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Vision Ridge and WIN Waste partnering on Ohio RNG projects

The projects will initially produce more than 2.7 million MMBtu’s of RNG annually, with plans to more than double that within 11 years, making the projects among the largest RNG projects in the country.

Vision RNG, a landfill gas to renewable natural gas developer, and WIN Waste Innovations, an integrated waste services provider, are partnering to build two large projects to convert LFG to RNG in Ohio, according to a news release.

The projects are at WIN Waste’s Seneca County landfill in Seneca County, Ohio, and its Tunnel Hill Reclamation landfill in Perry County, Ohio.

VRNG and WIN Waste anticipate the projects will initially produce more than 2.7 million MMBtu’s of RNG annually, with plans to more than double that within 11 years, making the projects among the largest RNG projects in the country and which, once commissioned, are expected to result in the avoidance of more than 120,000 tons of fossil-based carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions yearly. In addition, the LFG-to-RNG projects executed under the partnership are expected to help support the local economy by creating dozens of construction jobs and full-time plant operator positions.

“VRNG is proud to be working with WIN Waste, a company whose mission of investing in more sustainable waste practices is well aligned with our mission to capture methane emissions and convert them into a renewable resource that can support local communities and the planet at large,” said Bill Johnson, CEO of VRNG. “We believe we have brought some of the best talent in the industry together at VRNG, and we are very excited to be able to deploy our skills and our capital to help WIN Waste meet its sustainability and financial goals. We look forward to leveraging our resources and team’s extensive experience across the waste management and natural gas industries to provide cleaner, more sustainable energy for consumers today and into the future.”

The RNG produced from the projects is expected to be used by customers in the transportation fuel market seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. The amount of CO2 emissions expected to be eliminated as a result of these LFG‑to‑RNG projects is equivalent to those produced by 12 million gallons of gasoline or 250,000 barrels of oil annually. Additionally, the energy content expected to be gained as a result of the RNG produced from the projects is equivalent to the energy required to heat more than 35,000 homes annually.

“These projects are the culmination of a massive undertaking to embed sustainability into every facet of our company’s operations,” added Dan Mayo, CEO of WIN Waste Innovations. “Turning the greenhouse gases that are a normal byproduct of end disposal into renewable fuel exemplifies our mission to invest in more environmentally friendly practices while providing the essential waste services our communities need. We are delighted to partner with VRNG to create two of the most technologically and environmentally advanced landfills in the world.”

“Vision Ridge’s investment strategy is to deploy capital and back great teams that we believe are leading the transition to a net-zero economy,” said Reuben Munger, managing partner and chief investment officer of Vision Ridge Partners, a sustainable real assets investor and owner of VRNG. “We believe VRNG and WIN Waste’s collaboration is an excellent step towards achieving a more sustainable world, and we look forward to continuing to support the VRNG team as it expands its portfolio of projects with leading waste companies and municipalities.”

A natural byproduct of decomposing landfill waste, LFG is typically collected and flared to burn off the methane it contains as required by regulators. However, collecting and converting the methane present in LFG into a cleaner, renewable fuel – consistent with VRNG and WIN Waste’s planned practices at the two Ohio landfills – is intended to serve as a solution to reduce the need for combustion of new fossil fuels.

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OPAL Fuels inks credit facility led by Apollo credit arm

The $500m credit facility will fund the RNG company’s growth initiatives. Apollo’s infrastructure credit arm, Apterra, led the deal.

OPAL Fuels Inc., a vertically integrated producer and distributor of renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable electricity, has closed on a new $500m senior secured credit facility, according to a news release.

The credit facility consolidates certain existing indebtedness and provides approximately $300 million in availability, which is anticipated to be used principally for development and construction of renewable energy projects.

“The closing of this Credit Facility provides OPAL Fuels significant liquidity and financial flexibility to fund our strategic growth initiatives,” said Jonathan Maurer, co-chief executive officer of OPAL Fuels. “This facility further supports growth through the funding of the next phase of our Advanced Development Pipeline. It also streamlines the balance sheet and strengthens our standing as a leading, vertically integrated presence in the industry.”

Apterra Infrastructure Capital LLC functioned as Sole Bookrunner and Syndication Agent for the Credit Facility and Bank of America, N.A. is Administrative Agent.

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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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EnCap and Mercuria invest in Arbor Renewable Gas

The Houston-based renewable gas developer has also entered into development and licensing agreements with SunGas Renewables and Haldor Topsoe, respectively.

Arbor Renewable Gas, the Houston, Texas-based sustainable gas developer, has taken an underlying capital commitment from EnCap Investments L.P. and Mercuria Energy Company, according to a news release.

SunGas Renewables, a subsidiary of GTI International, has entered into an exclusive Joint Development Agreement with Arbor Gas to provide its gasification systems to Arbor Gas projects and Haldor Topsoe has licensed its process and technology for methanol and gasoline synthesis.

Arbor Gas is developing industrial scale renewable gasoline and green hydrogen projects in the US. The strategy is to design, build, own, and operate facilities that efficiently convert woody biomass into renewable gasoline and green hydrogen.

