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Raven SR receives investment from Stellar J

Stellar J is the sixth strategic investor in the renewable fuels producer and is its primary EPC partner.

Raven SR, the renewable fuels producer, has taken a strategic investment from Stellar J Corporation, its primary US-based EPC partner, according to a news release.

The investment will support commercialization of Raven’s non-combustion waste-to-fuel process.

Raven plans to commence commercial operations for waste-to-hydrogen production in early 2024 and commercial operations for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in 2025.

Stellar J is the sixth strategic investor in Raven SR, which is currently undergoing a Series C with bank of America and Barclays. The current complement of strategic investors also includes global oil and gas major Chevron, Japanese trading house ITOCHU, hydrogen mobility leader and innovator Hyzon Motors, Ascent Hydrogen Fund, and Samsung Ventures.

Stellar J has fabricated Raven SR units for full-scale hydrogen production reformers. A trial of the units in August 2022 demonstrated that Raven SR’s ground-breaking and proprietary technology for waste-to-hydrogen and gas-to-hydrogen processes is commercially ready.

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Clean Vision chooses West Virginia for $50m hydrogen facility

The Nevada-based company will leverage a $50m total investment in a manufacturing facility converting plastic feedstock into precursors for recycled content plastics and clean fuels, including hydrogen.

Clean Vision Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Agreement to collaborate on a manufacturing facility focused on recycling plastic feedstock into precursors for recycled content plastics and clean fuels, according to a news release from the governor.

The MoA is between the company’s Clean-Seas West Virginia subsidiary and the West Virginia Department of Economic Development. The total investment is $50m over three years.

Upon completion of construction and commencement of operations, the facility, located in Quincy in eastern Kanawha County, will process plastic for conversion to clean energy at a rate of 100 tons per day, starting in 2024, with plans to scale up to 500 tons per day over time.

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Exclusive: CarbonFree raising capital for U.S. Steel carbon utilization project

CarbonFree, an established carbon capture utilization firm, is raising capital for its $150m plant at U.S. Steel’s Gary, Indiana steelmaking facilities.

CarbonFree, an established carbon capture and utilization firm, is raising capital to build a $150m capture and utilization plant at U.S. Steel’s Gary Works Blast Furnaces.

The San Antonio-based firm already generates revenues from existing projects, and will use cash on hand as well as additional private investments to fund construction of the project, a spokesperson for the company said via email.

We are pursuing additional equity investments in CarbonFree, rather than project-specific financing,” the spokesperson said. “The process is ongoing.”

The company is working with a financial advisor on the capital raise, but the spokesperson declined to name the firm.

CarbonFree and U.S. Steel announced this week that they have finalized a definitive agreement to use CarbonFree’s SkyCycle technology to capture and mineralize up to 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Construction is expected to begin as soon as this summer with operations expected by 2026.

The technology captures carbon emissions and converts them into a carbon-neutral calcium carbonate, used to make paper, plastics, and other products.

CarbonFree CEO Martin Keighley said in previous interviews that the objective of the CCU operation is that “it can be zero capital and zero OpEx for the emitter, because, in its own right, it is a profitable operation.”

The spokesperson estimated the addressable market for the calcium carbonate it produces to be $40bn, and added that CarbonFree was actively seeking new partners in that market.

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Biden admin grants $4bn tax credits for 100 energy projects

The administration allocated $2.7bn in tax credits to clean energy manufacturing and recycling; $800m to critical materials recycling, processing, and refining; and $500m to industrial decarbonization.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today announced $4 billion in tax credits for over 100 projects across 35 states to accelerate domestic clean energy manufacturing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at industrial facilities.

Projects selected for tax credits under the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Tax Credit (48C), funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, span across large, medium, and small businesses and state and local governments, all of which must meet prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements to receive a 30% investment tax credit. Of the $4 billion tax credits, $1.5 billion supports projects in historic energy communities.

