Resource logo with tagline

Raven SR raises $15m, makes board appointments

Ascent Funds led the latest $15m investment into the renewable fuels firm, with contributions from existing investors Chevron New Energies, ITOCHU Corp. and Stellar J Corp.

Raven SR Inc., a renewable fuels company, has board additions and an executive promotion, coupled with securing $15m in new investments.

The company said the latest fundraising underscores the confidence in Raven SR’s proprietary Steam/CO2 Reforming technology that converts various waste streams into renewable transportation fuels like hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The process outperforms all known alternatives in efficiency, producing more hydrogen and SAF per ton of waste, according to the company.

In August, 2021, Raven closed on a $20m strategic investment from Chevron U.S.A., ITOCHU Corporation, Hyzon Motors Inc. and Ascent Hydrogen Fund. Samsung Ventures made a strategic investment earlier this year, allowing the company to expand into the Asia-Pacific market.

In 2022 it launched a Series C funding round led by Barclays and BofA Securities.

In addition to today’s funding milestone, Raven SR said Stuart McFarland, former CFO of Fannie Mae, has been appointed chairman of the Board of Directors, with Mark Gordon, chief investment officer of Ascent Funds, as vice chairman.

Named as new board members: Justin Heyman, managing director of RockCreek Group, and Robert Kinghorn, founder and CEO of Stellar J Corp. Matt Scanlon, the current CFO, has been promoted to president and interim CFO.

Ascent Funds, a venture capital fund dedicated to advancing the energy transition, led the latest $15m investment, with contributions from existing investors Chevron New Energies, ITOCHU Corp. and Stellar J Corp., the engineering, procurement and construction company managing construction of Raven SR’s hydrogen project in Richmond, California.

“Raven SR is pleased to have the continued and enhanced support of our investors as we move toward construction of our organic waste-to-hydrogen facility,” said Matt Murdock, founder and CEO of Raven SR. “This funding is crucial for finalizing our production setup, and the expanded board strengthens our team for the next phase.”

McFarland said he was honored by the board’s trust in his leadership and is looking forward to teaming with Murdock as they move the company ahead. McFarland also acknowledged the support from shareholders and the dedicated project team, emphasizing their importance in Raven SR’s journey.

“With this solid foundation, 2024 is shaping up to be a landmark year for Raven SR as it commercializes its Steam/CO2 Reforming technology to bring clean and sustainable fuel to the world,” said McFarland.

Raven SR’s unique process is non-combustion and catalyst-free as verified by the California EPA. The Richmond project is the first and only California Environmental Quality Act-permitted biomass-to-hydrogen facility in the state.

The Steam/CO2 Reforming technology diverts waste from landfills, produces a carbon-negative fuel and ensures a low carbon footprint compared to traditional hydrogen production methods, placing Raven at the forefront of the waste-to-hydrogen sector.

Unlock this article

The content you are trying to view is exclusive to our subscribers.
To unlock this article:

You might also like...

Subsurface storage firm makes first acquisitions

Caliche Development Partners has acquired two natural gas storage assets from Southern Company, which could serve as a bridge to storing helium, hydrogen, and CO2 in similar formations.

Caliche Development Partners II, Orion Infrastructure Capital (OIC), and GCM Grosvenor have reached a partnership targeting underground storage and sequestration assets in North America, according to a press release.

The capital commitments represent OIC’s second investment with the Caliche management team, and Caliche’s first with OIC’s frequent investment partner GCM Grosvenor, which invested client capital.  Both firms bring extensive experience in infrastructure investing to Caliche’s next iteration, which will target underground assets supporting North America’s transition to lower-carbon forms of energy.

The partnership’s initial acquisition of Golden Triangle Storage, Inc. (GTS), together with the anticipated acquisition of Central Valley Gas Storage (CVGS), from Southern Company affiliates, targets two regions with increasing demand for storage to support variable power loads, natural gas liquefaction, and high penetrations of renewable resources.

Acquisition amounts funded and/or anticipated to be funded by OIC, GCM Grosvenor, and Caliche management collectively total $186m, which represents the aggregate purchase price of both GTS and CVGS, plus working capital and other adjustments. Caliche expects, with support from OIC and GCM Grosvenor, to explore and assess additional growth related to these assets and in these regions.  The GTS transaction closed on November 18, 2022, and the CVGS purchase, which requires state regulatory approvals, is expected to close in 2023.

