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Trafigura to purchase carbon removal credits from 1PointFive

Trafigura will purchase carbon dioxide removal credits from the STRATOS direct air capture facility in Texas.

1PointFive, a carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS) company, and Trafigura, a market leader in the global commodities industry, said today that Trafigura has agreed to purchase carbon dioxide removal (CDR) credits to be produced from 1PointFive’s first industrial-scale Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility, STRATOS, which is currently under construction in Texas.

This is Trafigura’s first transaction towards meeting its commitment as a Founding Member of the First Movers Coalition to purchase at least 50,000 tons of durable and scalable net carbon dioxide removal credits generated through advanced CDR technologies by 2030, according to a news release.

The advance purchase of DAC credits from 1PointFive aligns with Trafigura’s commitment to support early-stage technologies to enable high-quality carbon removal credits for its customers. It also marks the establishment of a relationship between 1PointFive and Trafigura to advance DAC as a practical, transparent and durable carbon removal solution. The agreement paves the way for the broader adoption of 1PointFive’s CDR credits to help hard-to-abate industries address their emissions.

STRATOS is designed to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 annually when fully operational and is expected to be the largest facility of its kind in the world. The captured CO2 underlying Trafigura’s removal credits will be stored through durable subsurface saline sequestration.

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Nikola and BayoTech partner for clean hydrogen delivery

As part of the deal, Nikola expects to take delivery of low-carbon hydrogen produced by BayoTech commencing in Missouri this year and California in 2024.

Nikola Corporation and BayoTech, Inc. have agreed to advance reliable hydrogen supply for zero-emission commercial fuel cell electric vehicle fleets.

The strategic supply agreement includes Nikola Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks, BayoTech HyFill™ bulk hydrogen transport trailers, and hydrogen produced at BayoTech’s distributed network of hubs, according to a news release.

As the anchor hydrogen offtake customer, Nikola expects to take delivery of low-carbon hydrogen produced by BayoTech commencing in Missouri this year and California in 2024. Nikola plans to acquire up to 10 BayoTech HyFill™ transport trailers, facilitating the distribution of high-pressure gaseous hydrogen from the production sites to refueling stations that serve fuel cell electric vehicle fleets.

“Nikola and BayoTech are united by a common goal of providing reliable access to hydrogen throughout the United States,” said Michael Lohscheller, President and CEO of Nikola Corporation. “BayoTech’s low-carbon hydrogen fuel and transport equipment will play an important part in supporting the adoption of Nikola’s Class 8 fuel cell electric zero-emission trucks.”

BayoTech will purchase up to 50 Nikola Class 8 fuel cell electric vehicles over the next five years, with the first twelve trucks being delivered in 2023 and 2024. The Nikola trucks will be paired with BayoTech’s HyFill™ bulk hydrogen transport trailers to deliver low-carbon hydrogen to offtake customers from BayoTech’s hydrogen production hubs.

“We’re immensely proud to be an industry leader in our commitment to deliver hydrogen to local customers via zero-emission fuel cell trucks,” said Mo Vargas, President and CEO, BayoTech. “Partnering with forward-looking companies like Nikola allows us to accelerate the deployment of our hydrogen hub network and stimulate the growth of the hydrogen ecosystem.”

The Nikola fuel cell electric vehicle offers a range of up to 500 miles, making it one of the longest-range zero-tailpipe-emission Class 8 trucks available and ideal for various applications, including drayage, intermodal, truckload, less than truckload, and specialized hauling.

Customers rely on BayoTech’s HyFill™ bulk hydrogen transport trailers to efficiently move hydrogen to distribution and dispensing sites, and to ultimately the end user, including retail refueling stations, backup power systems in remote areas, and industrial manufacturing sites.

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H2B2 to go public in $750m SPAC deal

The Madrid-based hydrogen platform H2B2 Electrolysis Technologies has reached a deal to go public in a SPAC deal with RMG Acquisition Corp. III.

H2B2 Electrolysis Technologies, Inc. (H2B2), a global green hydrogen platform that provides bespoke integrated solutions across the hydrogen value chain, and RMG Acquisition Corp. III (Nasdaq: RMGC) (RMG III), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, have entered into a definitive agreement to take H2B2 public via a business combination, according to a news release.

Under the terms of the proposed transaction, H2B2’s stockholders will roll 100% of their equity holdings into the combined public company.

The base purchase price of $750m is subject to adjustment based on the results of the proposed capital raise transaction described below. H2B2 is separately undertaking a capital raise transaction, which is expected to close prior to the proposed transaction. The capital raise transaction is being led by Natixis Partners Iberia S.A. and BCW Securities LLC, an affiliate of RMG III. Subject to the terms and conditions of the merger agreement for the business combination, post-capital raise transaction stockholders of H2B2 will roll 100% of their equity into the surviving corporation.

Cohen & Company Capital Markets is acting as capital markets advisor to RMG III.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP is acting as legal advisor to RMG III.

Pérez-Llorca is acting as Spanish counsel to RMG III.

Natixis Partners Iberia S.A. and BCW Securities LLC are acting as co-private placement agents to H2B2.

