Resource logo with tagline

US SAF start-up raises $50m

US-based sustainable aviation fuel start-up CleanJoule has completed a funding round led by the principals of Indigo Partners, a private equity firm.

CleanJoule, a U.S.-based startup focused on the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), today announced a $50m investment round led by the principals of Indigo Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm.

The round also included participation by GenZero, a decarbonization-focused investment platform company of Temasek based in Singapore, Cleanhill Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm focused on decarbonization and three airlines – U.S.-based Frontier Airlines, Europe-based Wizz Air and Mexico-based Volaris. Funds raised from the round will support the further development of CleanJoule’s technology to produce high-performance SAF from agricultural residues and other waste biomass more cost-effectively.

The funding round marks an important chapter in the global effort to mitigate carbon emissions and deliver meaningful climate action. SAF, a biofuel used to power commercial aircraft but with a smaller carbon footprint, could potentially contribute up to 65 percent of the reduction in emissions needed by the aviation sector to reach net zero in 2050, according to the International Air Transport Association. Depending on the feedstock and technologies used to produce it, SAF can reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions dramatically compared to conventional jet fuel.

As part of the consortium’s investment, Frontier Airlines, Wizz Air and Volaris have signed binding agreements to purchase up to 90 million gallons of SAF. The principals of Indigo Partners will also receive a board seat on CleanJoule’s Board of Directors.

Unlock this article

The content you are trying to view is exclusive to our subscribers.
To unlock this article:

You might also like...

Tree Energy Solutions and EWE building electrolyzer in Wilhelmshaven

The electrolzser, to be installed and operated starting in 2028, has a planned total capacity of 1 GW at the hub on the North Sea coast.

Tree Energy Solutions and German utility EWE are signing an MoU to build an electrolyzer in TES’ Green Energy Hub in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, according to a press release.

The electrolzser, to be installed and operated starting in 2028, has a planned total capacity of 1 GW.

The hub in Wilhelmshaven is on the North Sea coast and can accommodate up to 2 GW capacity electrolyzers with renewable energy sources such as offshore wind.

In October Tree Energy Solutions agreed to terms for Fortescue Future industries to make an equity investment of EUR 30m to become a strategic shareholder in TES, and to invest EUR 100m for a stake in the construction of the import terminal in Wilhelmshaven. Before that the Belgium-based company concluded its second fundraising round at EUR 65m.

Read More »

Masdar in green hydrogen MoU with 4 Dutch companies

The parties will seek to develop a green hydrogen supply chain, focusing on production in Abu Dhabi and export to the Netherlands through the port of Amsterdam.

Masdar has signed a memorandum of understanding with Port of Amsterdam, SkyNRG, Evos Amsterdam and Zenith Energy to explore the development of a green hydrogen supply chain between Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam to support Dutch and European markets.

Under this MoU, the parties will join their efforts to develop a green hydrogen supply chain, focusing on production in Abu Dhabi and export to the Netherlands through the port of Amsterdam. The exported green hydrogen will be delivered to key European sectors – sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), steelmaking, and bunkering for shipping – and will also be supplied to new, emerging European offtakers, via pipeline, truck and barge. Together, the parties will explore several hydrogen transportation methods, with a focus on liquid organic hydrogen carriers and liquid hydrogen.

Mohammed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said, “Masdar believes green hydrogen to be a promising energy source for hard-to-abate sectors in support of global decarbonization, which is why we launched our dedicated green hydrogen business last month. We are pleased to partner with Port of Amsterdam, SkyNRG, Evos Amsterdam, and Zenith Energy to leverage our synergies in the fuel and logistics sectors to see how green hydrogen can help us achieve our shared goals for decarbonization and sustainable economic growth.”

Port of Amsterdam, the operator of Europe’s fourth-largest port, is committed to scaling up green hydrogen capabilities and is working closely with commercial parties active in its port on green hydrogen development. SkyNRG, a global leader in SAF, is developing a network of SAF production facilities that require green hydrogen as input. Zenith Energy and Evos Amsterdam are the operators of some of the most prominent blending and storage terminals in the port, with Zenith developing a liquid hydrogen supply chain, while Evos Amsterdam is working on a liquid organic hydrogen carrier supply chain.

Last December, Masdar announced its new shareholding structure and green hydrogen business unit, with a goal of achieving 100 GW renewable energy capacity and green hydrogen production of 1 million tonnes per annum annually by 2030. Masdar is actively involved in a number of projects related to green hydrogen production. Last year, Masdar signed agreements with leading Egyptian state-backed organizations to cooperate on the development of green hydrogen production plants in the country, targeting an electrolyzer capacity of 4 GW by 2030, and output of up to 480,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year.

Read More »

Green hydrogen firm adds former Cummins, Rolls-Royce, and bp execs to advisory board

The executives will help guide Avina’s strategic initiatives and advise on the use of hydrogen for decarbonization in hard-to-abate sectors.