“Natural gas storage will continue to play an important role in our energy mix while providing the assets and knowledge to storing helium, hydrogen and CO2 in similar formations,” said Dave Marchese, CEO of Caliche II. “The support of our repeat and new capital partners combined with the location of these two acquisitions, and their exceptional operational teams, provide Caliche a platform to significantly impact the energy transition on the U.S. Gulf and West Coasts.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the Caliche team again and with GCM Grosvenor to build off the success of Caliche I,” said Ethan Shoemaker, investment partner and head of infra credit at OIC. “GTS and CVGS are both premier storage assets and provide critical infrastructure for reliability in their respective markets.  We look forward to supporting Caliche II’s continued growth as we expand the platform for other customers and into new products.”

“We believe the investment opportunity for underground storage is robust in light of market dynamics and ongoing energy transition initiatives across the globe,” said Matthew Rinklin, managing director at GCM Grosvenor. “The Caliche team has a proven track record of developing critical storage infrastructure for a range of customers across fuel types, and we look forward to growing their platform alongside our partners at OIC.”

Caliche welcomes GTS and CVGS employees to its culture of providing safe and environmentally conscious underground storage services. The Caliche team has a proven history of operating on the Spindletop salt dome, where GTS is located, and will leverage its expertise from its prior storage business—Coastal Caverns—for the success of both facilities.

Under the Caliche team’s stewardship, Coastal Caverns operated with a TIRR of zero (0), an industry leading environmental record. The team’s decision-making hierarchy of “Safety, Asset Integrity, Stakeholder Stewardship and On-Demand Deliverability” comes from a combined 65 years of collective underground storage experience, with products including NGLs, oil, helium and natural gas. Underground natural gas storage provides unparalleled flexibility for the entry of renewable generation resources into power grids, support for LNG exports to Europe and Asia, and ultimately provides the asset base and knowledge to move to carbon-neutral forms of generation.

The Caliche team previously developed North America’s first helium storage salt cavern and is committed to now applying the team’s decades of experience working together to the upcoming challenges of storing helium, hydrogen and sequestered CO2.

Read More »

Mining giant Anglo American invests $200m in merger with Seattle-based First Mode

The newly combined business, valued at $1.5bn, will pursue zero-emission haulage solutions for mining and other heavy industries. First Mode is working on providing critical mine site infrastructure for hydrogen production, battery recharging, and hydrogen refueling.

First Mode, a global carbon reduction company focused on heavy industry, and global mining company Anglo American have signed a binding agreement to combine First Mode and Anglo American’s nuGen™ zero emission haulage solution to accelerate the transition of mining and other heavy industries to diesel-free futures, according to a news release.

The transaction, which is expected to close in January 2023, values the newly combined business in the order of $1.5bn and includes a $200m equity injection from Anglo American.

Upon closing of the transaction, First Mode will enter into a global supply agreement to supply several nuGen™ systems to Anglo American which includes the retrofit of approximately 400 ultra-class haul trucks with First Mode’s proprietary hybrid fuel cell battery powerplant and related infrastructure. The supply agreement includes the appropriate provision of critical supporting infrastructure such as refueling, recharging, and facilitation of hydrogen production. The roll-out of nuGen™ across Anglo American’s haul truck fleet over the next 15 years is subject to certain conditions and required approvals.

Previously announced in June 2022, the transaction is a unique combination of creative engineering excellence and mining expertise which brings together the existing First Mode business with Anglo American’s nuGen™ related intellectual property, management, and operational teams. First Mode is now uniquely positioned to commercialize the nuGen™ haulage solution which intelligently incorporates new technology into mine site operations and consists of a powerplant with appropriate hybridization of hydrogen powered fuel cells and battery (depending on customer and site requirements), refueling and recharging technology, clean energy production and storage, modification of diesel electric vehicles, digital integration with mine site systems as well as ongoing services.

The investment will facilitate the rapid global growth of First Mode, development of production facilities in Seattle and new proving grounds in Centralia, Washington, support staffing goals worldwide, develop our footprint in Perth, Australia, and speed the commercialization and deployment of First Mode clean energy solutions to market.

On close, Anglo American will become a majority shareholder of First Mode, with the balance continuing to be held by First Mode employees. In addition, current First Mode President and CEO, Chris Voorhees will transition to the role of Chief Product & Technology Officer, overseeing the company’s global product and technology development out of Seattle. Julian Soles, Anglo American’s head of Technology Development, will take over as First Mode CEO and be based in First Mode’s new headquarters in London.

