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TotalEnergies aiming to produce 10% of global SAF by 2030

Beyond France, TotalEnergies aims to produce 1.5 million tons/y of SAF by 2030 at production units in Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

TotalEnergies is actively responding to a call from its aviation customers to increase production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

As from 2028, the company said in a news release that it will be in a position to produce half a million tons of SAF, enough to cover the gradual increase in the European SAF blending mandate, set at 6% for 2030.

To this end, TotalEnergies is investing massively and has launched multiple SAF production projects. These include:

  • Grandpuits – TotalEnergies is investing €400m to convert the site into a zero-crude platform, primarily focused on producing SAF from circular feedstock such as animal fat and used cooking oil. Grandpuits will be able to produce 210,000 tons/y of SAF as of 2025, and a new investment has been announced to produce a further 75,000 tons/y by 2027.
  • Normandy – TotalEnergies has started coprocessing SAF from used cooking oil at its Gonfreville refinery. The Company plans to increase annual production at the site to 40,000 tons from 2025. In addition, following technical work carried out with its aeronautical partners, TotalEnergies will produce an additional 150,000 tons/y of SAF by coprocessing HVO biodiesel produced at La Mède as soon as this production method is approved by the ASTM1.
  • La Mède – TotalEnergies has invested €340m to convert its refinery into a biorefinery. Biodiesel produced at La Mède is already being used to make SAF at the TotalEnergies Oudalle plant near Le Havre. TotalEnergies is studying a new investment to have the capacity to process at La Mède, by 2024, 100% waste from the circular economy (used cooking oil and animal fat) to produce biofuels and SAF by coprocessing.

Beyond France, TotalEnergies aims to produce 1.5 million tons/y of SAF by 2030 at production units in Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea, representing 10% of the world market by that date.

“TotalEnergies is taking action to meet the strong demand from the aviation industry to reduce its carbon footprint. Sustainable aviation fuel is essential to reducing the CO2 emissions of air transport, and its development is fully aligned with the Company’s climate ambition to get to net zero by 2050, together with society,” said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and chief executive officer of TotalEnergies.

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Chevron to study ammonia carriers with Greek shipper

The initial study will evaluate the ammonia transportation market, existing infrastructure, safety aspects, potential next generation vessel requirements and a preliminary system to transport ammonia between the U.S. Gulf Coast and Europe.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiary Chevron Shipping Company LLC, and the Angelicoussis Group, through its Energy Transition division, Green Ships, announced a Joint Study Agreement (JSA) to explore how tankers can be used to transport ammonia, a potential lower carbon marine fuel, according to a news release.

The initial study will evaluate the ammonia transportation market, existing infrastructure, the safety aspects of ammonia, potential next generation vessel requirements and a preliminary system to transport ammonia between the U.S. Gulf Coast and Europe. Future opportunities will focus on additional global markets.

Ammonia is a carrier of hydrogen and is believed to have potential to lower the carbon intensity of the marine industry. Through the JSA, the Angelicoussis Group and Chevron aim to advance ammonia’s technical and commercial feasibility at scale, particularly as an export for petrochemicals, power, and mobility markets.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the Angelicoussis Group on this study, help advance lower carbon energy at scale and progress marine transportation of ammonia,” said Mark Ross, president of Chevron Shipping Company. “I’m proud of the collaboration between Chevron Shipping, Chevron New Energies and the Angelicoussis Group and look forward to driving progress toward our energy transition goals.”

“Global value chain solutions are critical for growing the hydrogen market, and we believe shipping will play a crucial role. Chevron is leveraging its international functional marine expertise and collaborating with the Angelicoussis Group to pursue the delivery of lower carbon proof points to the market,” said Austin Knight, Vice President, Hydrogen, Chevron New Energies.

“Through collaborating with Chevron Shipping Company on this study, we aim to make a meaningful contribution to prepare our industries for the transition towards lower carbon operations,” said Maria Angelicoussis, CEO of the Angelicoussis Group. “Combining our many years of experience in seaborne transport of liquid and gaseous energy sources with Chevron’s vast experience in the energy business provides a solid basis for this endeavor.”

