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World Energy GH2 wins approval to remove protestors from green hydrogen site

A judge has signed off on the company's request to remove protestors from the site of its planned green hydrogen facility in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

A justice with the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court on Friday approved an injunction against protesters blocking access to World Energy GH2’s wind test sites, according to a news report.

A group of protesters has been blocking an access road to one of World Energy’s sites, on Newfoundland’s west coast, for weeks, according to the CBC.

In an affidavit, World Energy GH2 CEO Sean Leet said the delay caused by the company’s inability to access work sites has stalled construction and thwarted data collection.

According to the news report, the protestors vowed to keep fighting the project.

The project is expected to produce the first green hydrogen by the end of 2Q24. The overall development plan includes three phases, including a 0.5 GW hydrogen facility at the Port of Stephenville, up to 164 turbines generating 1 GW of wind power (with a likely maximum hub height of 121m, plus a rotor diameter of 158 m, for a likely total maximum height of 200 m) and associated transmission and supporting infrastructure.

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Marquis sells ethanol plant to United Cooperative

Ethanol producer Marquis has sold a 100 million gallon per year facility in Wisconsin to United Cooperative.

Illinois-based Marquis has sold its Necedah, Wisconsin ethanol facility to United Cooperative.

The facility, which has a production capacity of 100 million gallons of ethanol per year, will operate under the new name of United Energy Necedah. The asset sale will be effective May 31, 2024, according to a news release.

In addition to ethanol, the facility produces DDGs, high-protein animal feed, and corn oil.

“The purchase of Marquis’ Necedah ethanol plant aligns with our strategic initiative of investing in agriculture, opening new markets, and providing value-added products for our member-owners,” stated David Cramer, President and CEO of United Cooperative. “This type of diversification supports our mission, our local farmers, and the U.S. economy. Our investment also promotes our sustainability efforts by continuously improving the stewardship of the air, soil, and water, safeguarding our natural resources for generations to come.”

Mark Marquis, CEO of Marquis, said, “The sale of our Wisconsin facility aligns with our commitment to strategic growth in developing the world’s first carbon-neutral industrial complex in Hennepin, IL. We extend our sincerest gratitude to our valued grain customers, the supportive Necedah community, and to the incredible and talented team of employees at Marquis Energy Wisconsin for their hard work and dedication. We look forward to the continued success of United Energy Necedah LLC under the stewardship of United Cooperative.”

As part of the sale, Marquis will collaborate with United Cooperative to provide ongoing marketing and team support and looks forward to a prosperous future of working with the United Cooperative team.

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Gulf Coast ammonia plant transacts

CF Industries purchased the Waggaman ammonia plant in Louisiana from Incitec Pivot for $1.675bn.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc., a global manufacturer of hydrogen and nitrogen products, has signed a definitive purchase agreement with Incitec Pivot Limited for IPL’s ammonia production complex located in Waggaman, Louisiana, according to a news release.

The facility has a nameplate capacity of 880,000 tons of ammonia annually.

Under the terms of the agreement, CF Industries will purchase the Waggaman ammonia plant and related assets for $1.675bn. The companies will allocate approximately $425m of the purchase price to a long-term ammonia offtake agreement under which CF Industries will supply up to 200,000 tons of ammonia per year to IPL’s Dyno Nobel subsidiary. CF Industries expects to fund the remaining $1.25bn of the purchase price with cash on hand.

“We are pleased to reach this agreement with Incitec Pivot Limited that benefits from our industry-leading ammonia production capabilities, deploys our capital efficiently and provides long-term value for both companies’ shareholders,” said Tony Will, president and chief executive officer, CF Industries Holdings, Inc. “We believe the Waggaman facility will fit seamlessly into our network, as well as our strategic focus on ammonia as a clean energy source, given its proximity and pipeline connection to our Donaldsonville, Louisiana, Complex, its distribution and logistics flexibility, and its favorable characteristics for the addition of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies to enable low-carbon ammonia production.”

Ammonia produced at the Waggaman facility today is distributed ratably to three customers, including Dyno Nobel, with approximately 75% used in industrial applications. Based on the nature of the medium- to long-term offtake agreements in place with these customers, CF Industries estimates that the plant will generate gross margin per ton commensurate with its existing ammonia segment prior to synergies, which the company expects to capture through greater capacity utilization and operational and logistics optimization. Over the last five years, CF Industries’ operational capabilities have resulted in ammonia asset utilization that is approximately 10% higher than the average utilization rate of the company’s North American peers.

