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Twelve plans groundbreaking for eSAF plant in Washington state

The first customers to receive E-Jet fuel from the plant will be companies and major airlines with which Twelve has existing partnerships, including Shopify, Alaska Airlines, and Microsoft.

Carbon transformation company Twelve and Washington Governor Jay Inslee have announced plans to scale the production of E-Jet® fuel, Twelve’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from CO2 and renewable energy, with a commercial-scale production facility in Moses Lake, WA.

The announcement was made during a press conference held at the Washington State exhibit at the 2023 Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France.

A groundbreaking event for the facility will take place on July 11 with Gov. Inslee and other regional and local stakeholders who support sustainable aviation fuel development in Washington State. The first customers to receive E-Jet fuel from the plant will be companies and major airlines with which Twelve has existing partnerships, including Shopify, Alaska Airlines, and Microsoft.

Twelve’s E-Jet fuel is produced using the company’s carbon transformation technology, which uses only renewable energy and water to transform COinto critical chemicals and materials conventionally made from fossil fuels. With up to 90% lower lifecycle emissions compared to conventional fossil-based fuels, E-Jet fuel is a drop-in synthetic fuel that works seamlessly with existing aircraft and faces no constraints on feedstock, offering the best viable long-term solution to address emissions in the aviation industry. Transitioning to E-Jet fuel not only reduces reliance on fossil fuels, but also reduces particulate emissions from aviation and decreases impacts on neighboring communities.

“Washington maintains its widely-recognized leadership in the aviation and aerospace industries by creating a competitive business environment that fosters technology innovation, such as carbon transformation, that will help decarbonize the global aviation industry,” said Gov. Inslee. “We’re excited for Twelve to join the growing number of innovative companies that recognize everything that Washington has to offer.”

“Commercial-scale production of E-Jet fuel is a major milestone in our mission of creating a world run on air,” said Twelve co-founder and CEO Nicholas Flanders. “Washington is the perfect location for our facility, with its abundant renewable energy resources to power our carbon transformation process and longstanding global leadership in the aviation industry.”

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Summit Carbon Solutions enters CDR marketing agreement

Anew Climate will market carbon dioxide removal credits (CDRs) generated from Summit Carbon’s carbon capture and storage project in the Midwest.

Anew Climate, LLC, a provider of climate solutions, has entered a marketing agreement with Summit Carbon Solutions, the largest global biogenic carbon capture and storage project developer, according to a news release.

Under the terms of the agreement, Anew will market carbon dioxide removal credits (CDRs) generated from Summit Carbon’s novel Biomass with Carbon Removal and Storage (BiCRS) project, which is expected to capture and sequester more than 160 million tonnes of biogenic carbon dioxide emissions from 50+ biorefineries across the Midwestern United States over the next decade.

“High quality carbon dioxide removals are intensely sought after by buyers in the voluntary carbon market who are pursuing climate investments with lasting geologic permanence as part of their comprehensive strategies,” said Angela Schwarz, Anew Climate Chief Executive Officer. “We anticipate significant demand for CDRs in this first of its kind project at scale. We are pleased to be working with Summit Carbon in this important new CDR market that helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and is a vital path to mitigate climate change.”

Summit Carbon’s $8 billion infrastructure project is anticipated to capture more than 16 million tonnes of waste biogenic CO2 emissions annually, which would otherwise be re-released into the atmosphere during the bioethanol production process. Captured emissions will be safely and permanently sequestered thousands of feet underground in North Dakota. This will be the first tech-based CDR project to surpass the 1 million metric tonne scale, and forward sales are critical to realizing the climate impact potential.

“As we deliver the world’s largest carbon dioxide removal project, we’re not only removing carbon, but also paving the way for bioethanol producers to access new markets, such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel, and securing a sustainable future for agriculture and energy,” said Lee Blank, Chief Executive Officer of Summit Carbon Solutions. “We’re excited to partner with Anew Climate, a leader in the global voluntary carbon market, whose expertise will be crucial in realizing the full potential of our initiatives.”

The project will be the first to utilize a new BiCRS methodology approved and published by the Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG) – Biomass Fermentation with Carbon Capture and Storage. GS4GG is one of the leading global registries through which CDRs are verified and generated to ensure project quality, stakeholder consultation, safeguarding requirements, and sustainable development goals.

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Aviation manufacturers issue statement in support of SAF industry

The statement outlines a series of measures the manufacturers are promoting to advance decarbonization of the aviation industry.