“Ammonia has potential as a hydrogen vector and is considered one of the alternative fuel options to decarbonize shipping. We believe this study will contribute towards identifying the technical, operational and commercial challenges of carrying ammonia at scale and using it as a fuel in a safe and sustainable way,” said Stelios Troulis, green Ships and energy transition director for the Angelicoussis Group.

Chevron and the Angelicoussis Group have a long-standing relationship dating back to 2000. Since then, the partnership has grown from conventional vessels to include multiple LNG carriers, as well as joint work on energy transition initiatives. The teaming of Chevron Shipping, Chevron New Energies and the Angelicoussis Group on this study supports and accelerates both organizations’ ambitions to become leading, global clean energy providers by focusing on all aspects of the hydrogen supply chain.

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Sumitomo invests in Colorado direct air capture company

Sumitomo’s investment in Global Thermostat includes a commercial partnership to develop projects in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia markets.

Sumitomo Corporation, through the Group’s U.S.-based Presidio Ventures, Inc., has announced its investment in Global Thermostat, PBC, a U.S.-based company that develops and deploys a leading technology for directly capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a news release.

In conjunction with the investment, the companies have signed a letter of intent to develop a new line of global business for carbon capture and sequestration centered around Global Thermostat’s pioneering Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology.

DAC technology directly captures CO2 from the atmosphere and has attracted attention as one of the leading potential solutions for achieving negative emissions on a large scale. When used in combination with underground storage or mineralization solutions, it is likely to have a key role in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Global Thermostat has been developing DAC technology for more than a decade and has been recognized by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as one of the leading international companies developing large-scale DAC technology. In continually advancing its capture system, the firm has developed a proprietary solution consisting of fans which blow air through contactors with customized surface geometry and sorbents to optimize CO2 capture rates and overall cost.

At the end of 2022, Global Thermostat succeeded in putting a commercial-scale DAC facility into operation at its U.S. headquarters in Commerce City, Colorado, with the capacity to capture more than 1,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, one of the largest operating DAC plants ever. It is now expanding its operations globally.By combining Sumitomo Corporation’s global network and Global Thermostat’s leading DAC technology, the two companies will jointly identify and develop business opportunities in Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), including both underground storage and mineralization, in the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Asia markets.

The capturing and sequestration of atmospheric carbon is widely recognized as essential to keeping the global temperature rise below the 1.5 degree target. Together, Sumitomo and Global Thermostat aspire to establish a complete economic system that will provide a foundation for the widespread, global implementation of Direct Air Capture.

In developing the carbon capture value chain, Sumitomo Corporation and Global Thermostat will also explore opportunities in the production of e-fuels, produced by synthesizing CO2 and hydrogen.

“We are excited to be Sumitomo’s technology partner as we pursue our goal of a carbon-neutral economy. Our proven and fundamentally advantaged technology will enable the cost-effective and efficient capturing of atmospheric CO2 for sequestration or commercial uses,” said Paul Nahi, CEO of Global Thermostat.

Shinichi “Sandro” Hasegawa, Head of Energy Innovation Initiative America for Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, commented, “We are pleased to sign a letter of intent for a commercial partnership with Global Thermostat. We believe that DAC is one of the most important technologies for addressing climate change and the realization of a carbon-neutral society.

“Through our collaboration with Global Thermostat, we will promote and realize carbon dioxide removal from ambient air through Direct Air Capture with Carbon Storage, as well as focus on synthetic fuel production based on the captured CO2,” said Hasegawa.

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Shell, Ohmium to develop green hydrogen energy projects

Shell India and Ohmium International to cooperate on green hydrogen applications, markets and project opportunities globally.

Shell India and Ohmium International have agreed to cooperate on green hydrogen applications, markets and project opportunities in India and globally, the two companies announced.

As part of the collaboration, both companies plan to launch joint working groups to assess opportunities from the technical, commercial, and safety perspectives.

The collaboration is positioned at further elevating Shell’s ambition to help build a global hydrogen economy by developing the most competitive opportunities in the production, storage, transport, and delivery of hydrogen to end customers.

“We have set an ambitious goal of becoming a net-zero emissions business by 2050 with a target to reduce absolute emissions by 50% by 2030,” said Nitin Prasad, chairman, Shell Group of companies in India. “Green hydrogen has a critical role in helping the world reach zero emissions. We plan to develop integrated hydrogen hubs to serve the industry and heavy-duty transport to be a leading player in this space.”