The agencies did not release a full list of the projects awarded tax credits, citing prohibitions in the law. But a news release gave this overview:

Clean energy manufacturing and recycling: $2.7 billion in tax credits (67% of round 1 tax credits)

  • Selected from applications requesting support for the buildout of U.S. manufacturing capabilities critical for clean energy deployment and span clean hydrogen (e.g., electrolyzers, fuel cells, and subcomponents), grid (e.g., cables, conductors, transformers, and energy storage), electric vehicles (e.g., battery components, power electronics), nuclear power, solar PV, and wind energy (including offshore wind components), among other industries and components critical to supporting secure and resilient domestic clean energy supply chains.

Critical materials recycling, processing, and refining: $800 million in tax credits (20% of round 1 tax credits)

  • Selected projects are investing in multiple electrical steel applications, lithium-ion battery recycling, and rare earth projects, all critical areas for maintaining a secure, reliable energy system and advancing the clean energy transition.

Industrial decarbonization: $500 million in tax credits (13% of round 1 tax credits)

  • Selected projects would implement decarbonization measures across diverse sectors, including chemicals, food and beverage, pulp and paper, biofuels, glass, ceramics, iron and steel, automotive manufacturing, and building materials. Low-carbon fuels, feedstocks, and energy sources are well-represented as a solution for decarbonization across these projects.
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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: TransGas CEO talks mega ammonia project

The owners of a proposed colossal ammonia production facility in Appalachian coal country are in the beginning stages of seeking liquidity, EPC contracting, and advisory services for a project they say will ultimately be financed akin to an LNG export terminal.

It’s an appeal often made in modern US politics – doing right by those left behind.

Perhaps no place is more emblematic of that appeal than West Virginia, and perhaps no region in that state more so than the southern coal fields. It’s there a fossil developer is proposing the architecture of the ruling coal industry be used to build a $10bn decarbonized ammonia facility and is gathering the resources to do so.

“It’s world class, and it makes southern West Virginia, Mingo County, the catalyst for the 21st century’s energy revival,” said Adam Victor, the CEO of TransGas Development Systems, the developer of the project. “The people [here] are the heirs and descendants of the people that mined the coal that built the steel that built the Panama Canal.”

The Adams Fork Energy project in Mingo County, jointly developed by TransGas and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, is slated to reach commercial operations in 2027. Six identical 6,000 mtpd ammonia manufacturing plants are being planned on the site of a previously permitted (but not constructed) coal-to-gasoline facility.

ReSource exclusively reported this week that the state has issued a permit to construct the facility. TransGas owns 100% of the project now, though if the Tribe comes through with federal funding then it will become the majority owner.

TransGas itself could take on a liquidity partner to raise up to $20m in development capital for the project, Victor said. The company is not using a financial advisor now but will hire one in the future.

White & Case is TransGas’ legal advisor. The company is in discussions with Ansaldo Energia, of Italy, about construction.

“The project is not averse to talking to private equity or investment bankers, because nothing has been decided right now,” Victor said, noting that the company is just beginning talks with infra funds and is eager to do so. “The project will be looking for an EPC.”

The first of the six plants will cost about $2bn, but each one will get successively less expensive, Victor said. Total capex is about $10bn, though there is discussion of acquiring adjacent land to double the size of the project – or 12 plants in all producing 6,000 mtpd each.

TransGas has the support of West Virginia politicians like Sen. Joe Manchin and Gov. Jim Justice, Victor said. Financing the project will be a function of the offtake.

Electricity for data centers, or ammonia for export?

The company is conducting a market analysis to determine avenues for offtake, Victor said. They could do partial electricity generation onsite to power a data center, with the remainder of the hydrogen being used to make ammonia for shipment overseas.

Depending on the needs of offtakers, the facility could also do one or the other entirely, he said.

The project, if configured at current size, could support about 6,000 MW of non-interruptible power generation, 2,000 MW of that for cooling.

