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PE-backed renewable diesel and SAF feedstock facility launches

The company has revamped a Chemours chemical plant in Mississippi into a facility producing feedstock for renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.

Oleo-X, a producer of renewable fuel feedstocks, launched a renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel feedstock merchant pretreatment facility.

The company, which is backed by PE firm Time Equities, also announced the appointment of longtime airline fuel executive Sergio Correa as CEO, according to a news release.

Located in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Oleo-X’s facility has the potential capacity to produce up to 300 million gallons per year of premium feedstock. The company leverages its advanced pretreatment technology to innovate exceptionally clean, high-quality RD and SAF feedstocks, which enable partners to produce premium renewable fuels. Oleo-X’s advanced chemistry formulates an unmatched product that can extend RD and SAF unit catalyst lives by years. The purity of the feed reduces the revamp cost of converting existing conventional refining units to process renewable feedstock, while also lowering carbon intensity.

With its new facility now in operation, Oleo-X is carving out a unique position within the fast-developing renewable energy ecosystem. The company’s innovation is substantially widening the pool of renewable energy feedstocks. Oleo-X’s industry-leading chemistry and plant enable it to process low-carbon, inedible oils – including poultry fat – without blending in high-quality oils taken from the food industry. This achievement is a breakthrough for the RD and SAF industries, marking important progress toward a more sustainable future.

“At Oleo-X, our vision is to feed the growing demand for sustainable energy, and today’s launch brings us one major step closer to making that vision a reality,” said Oleo-X investor Ivonne Ruggles. “Our goal is to be a leader in sustainable energy: We are delivering a product so pure that some customers already call it ‘liquid gold.’ Oleo-X is committed to modernizing and optimizing the way low-carbon fuels are manufactured.”

Oleo-X’s work brings a sustainable, clean energy focus to a facility that previously manufactured chemicals for tires, dyes, and building materials. The company purchased its site, the former home of Chemour’s First Chemical plant, in June 2022. Over the past 11 months, Oleo-X invested substantially to revamp and expand the facility, transforming it into a state-of-the-art leader in the renewable fuels space.

“We are very pleased to support the unparalleled innovation of Oleo-X,” said Francis Greenburger, Chairman & CEO of Time Equities Inc. (TEI), Oleo-X’s majority investor. “At TEI, we target renewable energy and decarbonization investment deals that offer compelling risk/reward profiles, while simultaneously making the planet cleaner and safer. Oleo-X is a perfect alignment of these goals, and we are proud of the positive impact that the company’s work is generating.”

Correa, Oleo-X’s new CEO, brings deep experience in the oil and gas space with long-term perspective from a large end-user. For more than a decade, he has worked at Delta Air Lines, as the head of Clean Oil Products, leading five business functions and overseeing the supply and trading of $10-15 billion in physical oil.

“After gaining extensive experience in the fuel industry, I am proud to deepen my focus on innovative renewables at Oleo-X,” said Correa. “Helping to bridge the gap between our diverse industries such as agriculture, chemicals, oil, and transportation, and with our diverse investor, supplier, and customer base, is a fascinating challenge. I am eager to lead Oleo-X’s journey at the forefront of this fuel revolution.”

The Oleo-X facility supports more than 60 jobs, including 27 site leadership employees in Jackson County. The company is on track to grow throughout the remainder of the year, increasing its workforce, production, and community involvement.

“We are immensely grateful for the dedication and hard work by Oleo-X’s incredible employees and the Jackson County community,” said Greenburger. “We are fortunate to have such a high level of dedication and commitment to our work. We look forward to the continuous momentum of making our vision a reality with our top-quality talent and support.”

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Bloom Energy anticipates increase in waste-to-energy contracting

New developers are emerging in the waste-to-energy space, including many in agriculture and wastewater treatment that are looking for greater energy security.

Bloom Energy, the San Jose-based manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells, anticipates a policy-driven increase in contracts from waste-to-energy developers this year and next year.