“First Mode was founded in 2018 with the goal of building the barely possible. We have done just that and our mission is now to rapidly decarbonize heavy industry by dramatically reducing our customers’ greenhouse gas emissions. I can’t imagine a team better suited to this urgent challenge,” said Chris Voorhees.

“The First Mode mission is much bigger than a single haul truck,” said Julian Soles. “Mining is how the world obtains the materials needed for the clean energy transition, and it is where the carbon footprint starts. This is where the First Mode solution begins; starting at the source, in mining, to replace diesel and accelerate the clean energy transition.”

The world’s first proof-of-concept including renewable energy generation, hydrogen production and refueling, and an ultra-class haul truck, launched in May 2022, continues to be operated at Anglo American’s Mogalakwena platinum group metals mine site in South Africa. This month the truck reached a significant milestone when it completed initial commissioning and was introduced into the mine’s commercial fleet operations, including pit and crusher activities.

Read More »

Superior Plus establishes low carbon fuels distribution platform with CAD 1.05bn Certarus acquisition

Superior Plus Corp. and Certarus Ltd. have entered into a definitive agreement for Superior to acquire Certarus, a North American distributor of over-the-road low carbon fuels, including CNG, RNG and hydrogen.

Superior Plus Corp. and Certarus Ltd. have entered into a definitive agreement for Superior to acquire Certarus, a North American low carbon energy solutions provider for a total acquisition value of CAD 1.05bn, representing 8.5x 2022E EBITDA, according to a news release.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Superior will acquire all the outstanding common shares of Certarus, representing an equity value of CAD 853m and assume Certarus’ outstanding senior bank credit and leases with a total value of CAD 196m. The Certarus shareholders will receive CAD 353m in cash and CAD 500m of Superior common shares priced at $10.25 per share, representing approximately 17% pro forma ownership. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both Superior and Certarus and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.

Certarus is a rapidly growing North American distributor of over-the-road low carbon fuels, including CNG, RNG and hydrogen. Through the use of mobile storage units (MSUs), Certarus delivers low cost and low carbon intensity energy alternatives to its customers. Certarus’ MSUs are interchangeable between CNG, RNG and hydrogen giving Certarus flexibility to service its customers across North America as they transition away from diesel and other distillates. Certarus provides a virtual pipeline to its customers that do not have infrastructure in place or are in need of supplemental infrastructure. Revenue is generated from fees for service to provide its lower cost and lower CI fuels, directly passing on changes in the commodity cost of its fuels to customers.

Certarus has 18 hubs throughout Canada and the U.S. and expects to have 640 MSUs by year end, making it the largest on-road low carbon fuels distributor in North America with approximately 85% of its revenue generated in the U.S. From 2020 to 2022E, Certarus has grown the number of MSUs by 37%, the volume of low carbon fuels delivered by approximately 76% to 57,000 MMBtu/d and is expected to maintain substantial growth as the demand for its products continues to increase. Over the same period, Certarus has more than doubled its Adjusted EBITDA2, with expected 2022 Adjusted EBITDA of $124 million, driven by continued volume and efficiency improvements.

Certarus’ rapid growth is the result of increasing customer demands to transition from higher cost and higher carbon intensity fuels such as diesel and other distillates to lower cost and lower carbon energy alternatives. The acquisition of Certarus accelerates Superior’s energy transition path with a business that is both rapidly growing and accretive to Superior’s financial results.

“The acquisition of Certarus is a highly strategic and transformative transaction for Superior as it represents an exciting opportunity for significant organic growth and provides our existing and new customers with the ability to meet their ESG goals through our low carbon energy distribution platform,” said Luc Desjardins, Superior’s president and CEO. “With our execution on the Superior Way Forward strategic initiatives in the past 24 months, we are ahead of our timing to achieve CAD 700m to CAD 750m in EBITDA from operations as we now expect to reach the lower end of the target by 2024.”

Curtis Philippon, Certarus’ President and CEO stated, “we are excited to be joining the Superior team. Certarus will benefit from Superior’s scale, portable fuel distribution expertise, and a shared commitment to safety. The joining of our businesses creates a strong platform upon which we can continue to grow and provide decarbonization solutions, including RNG and hydrogen.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Curtis and the team at Certarus,” said Angelo Rufino, Brookfield’s nominee on Superior’s board of directors and a member of Superior’s ad hoc Committee to evaluate Certarus. “Certarus’ low carbon and alternative fuel distribution platform provides an exciting new organic avenue of growth for Superior Plus and will further assist our core customers as they transition to a lower carbon future.”