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Shell to explore green hydrogen opportunities and solutions worldwide. Shell has demonstrated tremendous ambition to become a net zero carbon business by 2050– we believe that green hydrogen is a critical component of that transition,” said Arne Ballantine, CEO of Ohmium International. “We look forward to working with Shell to explore all the opportunities our electrolyzers enable.”

Ohmium International is a green hydrogen company that designs, manufactures, and deploys PEM Electrolyzers. Ohmium’s unique interlocking modular PEM electrolyzers provide a safer, modular, flexible, easy to install and maintain alternative to customized electrolyzers. Ohmium is headquartered in the United States, with manufacturing in India and operations worldwide.

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Low-carbon tech company targeting hydrogen at 35 cents per kilogram

A North Carolina net-zero solutions company has plans to raise capital and is scouting for a location in the US Gulf Coast for its first clean hydrogen production facility.

8 Rivers Capital, the North Carolina net zero solutions company and technology commercialization platform, will need to raise capital and is scouting for a location in the US Gulf Coast for its first clean hydrogen production facility, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder Bill Brown said on the sidelines of CERAWeek in Houston.

Brown declined to elaborate on the capital raise, but said he is well connected to finance from previous roles he held at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The company received a $100m investment from South Korea-based SK Group last March.

8 Rivers has technology for power generation, hydrogen production, gas processing, and direct air capture. Through its involvement with affiliate Net Power, 8 Rivers has developed the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle, a power cycle that uses the oxy-combustion of carbon-based fuels and a high-pressure CO2 fluid in a highly recuperated cycle that captures emissions. Net Power was recently acquired in a SPAC deal with Rice Acquisition Corp. II, which valued the company at $1.459bn.

In hydrogen, 8 Rivers has developed 8RH2, a process to make hydrogen from natural gas that produces lower emissions and higher efficiencies, according to its website.

8 Rivers announced in November that it signed an MoU with Japan-based JX Nippon to evaluate the US Gulf Coast for “commercial-scale deployment of 8 Rivers technologies across ammonia and other net-zero projects, including potential projects using CO2-rich natural gas.”

Hydrogen at 35 cents?

Brown isn’t too concerned with the source, or color, of hydrogen. He’s much more concerned with the price per kilo, and says his goal is to make low or zero-carbon-intensity hydrogen without concern for its provenance.

“If we can get hydrogen at 35 cents, you would never build a new power plant, because you’ve got hydrogen cheap enough to use a traditional hydrogen turbine,” Brown said. “I can make the cheapest hydrogen from methane, or coal for that matter. I can’t make it from electricity without subsidy.”

Hydrogen at 35 cents is USD 3 per MMBtu, making it competitive with gas.

“One-dollar hydrogen, to me, is worthless,” he said. “Let’s face it, right now, we have one-dollar hydrogen in the world, not clean, but we have seen the full demand already.”

“8 Rivers does not want to be the company that says ‘here, take my technology,’” Brown said. “8 Rivers wants to be the company that says ‘come to us and we will give you the cheapest hydrogen and we’re agnostic as to where it came from, but we can tell you it’s green.’”

Target markets include customers that are blending hydrogen, Brown said. With USD 50bn of hydrogen assets already deployed in the US, he’s not concerned about offtake.

“It’s the system,” Brown said. “The system is the offtake.”

For ammonia, island nations in transition, commercial shipping and coal replacement all present large potential markets, Brown said. If ammonia can be produced at USD 100 per ton, it will be more competitive than coal as an export fuel.

But Brown is adamant that hydrogen blending in existing infrastructure presents the best and most immediate use for hydrogen.

“All it takes is offtake,” Brown said. “The easiest thing to do with hydrogen is not converting it to ammonia to ship it overseas with some supply contract, the easiest thing to do is put it in a pipeline.”

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Government money still top of mind for early movers in US hydrogen

Gaining access to funding from government and other agency sources is top of mind for many developers seeking to de-risk their projects and reach FID. But only hydrogen, ammonia, and other clean fuels projects exhibiting “the best in the business” are garnering support from government financing agencies and commercial lenders, experts say.