CEO KR Sridhar said during the company’s 3Q earnings call that between 200 MW and 300 MW of potential new waste-to-energy sales had come into the company’s pipeline, driven in part by passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

While he declined to state a number, Sridhar said the company expects some of those to begin contracts this year and next.

New developers are emerging in the waste-to-energy space, he noted, including many in agriculture and wastewater treatment that are looking for greater energy security.

Bloom recorded record third quarter revenue of $292.3 million in 2022, an increase of 41.1% compared to $207.2 in the third quarter of 2021.

During the call Shridhar highlighted the company’s relationship with Taylor Farms and the effort to install a microgrid capable of taking one of their California food processing facilities completely off the traditional energy grid.

Additionally, the company is working with Westinghouse Electric Company to pursue clean hydrogen production in the commercial nuclear power market. Shridhar declined to give specifics but said the companies are actively pursuing several opportunities.

Bloom will double production capacity, with a focus on its Fremont facility, year-over year by the end of 4Q and plans to again double capacity next year, CFO Greg Cameron said on the call. Investment in the Fremont facility through 2023 will be about USD 200m and the company could consider new manufacturing facilities after that.

Bloom Energy also recently inaugurated a high volume commercial electrolyzer line at the company’s plant in Newark, Delaware.

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Bloom Energy partners for expansion in Spain and Portugal

The California-based company has teamed with Telam Partners, a leading senior advisory firm specialized in the financing and market entry of energy, infrastructure, and technology projects.

Bloom Energy has teamed with Telam Partners, a leading senior advisory firm specialized in the financing and market entry of energy, infrastructure, and technology projects, to expand Bloom’s footprint into Spain and Portugal, according to a press release.

The two companies will market and deploy the Bloom Electrolyzer, as well as Bloom’s Energy Servers, supporting customers with solutions that can efficiently meet their energy security needs and green hydrogen demand.

“Business and political leaders are looking for clean technologies and energy solutions,” said Tim Schweikert, senior managing director of International Business Development, Bloom Energy Inc. “Bloom is now engaged to address these priorities in Spain and Portugal. Telam is a partner of choice, supporting Bloom’s long-term commitment to the Iberian Peninsula and to respond promptly to green transition policies and environmental imperatives.”

“At Telam we are excited to be able to work with the solid oxide fuel cell leader on the very important and urgent challenge of transitioning towards renewable energy,” said Jaime Malet, CEO of Telam Partners. “We are convinced that Spain and Portugal, thanks to an abundance of wind and solar resources, are among the clearest candidates to lead the production of green hydrogen in Europe.”

In line with Spanish and Portuguese objectives to become global green hydrogen hubs, Telam and Bloom will market Bloom’s solid oxide electrolyzer. With impressive efficiency confirmed in testing at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Labs, the Bloom Electrolyzer provides hydrogen with low cost of ownership. Further, the Bloom Electrolyzer is well suited for large-scale installations, as well as projects such as ammonia and renewable fuels synthesis, which can be integrated with the electrolyzer.

Telam and Bloom will also market Bloom’s highly efficient fuel cell Energy Server™ to decarbonize port activities when ships are at berth. Bloom’s fuel-flexible technology, which can operate on natural gas, biogas or hydrogen, produces electricity without combustion and reduces carbon emissions compared to the auxiliary diesel gensets usually used for shore power.

This represents Bloom Energy’s first deal for the Iberian Peninsula. It confirms Bloom’s commitment to the European market, after announcing the installation of its energy platform at Ferrari’s Italian plant and a strategic partnership for the Italian market with the engineering, procurement and construction company CEFLA in 2022.

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GIC and Carlyle invest in green ammonia developer Eneus

Global investment firm Carlyle and GIC have invested in green ammonia developer Eneus Energy Limited

Global investment firm Carlyle and GIC have invested in green ammonia developer Eneus Energy Limited to support the development of a more than 14 GW pipeline, , according to a news release.

Founded in 2013, Eneus has industrial scale production plants in a global market for green ammonia and green hydrogen in the US ad the UK.

The comapny was advised by A. Brown + Company Ltd. and Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati. Carlyle and GIC were advised by Allen & Overy and Ashurst.