Statement by the Chief Technology Officers of seven of the world’s major aviation manufacturers reads as follows:

Over a decade ago the aviation industry was the first global sector to set ambitious emission reduction goals. Today, we come together again to support the industry’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions for civil aviation by 2050 and to highlight the importance of the production, distribution, and availability of qualified Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) needed to achieve this goal. The development of fuel-efficient aircraft technologies has been a priority for the aviation industry for over 50 years and remains a priority. Greater uptake of SAF would mitigate the projected growth in aviation COemissions as the customer demand for global air travel increases.

Our companies are steadfast in delivering the technical solutions required to reduce the carbon emissions of the air transportation sector through our work in three key areas:

  • Developing advanced aircraft and propulsion technologies that enable net-zero carbon emissions while maintaining the safety and quality standards of our industry
  • Implementing improvements in aircraft operations and infrastructure
  • Supporting policies and measures that accelerate the availability and adoption of qualified SAF.

Increasing the production and utilization of SAF is a critical step for achieving the air transportation sector’s net zero CO2 emissions goal by 2050. However, the production of SAF is currently estimated at less than 0.1% of the global demand for jet fuel today. Moreover, SAF prices are typically two to five times higher than the price of conventional jet fuel. The supply is further constrained by competition for renewable fuels from other sectors that have alternative decarbonization options, such as with surface transportation and heating.

We support government policies and initiatives that stimulate investment in production capacity, reduce costs, and encourage greater industry uptake. This includes the US Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), which provides a blender’s tax credit. The IRA also authorizes funding to support advanced technologies and infrastructure that enable expanded SAF production and distribution capacity in the US, as well as projects to develop fuel efficient aircraft or otherwise reduce emissions from flying. Public-Private Partnerships, such as the FAA FAST Tech Program, would enhance OEM adoption, testing, and technical clearance of new emerging SAF pathways to ensure seamless insertion into the commercial fleet.

Similarly, the CTOs welcome the political agreement found on ReFuelEU Aviation which will provide a strong signal for the deployment of SAF in air transport, and look forward to the legislation being adopted as soon as possible. The EU needs to implement the right industrial support policies, within the Net Zero Industry Act, to accelerate the availability of SAF and synthetic kerosene at commercial scale, building on the work of the Industrial Alliance for Renewable and Low Carbon Fuels (RLCF). In addition, qualification efforts that support the development of co-processing technologies that can harness the existing capital infrastructure will accelerate the availability of  SAF at commercial scale.

Public-Private Partnerships can play a key role in increasing the development and use of SAF through policy definition and alignment, along with financial incentives.  Policymakers have the chance to accelerate these processes by providing sustained and predictable support to the multi-year development of novel technologies, and by stimulating the ramp-up of capacity. Recognizing the technical challenges associated with decarbonizing aviation, greater public policy and financial support to accelerate SAF production and distribution over fuels used for surface transportation is essential.  Additionally, close collaboration with the aviation industry and fuel suppliers is required in the development of infrastructure and investment in SAF production capacity to accelerate availability in support of demand. Lastly, establishing standards for qualification of 100% SAF pathways that ensure full compatibility with engines and aircraft for civil and appropriate defence applications as they become available is essential.

We, as CTOs, are committed to supporting policies that increase the supply of SAF while ensuring a consistent and predictable demand through harmonised global measures. The aviation industry plays a pivotal role in modern life connecting people, economies, and nations. We are unified in the proposition that our industry has a prosperous and more sustainable future, and that we can make it happen through the near-term implementation of lasting industry-wide and globalized harmonized policies.

[SIGNATORIES LISTED ALPHABETICALLY BY COMPANY]

Sabine Klauke
Chief Technology Officer
Airbus

 

Todd Citron
Chief Technology Officer
Boeing

 

Bruno Stoufflet
Chief Technology Officer
Dassault Aviation

 

Christopher Lorence
Chief Engineer
GE Aerospace

 

Geoff Hunt
Senior Vice President, Engineering
Pratt & Whitney

 

Grazia Vittadini
Chief Technology Officer
Rolls-Royce

 

Eric Dalbiès
Strategy & Chief Technology Officer
Safran

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KBR awarded tech contract for Texas blue ammonia plant

KBR has been awarded a technology contract by Tecnimont S.p.A. for OCI NV’s low-carbon blue ammonia project in Texas.

KBR has been awarded a technology contract by Tecnimont S.p.A. for Holland-based OCI NV’s low-carbon blue ammonia project in Texas, according to a news release.