Latham & Watkins LLP is acting as legal advisor to H2B2.

Since its founding in 2016, H2B2 has become a key player in the green hydrogen energy sector, the news release states. H2B2 is focused primarily on the United States and European markets, but is also expanding in Latin America and Asia-Pacific, where H2B2 has secured a role in several strategic projects. In particular, H2B2 has been selected as a participant in the IPCEI Hy2Tech (Important Projects of Common European Interest) program, through which it has been approved by the European Commission to receive up to € 25 million in connection with H2B2’s development and manufacturing capacity for both stacks and electrolyzers.

In 2019, the California Energy Commission awarded H2B2 a grant for the development of a green hydrogen production facility, SoHyCal plant, in Fresno, California. This 3 MW plant is to begin production in May 2023, with an additional 6 MW of hydrogen capacity and 15 MW of associated solar PV to be constructed during Phase II. In addition, in 2022, Ecopetrol, the leading oil company in Colombia, began working with H2B2 and recently welcomed it into its group of strategic partners as part of its broader plan to decarbonize and develop green hydrogen energy. H2B2 has also recently entered the Indian market through a joint venture with GR Promoter Group and the creation of GreenH.in Electrolysis.

Key Investment Highlights

  • A leading global green hydrogen platform: Capabilities spanning the entire value chain of green hydrogen production, including R&D, manufacturing proprietary electrolyzer technology, project development, EPC, O&M, green hydrogen production, storage and delivery.
  • Customer-centric business model: H2B2 provides tailor-made and scalable solutions worldwide, with a one-stop-shop approach, offering design, development, EPC, electrolyzers, offtake agreements, financing, and O&M services.
  • Proprietary and flexible electrolysis technology: Currently utilizing proven PEM technology in the supply of its manufactured electrolyzers but is also developing next generation technologies (AEM & SOEC) in-house.
  • Global company with the ability to identify and deliver unique projects of different scale across its target markets: A robust and diversified pipeline of over 260 projects, with an expected aggregate capacity of approximately 5.6 GW of identified potential projects. H2B2 is currently working with significant customers such as Ecopetrol, GP Joule, Cepsa and Tecnicas Reunidas.
  • Industry leading management team: The H2B2 management team has over 200 years of combined experience in engineering and financing renewable energy projects and have worked together as a team for more than 20 years in renewable hydrogen.

Bob Mancini, CEO of RMG III, commented that “RMG III and H2B2 are dedicated to accelerating the energy transition through the advancement of next-generation energy infrastructure. As a pioneer in the development of green hydrogen production facilities, and supported by an industry leading team, we are confident that H2B2 is well positioned to further expand and execute on its impressive pipeline of opportunities.”

Anselmo Andrade, CEO of H2B2 has confirmed that “With the operations that we have underway, we are seeking to strengthen not only the international business that we are currently developing, but our operational capacity worldwide. The business and technological development of H2B2 will be bolstered as a result of this transaction with RMG III, thus making the energy vector of hydrogen key to decarbonization.”

Antonio Vázquez, President of the Board of Directors of H2B2, has indicated that “The proposed business combination with RMG III that has been announced to the investor community reaffirms our letter of intent announced in January earlier this year, and together with the capital raise transaction on which we are working, gives us confidence to move forward with the goal of obtaining the necessary funds from the markets and visibility to finance the future growth of H2B2.”

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Avangrid and Sempra tentatively planning US green hydrogen

Avangrid and Sempra Infrastructure have entered into a heads of agreement for the potential joint development of US green hydrogen and ammonia projects.

Avangrid and Sempra Infrastructure have entered into a heads of agreement (HOA) for the potential joint development of US green hydrogen and ammonia projects, according to a news release.

The HOA provides a framework for the companies to identify, appraise, and develop large-scale green hydrogen projects to serve US and international customers.

AVANGRID’s background in renewable development as the third largest renewables operators in the U.S., complements Sempra Infrastructure’s project development and commercial expertise across clean power, energy networks and LNG, the release states.

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Exclusive: Former green hydrogen executive raising capital for fusion startup

A former executive that developed large hydrogen and ammonia projects in Texas is raising money in a new role with a fusion energy firm with ambitions to co-locate generation with heavy industry and fuels production.

Tokamak Energy, the UK-based fusion energy startup, is seeking to raise about $80m in a self-conducted Series C capital raise, President Michael Ginsberg told ReSource.

The company previously hired Bank of America to run a $1bn raise but pulled back on the process in favor of more incremental growth, Ginsberg said. The company has already raised $40m of the $120m Series C and is aiming for a close by mid-summer.

With US operations in West Virginia (where co-founder Mark Koepke is a professor of physics at WVU) and headquarters in Oxford, England, Tokamak was recently included in the US Department of Energy’s multimillion-dollar Fusion Development Program and partnered with General Atomics on advanced magnet technology.

Ginsberg previously worked as vice president of technology and project execution at Avina Clean Hydrogen, where he was instrumental in developing the Nueces Clean Ammonia project in Texas. He said Tokamak is planning to build fusion generation in the United States, but has a magnets business with a near-term return profile.

Magnets business

Tokamak is a developer of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets.