Arbor Gas is led by Co-Founders, Chief Executive Officer Timothy E. Vail and John G. Kennedy III.

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Canadian renewables major eyeing hydrogen production at pumped hydro facility

Canadian power generation giant TransAlta could co-locate hydrogen production with select wind and hydroelectric facilities.

TransAlta, the Canadian power generator and wholesale marketing company, is contemplating a buildout of hydrogen production capabilities at its 320 MW Tent Mountain pumped hydro storage project in Alberta, Executive Vice President of Alberta Business Blain van Melle said in an interview.

“Our view on hydrogen is that it’s a technology that’s an option, somewhat further out in the future, particularly when it comes to power generation,” van Melle said. “If we can offer our customers maybe a power and hydrogen solution, and they’re using the hydrogen in another process, that would be something we would look at.”

In early 2022 TransAlta made a CAD 2m equity investment in Ekona Power, a methane pyrolysis company based in Vancouver. The company also committed USD $25m over four years to EIP’s Deep Decarbonization Frontier Fund 1.

That latter investment is a way to continue to learn about hydrogen and have exposure to emerging technologies, van Melle said.

The recent 50% stake acquisition in the Tent Mountain project includes the intellectual property associated with a 100 MW offsite green hydrogen electrolyzer and a 100 MW offsite wind development project.

Having hydrogen production co-located with wind and pumped hydro storage could make sense for the company in a few years, van Melle said. FID on Tent Mountain could be reached sometime in 2025 and will require the company to secure a PPA offtake and determine capital cost. Development work will take three to four years and earliest construction could begin in 2026.

The company has not had discussions with potential offtakers, van Melle said, adding that development on the pumped hydro facility needs to mature before a hydrogen component advances.

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US clean fuels producer prepping equity and debt raises

A Texas-based clean fuels producer is close to mandating an advisor for a platform equity raise. It has already tapped Goldman Sachs to help arrange a cap stack in the billions for a project in Oregon.

NXTClean Fuels, a Houston-based developer of clean fuels projects, is preparing a $50m to $100m platform equity raise in the near term and has large debt and equity needs for a pair of projects in Oregon, CEO Chris Efird said in an interview.

The company is close to engaging a new financial advisor for the raise, which will launch late this year or early next, Efird said.

Port Westward

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs’ post-carbon group is retained for the capital stack on NXTClean’s flagship project at Port Westward, at the Port of Columbia County, Efird said. The $3bn CapEx (including EPC) project is fully permitted by the State of Oregon and is awaiting one federal Clean Water Act permit. An Environmental Impact Statement is expected this fall.

The project is dedicated to producing a split of renewable diesel and SAF, amounting to roughly 50,000 barrels per day total permitted capacity when fully operational.

FID is expected for roughly August 2024, he said. About 30 months from FID the plant will reach COD.

“What we’re most focused on right now is the true senior debt,” Efird said. On the equity side the company is engaged with strategic partners that have indicated interest in post-FID equity.

NXTClean has conversations ongoing with the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office, along with commercial project finance lenders.

Red Rock

In April NXTClean acquired what was the Red Rock Biofuel facility in Lakeview, Oregon. That woody biomass-to-SAF facility foreclosed after $425m in investment, following technical and financial issues brought on by the COVID 19 pandemic. NXTClean purchased the facility for $75m in preferred stock at auction on the courthouse steps.

GLC advisors was retained by lead bondholder Foundation Credit to advise on that process, Efird said.

Red Rock is being repurposed to produce carbon-negative RNG for the adjacent Tallgrass Ruby Pipeline, Efird said. The fully-permitted project has a significant amount of equipment already installed or on skids.

A first phase will require a spend of $100m to $150m. Some $50m of equity will augment a balance of debt, raised in part through USDA programming, Efird said. Cash flow from the first phase will help with the second phase, which will bring the capital needs of the facility up to as much as $400m.

Looking forward

Geographically, NXTClean will expand in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Efird said.

Each of NXTClean’s two projects are held by a separate subsidiary. The company has a third subsidiary called GoLo Biomass that focuses on feedstock aggregation, Efird said. It engages with fish processors in Vietnam and used cooking oil suppliers in South Korea to augment supply from large companies.

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Exclusive: Middle market flagship fund to target e-fuels, renewables

A new $1.5bn US-focused flagship fund focused on middle market companies is in discussions with new and existing LPs now and will consider e-fuels and other sustainable molecules in its deployment.

Energy Impact Partners, the New York-based investment firm, is in discussions with new and existing LPs to raise a $1.5bn flagship fund focused on the middle market, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The raise is being done without a financial advisor, the sources said. Once complete, it will target platforms and assets in the $40m to $50m range.

While the fund will be broadly focused on renewables, e-fuels and other sustainable fuels companies will be considered, one of the sources said.

The investment manager has invested in clean fuels via equity positions in Electric Hydrogen, Terragia and Metafuels, among others.

EIP did not respond to requests for comment.

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