Additionally, CF Industries anticipates implementing CCS at the site on an accelerated timeline, increasing its network’s low-carbon ammonia production capability, supporting Louisiana’s and the country’s climate goals, and earning 45Q tax credits for sequestered carbon dioxide.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is subject to receipt of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as the financial advisor to CF Industries on the transaction. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is acting as its legal advisor. Latham & Watkins served as legal advisor to the seller while JP Morgan was financial advisor.

About the Waggaman Ammonia Production Complex

The Waggaman, Louisiana, ammonia production complex is situated on an integrated chemicals complex owned by Cornerstone Chemical Company.

  • Commissioned October 2016
  • Nameplate capacity: 880,000 tons of ammonia per year
  • Approximately 90 employees
  • 38,500-ton ammonia storage tank onsite
  • Ability to load and transport ammonia by NuStar Pipeline, barge, truck and rail
  • Located in Jefferson Parish on the Mississippi River with potential for vessel loading capabilities for low-carbon ammonia exports
  • Site is 60 miles southeast of CF Industries’ Donaldsonville Complex, facilitating resource and best practice sharing between the complexes

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European Union gives 213m to Faurecia for clean mobility

Faurecia will develop lightweight carbon fiber gaseous hydrogen tanks as well as a tank to store hydrogen in cryogenic form.

Faurecia, a subsidiary of the French FORVIA Group, will receive EUR 213m from to develop lightweight carbon fiber gaseous hydrogen tanks as well as a tank to store hydrogen in cryogenic form, according to a news release.

The money is dedicated to Faurecia’s Historhy Next project. Faurecia’s plant in Allenjoie will produce over 100.000 tanks per year, start of production will be in 2024.

In addition, fuel cell supplier Symbio, a joint venture between Faurecia and Michelin, is also among the 10 projects supported by the French government in IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest), which has dedicated EUR 2.1bn to support the hydrogen industry in France.

A large-scale transformation project, Hymotive will accelerate the mass production of its latest-generation fuel cell systems in Saint-Fons.

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Pennsylvania RNG firm outlines strategic outlook

A growing RNG developer, owner and operator based in Pennsylvania is anticipating a liquidity event on the part of its private equity owner — once it has locked down a “critical mass” of projects.

Vision RNG, a developer of US RNG projects, could see its next project reach commercial operations in Tennessee in a line of projects in southeastern and mid-western states, CEO Bill Johnson said in an interview.

Vision Ridge Partners, a private equity firm, is the majority owner of the company. Management owns the remaining minority stake.

The company is still in early stages and would likely need to get something like six projects to COD before a liquidity event.

“Locking down projects creates a lot of value,” Johnson said, noting that Vision Ridge will likely follow a typical private equity monetization pattern.

The company’s project at Meridian Waste’s Eagle Ridge Landfill in Bowling Green, Missouri is fully operational. It uses 1,500 scfm of landfill gas (LFG) and produces 375,000 MMBtu of RNG annually.

That mid-sized project is similar in scale to what is being developed in Tennessee, which will likely be the next project to reach COD, Johnson said, declining to provide details on exact location.

“We’re working on developing other opportunities with some of the largest publicly owned landfill companies in the country,” Johnson said.

Projects require between $20m and $60m in capex, ranging from small to large, Johnson said. Vision Ridge takes care of the company’s equity requirements.

Debt options are being considered on a project-by-project basis, he said. Debt tends to range from 50% to 70% of total spend.
“We’ll look to put reasonable project debt on these,” he said.

Vision has not to date retained the services of an investment bank, Johnson said.

Vision is pursuing opportunities in Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina and Oklahoma, and will evaluate suppliers of services and equipment for each. The location-agnostic company is also open to new relationships with potential future financial and strategic acquirers.

“If you are a private equity group, you’re a potential buyer of the company at some point, so we would be happy to know them and keep their interest in us up,” Johnson said. An acquirer would not necessarily need to have expertise in RNG.

M&A potential

M&A of projects is an option on the table, Johnson said. But returns are better if Vision develops its own projects; and a more challenging macroeconomic environment makes acquisitions somewhat unlikely.

“With the market premiums being paid, I see us continuing to keep our head down and focusing on organic growth,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he expects to see continued consolidation in the greater market. Many large strategic and midstream companies have yet to make significant buys in RNG.

He pointed to bp’s acquisition of Archaea Energy as a significant milestone in the RNG market.

“There’s quite a number of potential acquirers,” Johnson said. “The market is kind of fundamentally and always will be under-supplied and over-demanded.”

Vision would potentially be open to a merger with a portfolio company of a strategic or PE investor, Johnson said.