The US Department of Energy came out this week with the news that it was not yet ready to release the long-awaited winners of its $8bn hydrogen hubs funding opportunity, as Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm noted Monday at the Hydrogen Americas Summit in Washington, DC.

The delay disappointed many in the industry, who are also waiting for crucial guidance from the IRS on rules for clean hydrogen tax credits.

Gaining access to funding from government and other agency sources is top of mind for many developers seeking to de-risk their projects and reach FID. But only hydrogen, ammonia, and other clean fuels projects exhibiting “the best in the business” are garnering support from government financing agencies and commercial lenders.

Speakers on a financing panel at the summit yesterday pointed to the successful FID of the Air Products-backed NEOM green hydrogen project in Saudi Arabia as an effective project finance model, where major sponsors working together helped to de-risk the proposal and attract support from export credit agencies and global banks.

In the US, large players like ExxonMobil (Hydrogen Liftoff Hub), NextEra (Southeast Hydrogen Network), and Chevron (ACES Delta) have applied for DOE hydrogen hubs funding, according to the results of a FOIA request, joining major utilities and other oil and gas companies like bp and Linde in the running for funds.

In addition to inadequate regulatory guidance, some developers have already started grumbling that the proposed government assistance will not be enough to meet the scale of decarbonization needs. And the nascent clean fuels project finance market still needs to sift through techno-economic challenges in order to reach its potential, according to comments made yesterday on a panel called Financing Clean Hydrogen.

Leopoldo Gomez, a vice president of global infrastructure finance at Citi, sees a big role for the project finance framework for hydrogen facilities undertaken by independent project developers as well as strategics looking to strike the appropriate risk allocation for new projects.

And Michael Mudd, a director on BofA’s global sustainable finance team, said hydrogen projects are similar in many ways to established facilities like power and LNG, but with additional complexities, like understanding the impact of intermittent power and how to appropriately scale technologies.

Credibility

This year, Pennsylvania-based Air Products along with ACWA Power and NEOM Company finalized and signed an $8.5bn financing agreement for NEOM the project, which will build 4 GW of renewables powering production of up to 600 tons per day of hydrogen. The National Development Fund and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund kicked in a total of $2.75bn for the project, with the balance covered by a consortium of 23 global lenders.

“It is very important from the financing side to make sure the parties that are at the table are the best in the business, and that’s what we’re seeing with the projects that are able to receive either commitments from the DOE Loan Programs office or from commercial lenders and export credit agencies,” Gomez said.

Highly credible engineering firms are also critical to advance projects, and the EPCs themselves might still need to get comfortable integrating new technologies that add more complexity to projects when compared to power generation or LNG projects.

“The bottom line is that having someone that’s very credible to execute a complex project that involves electrolyzers or carbon capture or new renewable power generation within the parameters of the transaction” is critical for providing risk mitigation for the benefit of investors, Gomez added.

Funding sources

Additional funding sources are intended to be made available for clean fuels projects as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, the panelists said.

Most notably, tax credit transferability and the credits in section 45Q for carbon capture and sequestration and 45V for clean hydrogen are available on a long-term basis and as a direct-pay option, which would open up cash flows for developers.

“If you can use [tax credit transfers] as a contract, you can essentially monetize the tax credits in the form of debt and equity,” Mudd said. And if a highly rated corporate entity is the counterparty on the tax transfer, he added, the corporate rating of the buyer can be used to leverage the project for developers that don’t have the tax capacity.

Still, section 45V is potentially the most complex tax credit the market has ever seen, requiring a multi-layer analysis, according to Gomez, who advised patience among developers as prospective lenders evaluate the potential revenue streams from the tax credit market.

“First and foremost we’ll be looking at cash flows driven by the offtake contract, but it will be highly likely that lenders can take a view on […] underwriting 10 years of 45V at a given amount,” Gomez added.

Crucial guidance on how to conduct a lifecycle emissions analysis is still outstanding, however, making it difficult to bring all project parties to the table, according to Shannon Angielski, a principal at law and government relations firm Van Ness Feldman.

“It’s going to hinge on how the lifecycle analyses are conducted and how you have some transparency across states and borders” regarding the potential for a green premium on clean hydrogen, she added.

Agency support

In Canada, the Varennes Carbon Recycling plant in Quebec has received CAD 770m of provincial and federal support, primarily from the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the province of Quebec, noted Amendeep Garcha of Natural Resources Canada.

