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Nel sells shares of Danish firm Everfuel

Nel has sold its shareholdings of Danish green hydrogen spin-off firm Everfuel to Japanese partners Itochu Corporation and Osaka Gas.

Nel ASA has agreed to sell all its shares in Danish green hydrogen producer Everfuel.

A total of 11,698,918 shares are sold for a total consideration of NOK 116.6m ($10.6m), equal to NOK 9.97 per share, according to a release from Nel.

HyVC ApS, a company owned by Japanese corporations Itochu Corporation and Osaka gas, is the block buyer of the shares.

Everfuel said the Japanese partners will support future equity financing rounds and invest in one or more of its private placements in the next 36 months with up to EUR 20m, with an initial contribution being the commissioning of Everfuel’s HySynergy phase 1 project.

“Nel is in a build-up phase streamlining the company and focusing all resources on our own growth. We are therefore divesting non-strategic financial positions. With this sale we no longer own any equity listed instruments,” said Kjell Christian Bjørnsen, CFO of Nel.

Everfuel was spun out of Nel in 2020 and has since then been a key client for both Nel’s Electrolyser and Fueling departments, Nel said in the release.

“With this transaction, Everfuel will get a solid, long-term industrial cornerstone investor. Nel has been with Everfuel from the beginning, and while we are no longer shareholders, we look forward to a close relationship with the company,” said Bjørnsen.

Closing of the transaction is contingent upon regulatory approvals.

Carnegie acted as financial advisor to Nel in connection with the transaction.

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Carbon capture firm makes leadership appointments

British Columbia-based carbon capture firm Svante has appointed a chief revenue officer and hired a new chief commercial officer and general counsel.

Svante, a carbon capture & removal technology solutions provider based in British Columbia, Canada, announced today that Matthew Stevenson is transitioning from CFO to the new role of chief revenue officer (CRO), and Andrew McLeod has joined as chief commercial officer (CCO) and general counsel.

Bringing over 25 years’ experience as a corporate lawyer, Andrew will oversee Svante’s global corporate and legal affairs including commercial support, contract management, IP and risk management, corporate finance, M&A, and Governance & Board Affairs.

As CRO, Matt will be responsible for overseeing the partnerships, people, processes, and systems that represent Svante’s revenue generation “engine”. He will serve as the steward of Svante’s business model and customer value proposition. This includes driving initiatives to increase revenue and to identify and execute strategies that will generate sales—increasing installed client base sales and broadening Svante’s overall client base. Matt will lead efforts to establish new strategic partnerships and grow existing relationships as well as identify opportunities for expansion into promising new markets.

“As a growth-focused company, we want to ensure that all elements of our business are ready and able to support our rapid scaling, especially those that impact revenue generation and commercial partnerships,” said Claude Letourneau, Svante’s president & CEO. “I’m pleased to welcome Andrew to the team and announce the appointment of Matt to a broad mandate for leading the revenue side of the business. Matt will continue as acting Chief Financial Officer in the transition to the recruitment of a new CFO.”

“The time has come to be boldly implementing leading edge technology to transform the impact of climate change on our planet. I am honoured to be a part of the Svante carbon capture solution,” said McLeod. “When Claude invited me to join as CCO and General Counsel, I did not hesitate. Svante has a 15-year first-mover advantage and has built key strategic relationships across the CCUS value chain, positioning it as a leader in providing commercial solid sorbent carbon capture & removal solutions.”

“It has been exceptionally rewarding to partner with Claude and the amazing team we have here at Svante over the last several years to build this Company into a credible solution for hard to abate CO2 emissions,” said Mr. Stevenson. “With the capital secured for our go-to market strategy, I look forward to the new challenge of scaling revenue, leveraging partnerships, and providing our customers with unique opportunities to capture and remove CO2 via world-leading technology.”

The CRO will be responsible for all revenue-related functions including strategic accounts management, sales and marketing, channel to market partnerships with EPC’s and project developers, customer support services, technology licensing and project delivery, as well as Svante’s Digital Business strategy, which ensures that all these activities are executed via scalable platforms aligned with Industry 4.0 principles.

Since its founding in 2007, Svante has grown to employ over 200 professionals and has become a leader in developing solid adsorbent materials, including novel metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for its nanoengineered carbon capture filters. The company has attracted customers, investors, and partners from large organizations around the world and has been named in the prestigious Global Cleantech 100 report since 2019.

In December 2023, Svante raised US$318m in a series E round led by Chevron New Energies. With these funds, Svante is building its new world headquarters, The Centre of Excellence for Carbon Capture & Removal, which will house its R&D and filter manufacturing facilities. Letourneau says The Centre of Excellence will enable the company to launch a series of commercial-scale carbon capture projects around the world that will capture 100 million tonnes of CO2 annually before 2030.

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Biofuels startup raises seed capital

Terragia Biofuel will use the capital to commercialize its biology-based approach to converting cellulosic biomass into ethanol and other products.

Terragia Biofuel, a technology startup aiming to drive the next generation of biofuels, has raised a $6m seed round led by Engine Ventures and Energy Impact Partners (EIP).