The capital will finance Eneus’s development of a portfolio of green ammonia projects globally.

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Houston ammonia and hydrogen terminal on the block

The owners of a recently developed Houston terminal with proximity to ammonia, hydrogen, and nitrogen pipelines are working with an advisor on a sale process.

The owners of Vopak Moda Houston, a Gulf Coast hydrogen and ammonia terminaling asset, have hired an investment bank to run a sale process, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Intrepid Investment Bankers has been retained to run the process, the sources said.

Vopak Moda and Intrepid did not respond to requests for comment.

Formed in 2016, Vopak Moda Houston is a 50/50 joint venture between Royal Vopak and Moda Midstream. Moda Midstream is a portfolio company of EnCap Flatrock Midstream, which did not respond to a request for comment.

In 2021 the JV commissioned its deepwater dock at the Port of Houston. It has constructed storage and terminal infrastructure for industrial gas product lines, with the stated intention of becoming a premier hydrogen and low-carbon ammonia terminaling hub in the Gulf Coast.

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Exclusive: Pan-Atlantic developer planning e-methanol project in West Texas

A clean fuels developer with projects on both sides of the Atlantic is pursuing an e-methanol project in West Texas with an estimated cost of between $800m – $900m.

Green fuels developer ETFuels is planning an e-methanol project in West Texas.

Following the blueprint of projects in development in Finland and Spain, ETFuels has leased land and the Lone Star State is in the early stages of determining the feasibility of the project, which would require between 300 MW – 500 MW of renewables, Director Patrick Woodson said.

Depending on the ultimate size of the project, it would cost between $800m – $900m and produce 80,000 to 120,000 tons per year of e-methanol on site, he said, which would then be trucked to end markets.

“We like the modularity of projects of that size,” he said, noting “more optionality to bring projects to market.”

Woodson, the former CEO and Chairman of E.ON Climate & Renewables, a renewables developer, said ETFuels would develop the renewables portion of the project internally.

The company is still exploring likely target markets for the e-fuels, but Woodson noted that they perceive robust demand for green methanol from the shipping industry.

“We understand the decarbonization challenges faced by the shipping industry are significant, with question marks over pricing and supply availability at scale, and we are addressing these head-on,” ETFuels CEO Lara Naqushbandi said in a news release last year.

ETFuels attracted financial backing last year from France-based SWEN Capital Partners, with Green Giraffe providing financial advisory services.

For its Spain project, the company is developing a 100,000 ton green methanol plant, including 420 MW of solar PV and 120 MW of onshore wind capacity powering 220 MW of electrolyzers.

It expects to take a final investment decision on the Spain project by 2025, with production anticipated for 2028, according to the company website.

ETFuels as a third project in development in Finland, powered by “relentless” Arctic winds.

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Exclusive: Residential microgrid developer to seek electrolysis partner, raise capital

A developer of planned microgrid communities will look for an electrolysis partner to provide green hydrogen for use in agricultural applications and is planning to go to market for platform equity and project debt.

Embark Fund and NOVA Constructors, a group of real estate development interests focused on developing three planned residential communities, will look for an electrolysis partner for its community microgrid development efforts, managing partner Craig McBurney said in an interview.

McBurney, who is also solar development manager for the South Carolina-based renewables developer Alder Energy, said the partners are in the process of acquiring land – between 1,500 and 2,000 acres per parcel – in Virginia, Maryland and Illinois. The latter project is the most advanced.

Each is for a planned residential community including microgrid development, he said. The communities will include renewables, which could be used to power electrolysis during times of low demand. He gave the example of a 30 MW solar ground array.  

“We are preparing to announce a [$60m to $80m] equity raise,” McBurney said, adding that between $240m and $300m of debt will also be required. The money will be used for site acquisition, development and EPC. “The whole capital stack is an opportunity.”  

The group has not formally engaged with an investment bank or financial advisor, he said. They will be targeting private equity, sovereign wealth funds, and family offices.

McBurney pointed to communities like Whisper Valley in Texas and Babcock Ranch in Florida as examples of his group’s efforts to develop sustainable off-grid communities.

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