“This could basically become a 6,000 MW campus to become the center of data centers in the United States,” Victor said, noting that the region is much less prone to natural disasters than some others and is high enough in elevation to escape any flooding. “I think we could rival Loudoun County [Virginia] as where data centers should be located.”

Adams Fork sits on the largest mine pool reservoir in the eastern US, Victor noted. Data centers need constant cooling, particularly new chip technology that requires liquid cooling.

TransGas will know in a matter of weeks if it’s going to go the electrical route, Victor said. There are only five companies in the world with data centers large enough to efficiently offtake from it: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Meta and Apple.

If not, the facility will continue down the path of selling the decarbonized ammonia, likely to an oil company or international ammonia buyer like JERA in Japan.

Partnering with a tech company will make it easier to finance the project because of high credit ratings, Victor said. International pressure on oil companies could affect those credit ratings.

“We think the investor world could be split,” he said, noting tech and fuels investors could both be interested in the project. “You’re doubling the universe of investors and offtakers.”

He added: “Once we have the offtake, we think we could have a groundbreaking this year.”

Two ways of shipping

For ammonia production the facility could use the same shipping channels the coal industry uses – either to the Big Sandy River to be sent by barge on the Ohio to New Orleans, or rail to ports in Baltimore; Norfolk, Virginia; and Savanna, Georgia.

By rail, two 40-car trains per day would take ammonia to port. Norfolk Southern and CSX both operate in the region.

Another option is to have a fleet of 50 EV or hydrogen-powered trucks to transport ammonia to the Big Sandy where electric-powered barges can take it to the Gulf, Victor said. That latter option could mean a lower CI score because it will eliminate rail’s diesel power.

Mercedes-Benz and Volvo both make the kind of trucks used for this work in Europe and Asia, he said. Coal mines in the region use diesel trucks in fleets as numerous as 500, and the original TransGas coal plant was permitted for 250 trucks per day.

“This is something that our offtake partner is going to determine,” he said. Japan would likely want the ammonia in the Gulf of Mexico, whereas European shipping companies would want it on an Atlantic port.

The LNG financial model

The offtakers themselves could fund the facility, Victor said.

“The financial model for this is the financial model for funding LNG terminals,” he said. “The same teams that put those large facilities together, financial teams, would be the same teams that we’re talking to now.”

The offtakers may also dictate who they want to be the financial advisor, he said.

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Solar-powered hydrogen producer raising capital for EU and US growth

A European JV developing off-grid hydrogen production units using concentrated solar power – “white hydrogen” – plans to raise capital for growth in Europe and the US.

hysun, a Spanish JV between European firms Nanogap and Tewer Engineering, will raise $15m over three years for its first industrial plant and commercialization by 2026, CEO and Co-founder Tatiana Lopez said in an interview.

hysun has not engaged a financial advisor to date, but is open to meetings, Lopez said.

The new venture, formed in November, has raised $2m and is actively seeking another $3m (pre-money valuation of $10m) equity for a100 g H2/h prototype to close by the end of the year.

The company will then need $4m for an industrial plant, locations for which are being scouted now in the US and Europe. After that, the founders intend to enter a commercialization phase.

hysun’s intellectual property allows it to produce off-grid “white hydrogen” via steam generated with concentrated solar technology, Lopez said. The lack of electrolyzers means about eight times less land is needed to generate projects as large as 200 MW assuming 2,500 hours of sunlight per year.

“You don’t need to be next to a wind farm or solar plant,” Lopez said, adding that the hydrogen is produced at $1 per kilo.

Average project sizes range between 50 and 100 tonnes per year, assuming the same amount of sunlight, though the technology is applicable on a micro scale. The company sees the end uses being for ammonia production, replacement of grey hydrogen in industry and remote location deployment.

Lopez said the company is interested in growing in the US and Europe but believes the US will develop its industry faster.

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