The company will use the capital to commercialize its novel biology-based approach to converting cellulosic biomass into ethanol and other products, expand its employee headcount and initiate partnerships with major biofuel producers, according to a news release.

Terragia uses engineered thermophilic bacteria to break down cellulosic biomass and convert it into ethanol and other chemical products. The company’s technology avoids key features responsible for the high cost of conventional cellulosic biofuel production by one-step “consolidated” bioprocessing without added enzymes, and leveraging mechanical disruption during fermentation (i.e., “cotreatment”) in lieu of thermochemical pretreatment.

Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Martin Keller comments, “Cellulosic biofuels are a route to low-carbon fuels for aviation and other difficult-to-electrify transport modes as well as CO2 removal from the atmosphere, both of which are critical for climate stabilization. One-step biological conversion of cellulosic biomass without added enzymes or thermochemical pretreatment has clear cost reduction potential relative to other process concepts.” Adds Terragia CTO and Co-Founder Lee Lynd, a Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering and Director of the Advanced Second Generation Biofuel Lab at the University of Campinas, Brazil, “Conversion of ethanol to fuels for planes, ships, and trucks is a leading option for approximately half of future global transportation energy demand, for which electrification is likely impractical, corresponding to a trillion dollar market. With full penetration of this market, Terragia’s technology is projected to displace 3 gigatons of CO2 emissions annually and enable capture of a yet larger amount of CO2.”

In partnership with Dartmouth College and the University of Campinas, the ongoing development of Terragia’s technology is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Center for Bioenergy Innovation and the São Paulo Research Foundation, by grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation, as well as private capital.

“Terragia has an exciting opportunity to succeed where others in the cellulosic biofuel industry have not. The company’s technology provides a radically different approach that uses biology to reduce the high costs and scale of conventional cellulosic biofuel production,” said Katie Rae, CEO and Managing Partner of Engine Ventures. “With an experienced management team, deep industry experience and a joint development agreement with a major U.S. biofuel producer already underway, Terragia’s go-to-market approach has the potential not only to meet future global transport demand but to create low carbon biofuel products at a price point competitive with fossil fuels.”

“We are proud to support Terragia on their path to revolutionizing cellulosic ethanol and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production,” said Ashwin Shashindranath, Partner at Energy Impact Partners. “Low-carbon fuels are a cornerstone of the energy transition, and we think Terragia has the right team and technology to become a leader in the field.”

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BASF electrolyzer project gets 134m from European Commission

The European Commission has approved a EUR 134m German measure to support BASF SE in the production of renewable hydrogen.

The European Commission has approved a EUR 134m German measure to support BASF SE in the production of renewable hydrogen, according to a news release.

The aid will support the construction and installation of a large-scale electrolyser at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site, which will have an annual production capacity of 54 MW and produce approximately 5,000 tonnes of green hydrogen and 40,000 tonnes of oxygen per year. The electrolyser is envisaged to start operating in 2025.

The measure will support BASF’s production of renewable hydrogen mainly to replace fossil-based hydrogen in BASF’s chemical production processes. Additional renewable hydrogen produced will be delivered for emerging hydrogen mobility applications like hydrogen-powered trucks or buses.

 

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CCS developer initiating discussions for corporate capital raise

Following its sale of a stake in a mega-scale carbon capture project in the Gulf Coast, Carbonvert is planning to initiate conversations to raise additional corporate capital, with plans to deploy as much as $500m into new projects.

Carbonvert, a Houston-based carbon capture and sequestration developer, is planning to start conversations soon with an eye to raise corporate capital that will allow it to advance mega-scale CCS projects, CEO Alex Tiller said in an interview.

Owned by a group of outside investors and the management team, Carbonvert is advancing a business model that takes advantage of the group’s expertise in early-stage project development, Tiller said.

The company recently completed the sale of its 25% interest in the Bayou Bend CCS project to Norway’s Equinor, which will now own the development alongside Chevron (50%) and Talos Energy (25%).

Bayou Bend CCS is the type of mega-scale project that Carbonvert will be pursuing in coming years, and for which the company will need to raise as much as $500m in corporate capital due to the capital-intensive nature of the projects, Tiller said.

Chevron last year bought its 50% operating stake in Bayou Bend for $50m, implying a $100m valuation for the project, which is positioned to become one of the largest CCS developments in the US for industrial emitters, with nearly 140,000 gross acres of pore space – 100,000 onshore and 40,000 offshore.

Carbonvert’s stake sale, announced yesterday, was “a positive result” for the company, Tiller said, though he declined to comment further on the valuation.

“It delivers capital to our balance sheet and allows us to grow our pipeline of projects and fund additional projects,” he said. Carbonvert used Jefferies as sell-side financial advisor in the sale to Equinor, he added.

Tiller, a veteran of the renewable energy industry, is a founding member of Carbonvert alongside Chief Development Officer Jan Sherman, who previously had a 30-year career with Shell and helped build the oil major’s Quest CCS project in Alberta, Canada.

For the upcoming capital raise, Carbonvert has not decided on whether to use a financial advisor; the structure of the capital raise will likely determine if an advisor is needed, Tiller said.