Avina Clean Hydrogen, a green hydrogen and green fuels developer, today announced the addition of Tom Linebarger, former CEO of Cummins, Susan Dio, former President & Chairman of BP America, and Warren East, former CEO of Rolls-Royce to the Avina Advisory Board (AAB), according to a news release.

This distinguished group will help shape and guide Avina’s strategic initiatives, as well as advise on how best to leverage hydrogen to address decarbonization challenges of hard-to-abate sectors.

“We are so grateful that a highly esteemed group of leaders have agreed to serve as our inaugural advisory board and have chosen Avina as a platform to drive meaningful decarbonization in hard-to-abate sectors,” said Vishal Shah, Founder & CEO of Avina Clean Hydrogen. “Now, more than ever before, green hydrogen has a meaningful role to play as a climate solution in multiple industries and each leader brings a unique expertise and perspective from their respective backgrounds, which will be crucial in addressing the needs of a diverse portfolio of industries and end customers.”

ReSource reported previously that Avina would seek to raise approximately $1bn for green hydrogen projects this year.

Tom Linebarger is Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Cummins, a global technology leader in engines, filtration and power generation products, and was the CEO for more than 10 years until he stepped down in August of 2022. As CEO, Tom refocused the company, positioning it to be a leader in zero and low-carbon solutions. Under Tom’s leadership, Cummins developed Destination Zero, the company’s strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this goal, Cummins is offering customers a range of solutions required for the energy transition including advanced diesel, natural gas and fuel agnostic engine platforms. Cummins recently announced a hydrogen internal combustion technology that includes a 15L hydrogen engine, which will go into full production in 2027. The company has also announced several fuel cell partnerships with Daimler Truck North America, Komatsu and Scania as well as converting Air Products’ 2,000-truck delivery fleet to fuel cell electric vehicles. In addition, Cummins is manufacturing a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in North America and continues to build a leading presence in the electrolyzer business.

Currently, Tom is the co-chair of The Hydrogen Council, a global CEO-led coalition working to accelerate the energy transition through hydrogen. The Hydrogen Council includes CEOs from over 300 companies in sectors including automotive, gas, utility and technology companies.

“There are few executives in the world who share Tom’s wealth of experience in driving legacy sectors to adopt zero and low-carbon solutions,” said Vishal Shah, CEO of Avina. “We are fortunate to have a leader with his background to embrace and champion Avina’s mission to accelerate the energy transition in hard-to-decarbonize sectors by bringing solutions to deploy green hydrogen at scale.”

Susan Dio is a proven executive with 25+ years’ experience in international refining, petrochemicals, and oil and gas. Prior to her retirement in 2020, Susan was Chairman and President of BP America where she had responsibility for all BP businesses in the U.S. In addition, she worked with policymakers, partnerships and trade associations on trade, and energy policy, as well as navigating the energy transition toward a low-carbon future. As Chairman of the BP America Board, she focused on setting strategic direction and oversight of material risk across the 350 US subsidiaries. Between 2015 and 2018, Susan was CEO of BP Shipping, which managed the fleet of BP-operated and chartered vessels that moved over 200 million tons of products around the globe each year. As CEO, she reset the organization’s strategy and operations and modernized the company’s fleet, delivering 26 new, highly efficient tankers. Other roles Susan held at BP include Head of Audit for refining and marketing and Managing Director of a refinery in Australia. She holds a degree in chemical engineering.

“Susan’s leadership and expertise, especially in the oil & gas sector, will be invaluable as we continue our conversations with leading executives who recognize the importance of hydrogen in solving the toughest de-carbonization challenges in the energy sector,” said Vishal Shah, CEO of Avina.

Warren East retired as the CEO of Rolls-Royce in December 2022. Warren initially joined the company as a board member in 2014 after retiring as the CEO of semiconductor company ARM and later, stepped into the CEO role in 2015. Rolls-Royce manufactures aircraft engines as well as engines for boats, trains, large land vehicles and nuclear submarine reactors. As CEO, Warren pushed to modernize the company and to embrace sustainability. He committed to becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2050, and with the future of the business in mind, invested money in R&D around new aero engine design and in nuclear power, and established a sustainable solutions business in the Power Systems division, to develop micro grid solutions including hydrogen electrolyzers and fuel cells. The company created a new business to focus on electrical aviation and broke the world record for the fastest electric flight. Recently Rolls-Royce demonstrated a gas turbine aero engine running on 100% hydrogen and in the meantime, is also enabling all its aero engines to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as well as working across the industry to establish the SAF ecosystem.

“Warren’s extraordinary legacy of trailblazing leadership in technology and aviation sectors will be very valuable to Avina’s continued growth,” said Steven Berkenfeld, Board Member of Avina. “We are excited for Warren to share his unique perspectives with our team as we continue to deploy green hydrogen and ammonia solutions in new sectors.”