Brookfield Asset Management made a USD 260m equity investment in Superior in 2020.

Superior intends to finance the Acquisition and related transaction expenses using a combination of approximately 48.8 million Superior common shares issued directly to Certarus shareholders valued at CAD 500m and incremental drawings from its expanded senior credit facilities.

The expanded senior credit facilities will increase to CAD 1.3bn from the current size of CAD 750m via the addition of a new CAD 550m senior secured credit facility with a three-year term. The New Credit Facility is fully committed with the CAD 550m provided by a group of lenders including Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, The Bank of Nova Scotia, The Toronto-Dominion Bank and National Bank of Canada.

CIBC Capital Markets is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Superior. Torys LLP is acting as Canadian legal counsel to Superior.

J.P. Morgan and National Bank Financial Inc. are acting as financial advisors to Certarus. TD Securities Inc. is acting as strategic advisor to Certarus. Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP is acting as legal counsel to Certarus.

Read More »
exclusive

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.

Read More »

Exclusive: Seattle biomass-to-chemical firm planning equity round

A firm with plans for a biorefinery in Washington state will raise its first large equity round early next year.

Planted Materials, a Seattle-based biomass-to-chemicals company, is in early design stages for its first biorefinery in eastern Washington state and planning to raise an equity round in early 2025, co-founders Noah Belkhous and Greg Jenson said in an interview.

The company will seek to raise between $10m and $20m ahead of FID on the biorefinery, Belkhous said. The four-year-old company has raised $500k from angel investors to date and is currently raising another $1m from high net worth individuals in the Seattle region.

Planted Materials does not have a relationship with a financial advisor but is open to one, Belkhous said.

The company’s recycling model takes municipal landfill waste and converts it to chemical materials for pharmaceutical, paper, plastic and other manufacturing industries.

The proprietary recycling process is something the company would like to license to municipalities in the US and abroad, in addition to building biorefineries in the Pacific Northwest, Belkhous said. The company’s lab is currently based in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Early design work on the first biorefinery is underway. The duo expects CapEx to cap at $50m, reaching FID in 2026 and beginning construction that year.

While the majority of the company’s feedstock will likely come from the major metropolitan regions in the western PNW, refining capacity is more attractive in the east for reasons of space and existing waste management infrastructure. Jenson noted the presence of the relevant research campus of Washington State University in Pullman, as well as the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.

Recently, the team accompanied Washington Governor Jay Inslee and members of the Washington State Department of Commerce on a trip to Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. The company has applied to a pair of $350k grants from the state.
Read More »
exclusive

EverWind in capital raise for Nova Scotia wind-to-hydrogen complex

EverWind Fuels is soliciting investor bids for a $1bn initial phase of its Point Tupper renewables and hydrogen/ammonia production facility in Atlantic Canada.

EverWind Fuels, the Canada-based renewable fuels developer, is preparing to launch a process to raise an estimated $800m in debt for its Point Tupper ammonia production and export facility near Halifax, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Citi and CIBC are mandated on the raise.

The company is seeking capital from a variety of investors, one of the sources said. The raise will likely conclude around the middle of the year with Citi stepping up for part of the debt quantum.

EverWind is also in talks with Canadian Infrastructure Bank, one of the sources said.

EverWind, Citi, CIBC and CIB did not respond to requests for comment.

Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change recently approved the Point Tupper Green Hydrogen/Ammonia Project – Phase 1. Construction should begin this year on phase 1 of the project, consisting of a 300 MW electrolysis plant along with a 600 tonnes-per-day ammonia production facility. The project also involves construction of a liquid ammonia pipeline to a jetty for international shipping and a 230 kW substation that will bring in electricity.

Government support for the project is leading to offtake agreements needed to build out a hydrogen supply chain at scale, a third source said. The project is nearing a $200m offtake agreement for green hydrogen with a large global manufacturer, this source added.

The German groups E.ON and Uniper said in August that they aim to buy up to 500,000 tonnes per year of ammonia each from EverWind, starting in 2025, when the project is set to begin production.

Read More »

Welcome Back

Get Started

Sign up for a free 15-day trial and get the latest clean fuels news in your inbox.