USA-based non-partisan energy research firm, Great Plains Institute has identified 14 optimal locations for future hydrogen and carbon management hubs across the US as an early step before the Department of Energy begins doling out billions of dollars from the Infrastructure Bill for hub funding.

The $8 billion allocated for future hydrogen hubs was provided by the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will support the creation of at least four regional hydrogen hubs.

The infrastructure bill also provided $12.1 billion to support new carbon management technologies, including money to build out regional CO2 transportation and storage infrastructure networks.

According to the institute, the 14 ‘most ideal locations’ were evaluated against a set of criteria that measured each regions pre-existing industrial and natural resources.

Green energy
Regional opportunities for hub development. Pic: Great Plains Institute, S&P Global Platts


Each of the 14 locations “have a high concentration of industrial emitters, high fossil fuel use, facilities that qualify for 45Q tax credits, existing hydrogen and ammonia production”,  the firm said, as well as large naturally occurring geologic formations for hydrogen or CO2 storage.

Regions are also evaluated for their existing commodity distribution infrastructure, such as highways, railroads, and waterways, and for their existing fossil fuel distribution infrastructure for hydrogen blending.

With all these ingredients, Great Plains Institute director of research Dane McFarlane said these hubs can achieve beneficial economies scale – “enabling investment breakeven for industrial capture retrofit and maximising the amount of carbon capture achieved.”


To ASX news

Lithium Australia acquires remaining 10% stake in Envirostream Australia

Lithium stock and battery metals recycler Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) has agreed on indicative terms for its acquisition of the final 10% of Envirostream Australia, held by Envirostream managing director Andrew Mackenzie.

LIT currently holds a 90% interest in the company, however negotiations have been made at an advanced stage and a purchase price of $250,000 contemplated for the remaining stake.

While the company cautions that no binding agreement “has yet been reached” with no certainty that “any such binding agreement will be reached”, the current completion date is set for March 1, 2022.

LIT managing director Adrian Griffin said with its Battery Stewardship Scheme now operating, this acquisition is considered a “strategic imperative” since battery deliveries are increasing.

“As Australia’s only EPA-permitted and licensed recycler of mixed batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, Envirostream is setting the standard for world’s best practice, with safe storage facilities, limiting of battery quantities onsite and firewall isolation of storage compartments,” he said.

“The company’s goal is to keep spent batteries out of landfill, handle them safely and efficiently and return as much as possible of the critical materials they contain to the battery industry to improve sustainability.”

Back in May 2021, LIT and its 90% subsidiary Envirostream, received Dangerous Goods approval for the design of its 6-kilogram and 12-kg combination packages for the collection and transport of mixed batteries for recycling.

The Scheme is designed to establish a network of drop-off sites, making it simple and convenient for consumers to return spent batteries for recycling.


Korean foreign exchange approval received for POSCO takeover

In December 2021 Senex Energy (ASX:SXY) entered into a binding Scheme Implementation Agreement with POSCO International (PIC), whereby PIC will acquire 100% of Senex’s shares for a cash offer price of A$4.60 per share, totalling $900m.

In a market announcement today, SXY said POSCO had received approval under Article 18 of the Republic of Korea’s Foreign Exchange Transaction Act.

The implementation of the scheme, however, remains subject to certain other conditions such as completion of the proposed acquisition of natural gas fields PL 209 and PL 445 and other customary conditions for a transaction of this nature.

This means POSCO will acquire Senex’s Atlas and Roma North operations in Queensland in a deal the South Korean company said is key to its blue hydrogen plans.

The move comes on the back of the heels of POSCO calling Australia a ‘regional, strategic’ base to help achieve low-carbon hydrogen to decarbonise its steel and power generation in October last October at the Australia-Korea New Energy Forum.

“Australia is rich in resources, so it is expected to become an even more important, strategic country for POSCO in the coming hydrogen economy era,” Posco head of hydrogen Hyung Chul Lee said.

Lee added the company was also “keeping an eye” on other production bases in key regions such as the Middle East, North America, South America, and India as potential sources for the 5-million tones of low carbon hydrogen that Posco wants to secure by 2050.