Read More »
Cement hills
exclusive

Ammonia-to-industrial heat provider raising early-stage capital

An early-stage technology provider targeting clients in hard-to-abate industries is engaging investors and financial advisors to raise a seed round, with sites on a Series A in 2025.

Captain Energy, a Houston-based provider of ammonia-to-industrial heat technology, is seeking strategic investors for an early-stage seed round with plans for an eventual Series A, co-founder and interim-CEO Kirk Coburn said in an interview.

The company is developing a single-step process that can create industrial heat from cracked ammonia up to 700 degrees Celsius with zero NOX emissions, with hydrogen as a byproduct, Coburn said. The process uses a ceramic-based tubular solid oxide fuel cell that Captain manufactures in Dundee, Scotland.

“The results from the testing are that we’re 85% efficient,” Coburn said.

He likened the company to Amogy, but serving steel, cement and chemicals instead of transportation. Getting the kind of high-quality heat those industries need in a clean way can only come from a few sources, he noted.
“Ammonia is one of the greatest ways to do it if you can crack it efficiently like we can,” he said.
Past lab

The company is “past the lab stage” and needs to develop a pilot product to showcase to customers, Coburn said. About $5m will get the company to a 100-kilogram-per-day product, up from 25 kilograms now.

“That’s not, probably, big enough for most customers, but we can stack them,” Coburn said. “At this point we need to demonstrate commercially the product… after showcasing it we want to make larger units.”

Captain is owned by three co-founders, including Coburn. They have an 18-month line of site on a “much larger” Series A, Coburn said.

Strategic investors that would be end users of the technology are of interest to the company, particularly in Asian and European markets.

“We’re not getting in the game of making ammonia,” Coburn said. “We have to buy green ammonia.”

The company’s model is at “grid-parity” in Europe now, Coburn said, pointing to Germany in particular.

“We think we’re almost at subsidy-free pricing,” he said.

Read More »
exclusive

California renewables firm in talks for green fuel co-development

A utility-scale solar and storage developer based in California has started outreach and discussions to have green fuels projects co-developed at some of its larger sites in the western US.

RAI Energy, the California-based solar and storage developer, has started to engage with other companies about developing green fuels along with its utility-scale projects, CEO and owner Mohammed S. Alrai said in an interview.

RAI recently took a development loan from Leyline Renewable Capital. That transaction ends a process launched by Keybanc first reported by The Hydrogen Source.

Alrai remains the 100% equity owner, he said. The liquidity from Leyline will last about two years.

The company’s most impending projects are in Colorado and California, Alrai said. Discussions around green fuels envision a partner coming in as a co-developer and customer for RAI’s renewable power.

“We’re definitely open to entering into conversations with all stakeholders,” Alrai said, adding that the effort could require capital raising. “We will be coming to the market to potentially raise equity.”

RAI is moving toward long-term ownership and operation of projects, he said. The company could also sell projects to raise capital.

Read More »
exclusive

Exclusive: Midwest renewables developer launches capital raise

A Midwest renewables developer has launched a $340m capital raise for a wind-to-hydrogen operation in the US heartland.

Zero6, the Minneapolis-based renewables developer, owner and operator, recently launched a process to raise $340m in project capital for its portion of the Lake Preston Biofuels Project in South Dakota, senior managing director Howard Stern said in an interview.The company, previously known as Juhl Energy, is partnered with Colorado-based Gevo, which plans to produce SAF on 240 acres at Lake Preston in a project dubbed Net-Zero 1.Zero6 will develop 20 MW of green hydrogen production adjacent to Net-Zero 1 powered by a 99 MW wind farm located 10 miles from the SAF site, Stern said.Plans call for FID late this year, he said.Zero6 met with several financial advisors for the raise, but decided to try and conduct it in-house, Stern said. The company has not ruled out help from an advisor for this raise and could need those services in the future.The goal is to have an anchor investor in place by May, Stern said. The company is open to strategic or financial investors.Zero6’s strategy is akin to a traditional private equity play, holding a project for five to ten years of operation, Stern said. That could change depending on new investors’ outlook.According to the ReSource database, Gevo has additional projects in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.Stern said Zero6 sees opportunities to replicate the Lake Preston strategy in other parts of the country.The Lake Preston project has been tied to the development of carbon capture pipelines through South Dakota, namely the Summit Carbon Solutions CO2 pipeline. Gevo officials have made public comments noting that if the Summit pipeline does not get built, it would disadvantage the Lake Preston project on the basis of its carbon intensity score, and the company may seek options elsewhere.
Read More »

Welcome Back

Get Started

Sign up for a free 15-day trial and get the latest clean fuels news in your inbox.