They are developed for fusion to contain plasma energy, but like the semi-conductor business, they’ve had applications in other industries, such as defense, offshore wind turbines, and mineral separation.

First revenue from those magnets, from another fusion company, came in last year, he said. There are ongoing contract negotiations with the US Department of Defense and an imaging device maker that uses magnets.

Rail companies interested in maglev (from magnetic levitation) technology are also in discussions with Tokamak, he said.

Turnaround for that business for investors is expected to be three to five years, Ginsberg said.

Fusion-to-X

Tokamak is planning to develop its first commercial scale plant (COD after 2030) in the US.

Requirements for site selection are dependent on nearby capabilities; if deuterium and tritium are to be used as fuels, there needs to be a nearby facility that can handle those hydrogen-isotope fuels. For example, Oak Ride National Labs in Tennessee can handle tritium.

The other siting concern is use case.

“It could be, certainly, pumping electrons onto the grid, in which case your limited by transmission lines,” Ginsberg said. “But also, we could create industrial thermal energy, thermal heat, and co-locate with decarbonized heavy industry.”

Co-location with data centers is another option, he said. Tokamak is also exploring hydrogen production.

“Obviously you could do the traditional electrolysis process, and we’re talking to some companies that just need electrons to convert the H2O into hydrogen and oxygen, and they want baseload power to do that as opposed to intermittent power,” he said. “Also, there’s thermal energy and thermal processes to produce hydrogen that we could use from the fusion reaction.”

Ginsberg, who oversees US operations at Tokamak, was hired following the DOE award.

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exclusive

Aemetis capitalized for hydrogen and biofuel development plans

Aemetis CEO Eric McAfee said in an interview that the company has lined up financing to complete the $1.2bn in biogas and sustainable aviation fuel projects it has in development.

Aemetis is well capitalized to complete the $1.2bn in biogas and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) projects it has in development, CEO Eric McAfee said in an interview.

Founded by McAfee in 2006 and listed on the NASDAQ in 2014, Aemetis plans to produce more than 60 million gallons per year of SAF and capture and sequester 125,000 mtpy of carbon in 2025. This is a diversification from existing ethanol, RNG and biodiesel operations in the US and India.

The company recently released an updated five-year plan including plans to generate $2bn of revenues, $496m of net income, and $682m of adjusted EBITDA by 2027.

McAfee, noting that Aemetis is well capitalized and has locked in financing for much of its plans, said, “The only thing we really need to do is just execute.”

For example, the company closed $25m of USDA loan guarantees in October at a 6.2% interest rate, McAfee said. The company has also signed a $125m USDA commitment letter for its Riverbank Biofuels Project in California, also called CarbonZero 1, which will produce SAF.

“We’ll be expanding that relationship with [the USDA],” McAfee said. “Everything else is financed.”

The Riverbank Biofuels Project has signed offtake agreements with major airlines, and the SAF segment is expected to be the biggest contributor to Aemetis’ revenues once the project is online in 2025, according to a presentation. Renewable diesel and SAF will add $348m of revenues in 2025 and $693.3m of revenues in 2026.

For its carbon sequestration projects, referring to upgrades at the existing Keyes ethanol plant in California and other operational assets, the company has an existing $100m line of credit provided by Third Eye Capital, $50m of which remains unused, McAfee said.

Projected revenues will allow the company to self-fund without new credit facilities, McAfee said. Revenues from Aemetis’ debt-free operations in India will also be available to fund new developments.

The Riverbank SAF plant will be fully engineered and permitted this year, McAfee said. Baker Hughes and ATSI are the company’s EPC partners on the new developments.

Aemetis has no plans to divest existing operational assets but could acquire California biogas assets, McAfee said. The company regularly talks to investment bankers.

McAfee is the largest single shareholder in Aemetis. JackBlock, the former US Secretary of Agriculture, sits on the company’s board. The largest institutional shareholder is BlackRock.

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Exclusive: Ammonia plant sale paused until commercial operations

The sale process for a Texas ammonia plant has been paused until the facility reaches commercial operations.

Gulf Coast Ammonia, the developer of a world-scale ammonia plant in Texas City, Texas, has paused a sale process until the plant reaches commercial operations, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The process to sell the plant, which will produce 1.3 million tons of ammonia per year, was underway earlier this year, led by Jefferies as sellside advisor. The plant was expected to reach COD in 2023, according to documentation.

The project was initiated by Agrifos Partners LLC and advanced to FID in collaboration with joint venture development partners Mabanaft and Macquarie Capital. Following the FID taken in late 2019, GCA is wholly owned by a joint venture of Mabanaft and Lotus Infrastructure (formerly known as Starwood Energy).

GCA is investing $600m towards the construction, operation, and ownership of the ammonia plant, which is situated on land owned by Eastman Chemical Company within Texas City’s industrial park. It includes a portion of Eastman’s port access. 

In tandem with the ammonia plant construction, Air Products is building a $500m steam methane reformer to provide hydrogen to the plant via pipeline. Air Products noted in a recent investor presentation that the SMR project recently came onstream.

Officials at Lotus, Mabanaft, and Jefferies did not reply to inquiries seeking comment.

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