Around CAD 500m of funding from the Canada Infrastructure bank is also going to support hydrogen refueling infrastructure, Garcha said, with the aim of establishing a hydrogen highway that will form the basis of the hydrogen ecosystem in Quebec.

Pierre Audinet, lead energy specialist from World Bank Group, noted how the international development agency was stepping in to provide support for projects that might otherwise not get off the ground.

“In the world where I work, we face a lot of scarcity of capital,” he noted, adding that the World Bank has backed the implementation of clean fuels policies in India with a $1.5bn loan.

Additionally, the World Bank has supported a $150m project in Chile, providing insurance and capital for a financing facility that will reduce the costs of electrolyzers. Chile, while it benefits from sun and wind resources, said Audinet, is less competitive when it comes to transportation given its geographic location.

The agency is also working to help the local government in the Northeastern Brazil port of Pecem. Shared infrastructure at the port will help reduce risks for investors who have taken a stake in the port facilities, Audinet said.

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Caliche CEO talks hydrogen and CO2 storage expansion

Following the acquisition of assets in Texas and California, Caliche Development Partners CEO Dave Marchese discusses opportunities for growth in the hydrogen and C02 storage market.

Caliche Development Partners II has made a pair of acquisitions with the aim of expanding into growing hydrogen and CO2 storage markets in Texas and California, CEO Dave Marchese said in an interview.

The company, which is backed by Orion Infrastructure Capital and GCM Grosvenor, this week announced the purchase of Golden Triangle Storage, in Beaumont, Texas; and the anticipated acquisition of Central Valley Gas Storage, in Northern California – two regions with increasing demand for storage to support variable power loads, natural gas liquefaction, and high penetrations of renewable resources.

Caliche and seller Southern Company did not use financial advisors for the transaction. Caliche used Willkie Farr as its law firm for the financing and the transactions.

Marchese, who has a private equity background and first worked on a successful investment in a fuel cell company in the year 2000, has also racked up years of experience investing in and operating underground storage assets. The Caliche team developed and sold a natural gas liquids and helium storage business – called Coastal Caverns – earlier this year.

“We know how to put things underground and keep them there, including very small molecules, and we have relationships with many of the customers that are using hydrogen today,” he said.

Roughly a third of the industrial CO2 emissions on the Gulf Coast come from the Golden Triangle area, a region in Southeast Texas between the cities of Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange. Much of this CO2 comes from the steam methane reformers that are within 15 miles of Caliche’s newly acquired Golden Triangle asset, Marchese said. The site is in similar proximity to pipelines operated by the air companies – Air Products, Air Liquide, and Praxair – that run from Corpus Christi to New Orleans.

“We’re within 15 miles of 90% of the hydrogen that’s flowing in this country today,” he added. “Pipeline systems need a bulk storage piece to balance flows. We can provide storage for an SMR’s natural gas, storage for its hydrogen, and we can take away captured CO2 if the plant is blue.”

The Golden Triangle site, which sits on the Spindletop salt dome, has room and permits for nine caverns total, with two currently in natural gas service. Three of those caverns are permitted for underground gas storage. “We could start a hydrogen well tomorrow if we had a customer for it,” Marchese said.

The Central Valley assets in Northern California are also positioned for expansion, under the belief that the California market will need natural gas storage for some time to support the integration of renewables onto the grid, he said. Additionally, the assets have all of the safety, monitoring and verification tools for sequestration-type operations, he added, making it a good location to start exploring CO2 sequestration in California. “We think it’s an expansion opportunity,” he said.

“Being an operator in the natural gas market allows us to enter those other markets with a large initial capital investments already covered by cash flowing business, so it allows us to explore incrementally the hydrogen and CO2 businesses rather than having to be a new entrant and invest in all the things you need to stand up an operation.”

Caliche spent $186m to acquire the two assets, following a $268m commitment from Orion and GCM. The balance of the financial commitment will support expansion.

“We’re capitalized such that we have the money to permit, build, and operate wells for potential CO2 sequestration customers,” he said. “The relationship with these stable, large investors also meets the needs of expansion projects: if somebody wanted not only a hydrogen well but compressors as well, we have access to additional capital for underwritten projects to put those into service.”

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