“We’ll definitely be out raising more corporate capital – these projects are tremendously expensive,” he said. “We’ll be starting conversations soon.”

The company has a line of sight to deploy as much as $500m of capital into its own projects over the next several years, he said, an indication of how much capital it will need to raise.

“These are large infrastructure projects that are going to take many years to bring to fruition, followed by decades of operations,” he said. “We live at the front end of the projects,” he added, “and when the appropriate parties are at the table, it’s really an act of humility to say ‘hey, maybe we’ve taken this as far as we can or should,’” a reference to finding the right time to sell the company’s stakes in the projects it is developing.

In addition to the Bayou Bend CCS project, Carbonvert is part of a consortium that’s developing a carbon hub in Wyoming. The company is also collaborating on an exploratory study for the direct air capture and storage of CO2 emissions from a nuclear power plant in Alabama.

“You can expect to see project announcements that look like Bayou Bend in the future,” Tiller said. “We like that type of mega-scale project, we like offshore, and we’re also pursuing some opportunities onshore that are less mature.”

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Exclusive: Pattern Energy developing $9bn Texas green ammonia project

One of the largest operators of renewable energy in the Americas, San Francisco-based Pattern is advancing a 1-million-ton-per-year green ammonia project in Texas.

Pattern Energy knows a thing or two about large renewable energy projects.

It built Western Spirit Wind, a 1,050 MW project in New Mexico representing the largest wind power resource ever constructed in a single phase in the Americas. And it has broken ground on SunZia, a 3.5 GW wind project in the same state – the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Now it is pursuing a 1-million-ton-per-year green ammonia project in Corpus Christi, Texas, at an expected cost of $9bn, according to Erika Taugher, a director at Pattern.

The facility is projected to come online in 2028, and is just one of four green hydrogen projects the company is developing. The Argentia Renewables project in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada is marching toward the start of construction next year, and Pattern is also pursuing two earlier-stage projects in Texas, Taugher said in an interview.

The Corpus Christi project consists of a new renewables project, electrolyzers, storage, and a pipeline, because the electrolyzer site is away from the seaport. It also includes a marine fuels terminal and an ammonia synthesis plant.

Pattern has renewable assets in West and South Texas and is acquiring additional land to build new renewables that would allow for tax incentives that require additionality, Taugher said.

Financing for the project is still coming together, with JV partners and prospective offtakers likely to take project equity stakes along with potential outside equity investors. No bank has been mandated yet for the financing.

Argentia

At the Argentia project, Pattern is building 300 MW of wind power to produce 90 tons per day of green hydrogen, which will be used to make approximately 400 tons per day of green ammonia. The ammonia will be shipped to counterparties in Europe, offtake contracts for which are still under negotiation.

“The Canadian project is particularly exciting because we’re not waiting on policy to determine how it’s being built,” Taugher said. “The wind is directly powering our electrolyzers there, and any additional grid power that we need from the utility is coming from a clean grid, comprised of hydropower.“

“We don’t need to wait for rules on time-matching and additionality,” she added, but noted the renewables will likely benefit from Canada’s investment tax credits, which would mean the resulting ammonia may not qualify under Europe’s rules for renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) as recently enacted.

Many of the potential offtakers are similarly considering taking equity stakes in the Argentia project, Taugher added.

Domestic offtake

Pattern is also pursuing two early-stage projects in Texas that would seek to provide green hydrogen to the domestic offtake market.

In the Texas Panhandle, Pattern is looking to repower existing wind assets and add more wind and solar capacity that would power green hydrogen production.

In the Permian Basin, the company has optioned land and is conducting environmental and water feasibility studies to prove out the case for green hydrogen. Pattern is considering local offtake and is also in discussions to tie into a pipeline that would transport the hydrogen to the Gulf Coast.

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Ambient Fuels evaluating hydrogen project acquisitions

The company is well capitalized following a $250m equity investment from Generate Capital and is now opportunistically reviewing an initial slate of project M&A offerings.

Following an equity investment from Generate Capital, Ambient Fuels has begun to evaluate potential acquisitions of hydrogen projects that are under development, CEO Jacob Susman said in an interview.

“We’ve seen our first project M&A opportunities come through in the last 10 days or so,” Susman said.

Three projects for sale involve land positions, he said. Those that appear most attractive have a clear line of site to offtake or a strong approach to renewable power supply. Two out of three are not on the Gulf Coast.

“In no instance are these brokered deals,” Susman said.

Following the $250m equity investment from Generate Capital, Ambient is capitalized for several years and has no immediate plans to seek debt or tax equity, Susman said. The transaction was done without the help of a financial advisor.

Moving forward Ambient is open to JV formation with a partner that can help access offtake and renewable power, Susman said. Those points will drive future capital investment in the company and were resources that Generate brought to the table besides money.

According to ReSource‘s project tracker, Ambient is involved in at least two of the hubs that were encouraged by the DOE to submit a final application: California’s Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), and the Port of Corpus Christi Green Hydrogen Hub.

In 2021 Ambient completed a funding round led by SJF Ventures. Several other VC funds and angel investors also participated.

In January The Hydrogen Source reported that Ambient was in exclusivity with an equity provider.

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