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Trafigura renews call for carbon levy to support clean fuels for shipping

The global trading firm had previously proposed a carbon price of $250 - $300 per tonne for carbon fuel oils for shipping.

Global commodity trader Trafigura Group renewed its call for a tax on carbon fuel oils used for shipping in an effort to speed decarbonization of the maritime industry.

The trader, which previously proposed a carbon levy of $250 – $300 per tonne, called on the UN’s International Maritime Organization, a shipping regulator, to revise its GHG policy and implement a carbon levy in a review of the organization’s carbon policy this year.

“By agreeing and implementing ambitious science-based decarbonization targets in its revised GHG Strategy, the IMO can accelerate the development of low- and zero-emission fuels and attract the investment needed to overhaul the infrastructure of the global shipping industry and retrofit or build a fleet of ships,” Trafigura said in the white paper.

Trafigura calls on the IMO to introduce an agreed-upon carbon price by 2025.

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Fitch lays out credit considerations for green hydrogen financing

Key operating metrics include the efficiency and rate of hydrogen production, plant availability, the ability to respond to intermittent power, and hydrogen purity levels.

Fitch Ratings has set out specific credit-risk considerations relevant to green hydrogen projects in a new report.

Fitch considers the credit risks of such projects to have the closest parallels to those of thermal power assets, and to generally be at least equal to – but potentially greater than – thermal power risks. Future technology and process developments will be evaluated and incorporated in ratings as the industry matures.

Whilst there are two key proven electrolyser technologies for producing hydrogen from renewable energy and water, the green hydrogen market is still nascent, meaning that precedents for project-financed transactions are very limited.

Green hydrogen projects have a greater range of balance of plant than solar, wind or thermal power projects. Complexity, and consequently integration risk, will therefore have a key influence on the completion risk assessment in any rating.

The availability of alternative replacement contractors to complete a project will be key for whether it can be rated above the incumbent contractor.The immaturity of the market will heighten the weight given to independent experts’ (IE) views in relation to such replaceability. We also generally expect high dependence on project parties, such as original equipment manufacturers, who will be key in O&M activities due to their expertise and equipment warranties.

The limited number of peer green hydrogen projects also means Fitch will be more reliant on the IE’s views of the reasonableness of a project’s budgeted or contracted operating costs. Any perceived lack of credibility, competence and experience of the project parties could be factored into the financial profile assessed in our ratings.

Key operating metrics include the efficiency, and rate, of hydrogen production, the plant availability, the ability to respond to intermittent power, and, where this is critical, the hydrogen purity levels.

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eFuels developer gets investment from French private equity firm

Denmark-based Arcadia eFuels will use the investment from SWEN Capital Partners to develop multiple eFuels production sites.

Arcadia eFuels has received investment from Swen Infrastructure Fund for Transition 2 (Swift 2), a fund managed by SWEN Capital Partners, according to a press release.

The investment will provide necessary development capital to accelerate reaching final investment decision stage for the world’s first commercial eFuels production facility to produce the lowest carbon emitter fuels for the aviation sector. Investment terms were not disclosed.

Arcadia eFuels will utilize Swift 2’s investment to develop multiple eFuels production sites that it intends to own and operate, as well as market & sell eKerosene, eDiesel, and eNaphtha. Arcadia’s front running project in Vordinborg, Denmark, is scheduled to begin operation in 2026, potentially followed by two more plants per year in 2026/2027. The output of each plant has been approximated to 100 million liters per year or 75,000 metric tonnes of eFuels.

“We believe that world travel is essential. It inspires people to seek out new places, while providing a learning experience like no other. The ability to experience cultural differences, as well as underlying cultural ties, serves as one of the greatest aids in protecting our global heritage and promote peace, while providing economic opportunities for countless communities. However, while the global economy is more connected than ever, a long-term challenge looms. Concern about air travel’s contribution to climate change threatens to curtail growth of an industry that has expanded steadily for decades, shrinking the world for travelers, as well as business in the global economy. For these reasons I am happy to announce that we have secured everything Arcadia needs to reach a final investment decision for one to two projects. SWEN Capital Partners has been a fantastic supporter, bringing an adept understanding of the social, societal and environmental impact of our work, and we are looking forward to developing the project further with them,” said Amy Hebert, CEO at Arcadia eFuels.

eFuels are produced by using renewable electricity to make green hydrogen, then combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide from direct air capture and/or other biogenic carbon sources to produce syngas. The syngas is then processed into eFuels using Fischer-Tropsch and refining to produce eKerosene, eDiesel, and eNaphtha.

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Carbon removal firm raises $100m

Carbon removal firm Charm Industrial has raised $100m in a Series B capital raise.

Charm Industrial has raised $100m in Series B funding in a raise led by General Catalyst.

General Catalyst’s CEO and Managing Director Hemant Taneja will join the company’s board alongside Ryan Panchadsaram from John Doerr’s office.

Lowercarbon, Exor Ventures, Kinnevik, Thrive Capital and Elad Gil also invested as part of the round, according to a blog post.

The company will use the new funding to accelerate its carbon removal deliveries. After deploying increasingly advanced pilot processes in 2021 and 2022, the company began ramping up in 2023. Its primary focus is expanding bio-oil production and transport capacity, and since the beginning of the year it has increased tons of carbon removal delivered per week 5x.

Continued acceleration requires ramping up our operations in Colorado and the broader corn belt, and expanding our lone pyrolyzer into a continent-wide fleet of tens of thousands of pyrolyzers. The future of carbon removal will be a massive investment in the heartland of America. Each Charm pyrolyzer will produce bio-oil for sequestration and improve the soil with biochar.

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Storage solutions firm in the market for strategic capital

An early-stage provider of hydrogen storage technology has hired a UK-based financial advisor to raise capital for a pilot plant.

Hydrogen carrier technology firm H2Fuel is seeking to raise approximately $25m to build a pilot project, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans.

The Dutch-based company has mandated a UK-based financial advisor to engage potential investors, with capital needs in the $12.5m range of a $25m project cost, the sources added.

In an interview, H2Fuel CEO Peter Huisman said the firm is “location agnostic” in looking for a site for a pilot project, but would prefer the US. Europe and India are also possibilities.

“We are early stage, in our view,” Huisman said. “[An investor will] need to have a long-term view of the market.”

Huisman declined to say which bank his company has hired but referred to it as a “top five” institution.

H2Fuel’s process combines hydrogen to salt, forming an energy-dense solid compound that can be transported and stored in dry conditions without complex requirements. A patented energy release process requires no extra energy, Huisman said.

The company has talked with some large strategics but has been told they are too early, Huisman said. The company views the near-term capital opportunities as one for pension funds or a venture capital.

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California carbon transformation firm lands new CFO

The Bay Area company is looking toward a Series C before an IPO in a couple of years.

Jimmy Chuang, the former CFO for Strata Clean Energy, has left that company to take the same role at carbon transformation startup Twelve, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Twelve recently completed a $130m Series B led by DCVC and has raised USD 200m in equity to date, the sources said.

The Bay Area company is looking toward a Series C that would be much larger, before an IPO in a couple of years, one of the sources said. The company is in talks with bulge bracket bankers now but has not hired anyone.

Twelve did not respond to requests for comment. Strata declined to comment.

Twelve creates materials, like chemicals and fuels, from captured carbon. The company recently signed an MoU with Microsoft and Alaska Airlines to collaborate on the production of sustainable aviation fuel.

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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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