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M&A moves, innovative water co. expands, and more trending Houston energy transition news

An innovative water production company has plans to create Houston-area plants — and more trending Houston energy transition news. Photo via skyh2o.com

Editor's note: It's been a busy news week for energy transition in Houston, and some of this week's headlines resonated with EnergyCapital readers on social media and daily newsletter. Trending news included a unique water-producing company expanding in Texas new deals and partnerships, and more.

Innovative California company taps Houston area for purified water projects

A California tech company is planning on rolling out a handful of atmospheric water generation projects near Houston. Photo via skyh2o.com

Houstonians are used to filtering their water, but few really ponder why they’re doing it.

“Most people, when they think about water stress, they think about water scarcity, like what you see happening in Northern Africa or maybe the Southern U.S.,” says Alexander von Welczeck, chairman, president and CEO of SkyH2O. “A bigger, creeping issue, particularly in the industrialized world, is water toxicity.”

Some Houston tap water contains “forever chemicals” that can be toxic, as some reports have found. In fact, says von Welczeck, water toxicity is a problem across the Gulf Coast. That’s why the California-based businessman has identified Houston as the first region to benefit from SkyH2O’s technology. Read more.

Houston company closes offshore JV deal to drive innovation, efficiency in subsea production

The new joint venture, OneSubsea, is based in Oslo, Norway, and Houston. Photo courtesy

A new joint venture with co-headquarters in Houston will explore opportunities in the market for subsea systems that tap into offshore energy reserves.

The business, called OneSubsea, is a joint venture of Houston-based energy technology company SLB (Schlumberger), Norwegian energy engineering company Aker Solutions, and Luxembourg-based energy engineering company Subsea7. SLB holds a 70 percent stake in OneSubsea, with Aker’s share at 20 percent and Subsea7’s share at 10 percent.

The financial foundation of the joint venture is a combination of $700.5 million in stock, cash, and a promissory note. In addition, SLB and Aker folded their subsea businesses into the joint venture, which was announced in 2022. Read more.

Clean tech co. with U.S. HQ selected for UAE carbon capture project

Carbon Clean develops carbon capture technology for customers such as cement producers, steelmakers, refineries, and waste-to-energy plants. Photo via Carbon Clean

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC), the state-owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates, has chosen technology from United Kingdom-based company Carbon Clean for a carbon capture project in Abu Dhabi. Carbon Clean’s U.S. headquarters is in Houston.

Carbon Clean’s modular CycloneCC technology will be used for a carbon capture project at a Fertiglobe nitrogen fertilizer plant. Fertiglobe is a joint venture between ADNOC and OCI Global, a Netherlands-based chemical company.

“This project is hugely significant given it’s the first industrial deployment of our award-winning CycloneCC technology anywhere in the world,” says Aniruddha Sharma, chairman and CEO of Carbon Clean. “We are moving a step closer to achieving full commercialization of this modular solution, which will play a vital role in decarbonizing heavy industries and achieving net-zero targets.”Read more.

Houston carbon storage solutions company names new energy transition leader at pivotal time of growth

Graham Payne, the new director of energy transition at Caliche Development Partners II, is bullish on Houston. Photo courtesy

Graham Payne sees a bright future for the multibillion-dollar energy transition economy in Houston.

“It’s been said that Houston is poised, like no other city, to lead the energy transition. And I’d have to agree, because we have all the requisite natural resources, industry, and talent,” says Payne, the new director of energy transition at Houston-based carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) company Caliche Development Partners II.

Caliche and other Houston-based energy transition companies secured $6.1 billion in private funding last year, up 62 percent from 2022, according to the Greater Houston Partnership. Read more.

Airline fuels up for new flights from Houston to oil-and-gas country

It's wheels up to Midland-Odessa in January. Photo courtesy of JSX

Hop-on jet service JSX is adding a new, year-round destination for the millions of Texans who work in oil and gas: Midland-Odessa.

Starting January 15, 2024, JSX will fly nonstop from Houston and Dallas to Odessa Airport-Schlemeyer Field (ODT). Read more.

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A View From HETI

A Houston-based initiative has been selected by the DOE to receive funding to develop clean energy innovation programming for startups and entrepreneurs. Photo via Getty Images

Houston has been selected as one of the hubs backed by a new program from the United States Department of Energy that's developing communities for clean energy innovation.

The DOE's Office of Technology Transitions announced the the first phase of winners of the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters, or EPIC, Round 3. The local initiative is one of 23 incubators and accelerators that was awarded $150,000 to support programming for energy startups and entrepreneurs.

The Houston-based participant is called "Texas Innovates: Carbon and Hydrogen Innovation and Learning Incubator," or CHILI, and it's a program meant to feed startups into the DOE recognized HyVelocity program and other regional decarbonization efforts.

EPIC was launched to drive innovation at a local level and to inspire commercial success of energy startups. It's the third year of the competition that wraps up with a winning participant negotiating a three-year cooperative agreement with OTT worth up to $1 million.

“Incubators and Accelerators are uniquely positioned to provide startups things they can't get anywhere else -- mentorship, technology validation, and other critical business development support," DOE Chief Commercialization Officer and Director of OTT Vanessa Z. Chan says in a news release. “The EPIC program allows us to provide consistent funding to organizations who are developing robust programming, resources, and support for innovative energy startups and entrepreneurs.”

CHILI, the only participant in Texas, now moves on to the second phase of the competition, where they will design a project continuation plan and programming for the next seven months to be submitted in September.

where they’ll implement their programming and design a project continuation plan over the next 7 months. In September they will submit their plans with the hope of being selected to negotiate a three-year cooperative agreement with OTT, worth up to $1 million each.

Phase 2 also includes two national pitch competitions with a total of $165,000 in cash prizes up for grabs for startups. The first EPIC pitch event for 2024 will be in June at the 2024 Small Business Forum & Expo in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Last fall, the DOE selected the Gulf Coast's project, HyVelocity Hydrogen Hub, as one of the seven regions to receive a part of the $7 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The hub was announced to receive up to $1.2 billion — the most any hub will get.


The DOE's OTT selections are nationwide. Photo via energy.gov

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