Under the terms of the contract, KBR will supply the technology license, basic engineering design, proprietary equipment and catalyst for the 1.1 million ton per annum blue ammonia plant. Targeting completion by 2025, the project will be designed to transition from blue to green ammonia production as green hydrogen becomes available at larger scale in the future.

KBR, based in Houston, has licensed and designed 252 grassroots ammonia plants since 1944. Around half of global licensed ammonia capacity uses KBR-designed plants.

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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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Inside Intersect Power’s green hydrogen plans

California-based renewable energy developer Intersect Power anticipates huge capital needs for a quartet of regional energy complexes co-locating wind and solar with green hydrogen production in the Texas Gulf Coast, California and the American West.

Intersect Power, a solar developer that completed a $750m capital raise last year, is developing four large-scale green hydrogen projects that could eventually be spun off into a separate company, CEO Sheldon Kimber said in an interview.

Four regional complexes of 1 GW or more, co-located with renewables, are in development, he said. The first phases of those, totaling several hundred megawatts, will come online between 2026 and 2028.

Initial offtake markets include transportation, sustainable aviation fuel, and hydrogen for industrial use, Kimber said. Ultimately Intersect is aiming to serve ammonia exporters in the US Gulf Coast, particularly those exporting to Japan, Kimber said, adding that the company could contract with ammonia producers. He recently wrapped up a nine-day, fact-finding trip to Japan to better understand what he believes will be the end market for Intersect’s green ammonia.

“If you don’t know who your customer’s customer is, you’re going to get a bad deal,” Kimber said.

Intersects projects under development involve behind-the-meter electrolysis, co-located with Intersect’s wind and solar generation plants. In 2021 the company signed an MOU with electrolyzer manufacturer Electric Hydrogen. The contract is for 3 GW.

Intersect controls the land and is in the process of permitting the four projects, located in Texas, California and another western US location that Kimber declined to name. The primary focus now is commercial development of the offtake and transportation, he said.

‘Boatload of equity’

Kimber said the company will be ready to announced details of the projects when they are ready to seek financing. He estimates that upwards of $12bn will need to be raised for the package of complexes.

“There’s going to be an enormous need for capital,” Kimber said. Debt will make up between 60% and 90% of the raising, along with “a boatload of equity,” he said. Existing investors will likely participate, but as the numbers get bigger new investors will be brought on board.

Intersect has worked with BofA Securities and Morgan Stanley on past capital raise processes, and also has strong relationships with MUFG and Santander.

Moving forward the company could have a broader need for advisory services and could lend knowledge of the sector in an advisory capacity itself, Kimber said.

“The scope and scale of what we’re doing is big enough and the innovative aspect of what we’re doing is advanced enough that I think we have a lot we can bring to these early-stage financings,” Kimber said. “I think we’re going to be a good partner for advisory shops.”

In the short term Intersect has sufficient equity from its investors and is capitalized for the next 18-to-24 months, Kimber said. Last summer the company announced a $750m raise from TPG Rise Climate, CAI Investments and Trilantic Energy Partners North America.

“People don’t want to pay ahead for the growth in fuels,” Kimber said, adding that reaching commercial milestones will build a compelling valuation.

Intersect could spin off its hydrogen developments to capitalize them apart from renewables, Kimber said.

“Every single company in this space is looking at that,” he said. “Do you independently finance your fuels business?”

Avoiding the hype

Right now the opportunity to participate in hydrogen is blurry because there is so much hype following passage of the IRA, Kimber said. Prospective investors should be focused on picking the right partners.

“What you’re seeing right now is everybody believing the best thing for them,” Kimber said, noting that his company has decided to keep relatively quiet about its activities in the clean fuels space to avoid getting caught up in hype. “The IRA happened, and every electrolyzer company raised their prices by fifty percent.”

Of those companies that have announced hydrogen projects in North America, Kimber said he believes only a handful will be successful. Those companies that have successfully developed renewables projects of more than 500 MW are good candidates, as are companies that have managed to keep a fluid supply chain with equipment secured for the next five years.

“That is a very short list,” he said.

Lenders on the debt side will want to start determining how projects will get financed, and which projects to finance, in the next 18 months, Kimber said.

Finding those who have been innovating on the front-end for years and not just jumped in recently is a good start, Kimber said.

“Hydrogen will happen, make no mistake,” Kimber said. He pointed to the recent European directive that 45% of hydrogen on the continent be green by 2030 and Japan’s upcoming directive to potential similar effect. Once good projects reach critical points in their development they will start to trade, probably in late 2024, he said.

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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.
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