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Hydrogen firm launches equity raise

A US hydrogen infrastructure and project development outfit has mandated a banker to conduct a raise for equity and project capital.

Lifte H2, the Boston-based hydrogen infrastructure and project developer, has mandated a banker to conduct a Series A capital raise, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Energy & Industrial Advisory Partners is running the process, which launched recently, the sources said. Lifte H2 is seeking equity in the topco and development capital for its first project.

Talks with strategic and financial investors are being conducted now.

Lifte H2, which also has offices in Berlin, is led by Co-founder and CEO Matthew Blieske, who served as global hydrogen product manager for Shell before starting Lifte H2 in 2021. The founding team also includes Jeremy Manaus, Angela Akroyd, Richard Zhang, Paul Karzel, and Richard Wiens, all of whom previously worked at Shell.

In January, the company launched two hydrogen transport and dispensing products, the MACH₂ Mobile Refueler, which is a combination dispenser and high-capacity trailer; and the MACH2 High-Capacity Hydrogen Trailer, which has a capacity of 1,330 kg at approximately 550 bar and, according to the company, enables the lowest cost per kilogram for over-the-road transport.

The company signed an MOU last year with Swiss compressor manufacturer Burckhardt Compression to develop a joint offering of hydrogen solutions.

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Exclusive: Glenfarne exploring hydrogen projects on existing asset base

Glenfarne Energy Transition is advancing its flagship liquefied natural gas project, Texas LNG, and evaluating hydrogen projects on or near its existing asset base on the Gulf Coast.

The Biden administration’s pause on permits for new US liquefied natural gas facilities hasn’t hurt all unbuilt projects.

Glenfarne Energy Transition, a subsidiary of Glenfarne Group, is moving ahead with its fully permitted lower-carbon flagship LNG export facility, Texas LNG, as the project is now set up to be the only such US project to reach FID this year.

Texas LNG, a 4 million MTPA facility proposed for Brownsville, Texas, will be the lowest carbon emitting LNG facility approved in the US, largely due to its use of electric motors in refrigerated compression. 

As designed, the plant would emit .15 metric tons of CO2e per ton of LNG produced, placing it slightly lower than the much larger Freeport LNG facility, which also has electric motors and emits around .17 metric tons of CO2 per ton of LNG.

The carbon intensity measurement counts emissions at the Texas LNG plant only, and not related emissions from the electric grid, which is why Glenfarne is seeking to source power for the project from wind and solar generation in south Texas, Adam Prestidge, senior vice president at Glenfarne, said in an interview.

In fact, the lower carbon aspects of Texas LNG helps with every element of the project, Prestidge said, including conversations with European offtakers and potential debt investors.

“Having a focus on sustainability is table stakes for every conversation,” he added. “It’s the finance side, it’s the offtake side, it’s our conversations with regulatory agencies.”

LNG pause

Glenfarne is seeking to raise up to $5bn of equity and debt for the project, according to news reports, a process that could benefit from the Biden administration’s pause on issuing permits for LNG projects that export to countries without free-trade agreements with the US.

“Our confidence and our timetable for that has probably been accelerated and cemented by the fact we are fully permitted, despite the Biden LNG pause impacting the broader market,” Prestidge said.

“The market has pretty quickly recognized that if you want to invest in LNG or buy LNG from a project that’s going to FID in 2024, you really don’t have very many fully permitted options right now.”

Glenfarne’s other US LNG project, called Magnolia LNG, has not yet received the required federal approvals and is therefore on pause along with a handful of other projects.

For Magnolia, Glenfarne is proposing to use a technology for which it owns the patent: optimized single mixed refrigerant, or OSMR, which uses ammonia instead of propane for cooling, resulting in less feed gas needed to run the facility and thus about 30% lower emissions than the average gas-powered LNG facility, Prestidge said.

Hydrogen projects

Glenfarne Energy Transition last year announced the formation of its hydrogen initiative, saying that projects in Chile, Texas, and Louisiana would eventually produce 1,500 kilotons of ammonia. 

“We’ve got existing infrastructure in the US Gulf Coast, and in Chile. A lot of the infrastructure required to produce LNG is similar or can be easily adapted to the infrastructure needed to produce ammonia,” Prestidge said. “And so, we’ve looked at locating hydrogen and ammonia production at sites in or near the ports of Brownsville and Lake Charles,” where Texas LNG and Magnolia LNG are located, respectively.

“The familiarity with the sites and the infrastructure and the local elements, make those pretty good fits for us,” he added.

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