brookfield has begun with LanzaTech on our journey toward a circular carbon economy.”

“As the world’s first public carbon transformation company, we are doubling down our efforts to accelerate the commercial deployment of our technology,” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “We have found the right leader in Aura and the right partner in Brookfield Renewables. Together we can get more steel in the ground and start solving our carbon emissions problem today. This is what the world needs us to do.”

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Exclusive: Modular green ammonia firm launches capital raise

A modular green ammonia firm has hired a boutique investment bank and has launched a roughly $150m capital raise.

Talus Renewables, a developer of modular green ammonia projects, has hired a boutique investment bank and has launched a capital raise.

The company has hired GLC Advisors as sellside advisor, according to sources familiar with the matter, and launched the capital raise this month, which seeks to raise $50m of equity and an additional $100m of financing.

CEO Hiro Iwanaga told ReSource last year that the company was gearing up for a Series B capital raise, including initiating talks with potential advisors.

Talus offers containerized systems that produce green ammonia from power, water, and air, in the form of the TalusOne (up to 1.4 tonnes of green ammonia daily) and talusTen (up to 20 tonnes per day).

The company delivered its first system to Kenya Nut Company, a multinational agricultural firm in east Africa, under a 15-year fixed-price ammonia offtake agreement, Iwanaga said in the interview. As of November, the company had a pipeline of approximately $1bn of indicated interest for ammonia from potential customers, which included large farms and mining companies in several global jurisdictions, including the US.

It recently completed a $22m Series A fundraising that would fund the delivery of the next three to four systems before the end of the year, Iwanaga said, stretching Talus’ footprint to Europe and the US, with one more system heading to South America.

The company is deploying to large farms and mining companies, where ammonia is used as a blasting agent. In the US, the company has partnered with agribusiness Wilbur-Ellis and farmer-owned cooperative Landus, Iwanaga said.

Iwanaga and GLC did not respond to requests for comment about the recently launched capital raise.

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Midwestern SAF developer in capital raise

A municipal solid waste solutions firm based in the midwestern US is undergoing a $30m capital raise ahead of its first SAF project with plans to launch another raise late this year or early next.

Illinois Clean Fuels, the municipal solid waste solutions firm in Deerfield, Illinois, has mandated two advisors to run a capital raise, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Chabina Energy Partners and Weild & Co. are assisting on the process, which the company plans to have finished by October, the sources said.

The equity will be put toward six recovery facilities to supply feedstock for an unannounced project located in the Chicagoland region, one of the sources said. Following two years or so of engineering and permitting, that project should enter construction.

In December or early 1Q24 ICF plans to launch another equity raise for development capital.

ICF, Chabina and Weild & Co. declined to comment.

Illinois Clean Fuels has a synthetic fuel plant under development that will convert municipal solid waste into sustainable aviation fuel in combination with carbon capture and storage, according to its website.

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Exclusive: Hydrogen adoption and production firm prepping capital raise

A decarbonization services provider is in development on multiple utility-owned hydrogen adoption projects in the Northeast, Texas and Georgia and is preparing to launch a capital raise in 3Q24.

Celadyne, a Chicago-based decarbonization and hydrogen solutions company, will launch a Series A this year as it continues its role in the development of several utility-owned hydrogen adoption projects in the US, founder and CEO Gary Ong told ReSource.

A $20m to $30m capital raise will likely launch in 3Q24, Ong said. The company is relying on existing investors from its recent seed round to advise, and the amount could change based on grants.

While the $4.5m seed round allowed the company to focus on transportation mobility, the Series A will be used to do more work on hydrogen production, so the company will be looking for strategics in oil and gas, renewable energy, and utilities.

DLA Piper is the company’s legal advisor, Ong said.

Celadyne has a contract signed with a utility in the Northeast for a small electrolysis demonstration and, following that, a multimillion-dollar project. Discussions on how to finance that latter project are underway.

Additional electrolysis projects in Texas and Georgia are in later discussions, while less mature deals are taking shape with a nuclear customer in Illinois and another project in Southern California, Ong said.

Fuel cell customers (typically OEMs that use hydrogen) to which Celadyne ships equipment are clustered mostly in Vancouver, Michigan and California.

Meanwhile, Celadyne has generated revenues from military contracts of about $1m, Ong said, a source of non-recurring revenue that has prodded the company to look for a fuel cell integration partner specific to the defense application.

‘Blocking hydrogen’

The company, founded in 2019, is focused on solving for the demand and supply issues for which the fledgling US hydrogen market is notorious. Thus, it is split-focused between hydrogen adoption and production.

Celadyne has developed a nanoparticle coating that can be applied to existing fuel cell and electrolyzer membranes.

On the heavy-duty side, such as diesel generators or back-up power, the company improves durability of engines between 3X and 5X, Ong said.

On the electrolysis side, the technology improves rote efficiency by 15%. In production, Celadyne is looking for pilot projects and verification studies.

“We’re very good at blocking hydrogen,” he said. “In a fuel cell or electrolyzer, when you have hydrogen on one side and oxygen on the other side, you need something to make sure the hydrogen never sees the oxygen,” noting that it improves safety, reduces side reaction chemistry and improves efficiency.

Hydrogen adoption now will lead to green proliferation later should the economics prove out, according to Ong. If not, blue hydrogen and other decarbonized sources will still pave the way to climate stability.

The only negative for that is the apparent cost-floor for blue hydrogen in fuel cell technologies, Ong said, as carbon capture can only be so cost efficient.

“So, if the price floor is say, $3.25 or $3.50 per kg, it doesn’t mean that you cannot use it for things like transportation, it just means that it might be hard to use it for things like shipping, where the fuel just has to be cheaper,” Ong said.

Three companies

Celadyne is split into three focus applications: defense, materials, and production. If only one of those wings works, Ong said he could see selling to a strategic at some point.

“If any of those things work out, we ought to become a billion-dollar company,” he said.

If all three work out, Ong will likely seek to do an IPO.

An acquisition could be driven by an acquiror that can help Celadyne commercialize its products faster, he said.

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