Here's what you need yo know this week. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note: It's a new week — start it strong with three quick things to know in Houston's energy transition ecosystem: Baker Hughes makes headlines for new hydrogen tech and grants, three people to know in energy, and more.

Who to know

Last week, EnergyCapital had three stories introducing you to key players within the energy transition:

  • Patrick Sullivan, president and of Hawaii-based Oceanit, explained the impact the company is having on the energy transition in Houston and beyond. Read more.
  • Ken Gilmartin, CEO of Wood, shared his company’s strategic mission for the future and their recent wins in the energy space that are driving the energy transition forward. Read more.
  • Tania Ortiz Mena was named president of Sempra Infrastructure, which is based in Houston. Read more.

What to attend

Here are two events not to miss this month. Photo via Getty Images

Put these upcoming events on your radar.

  • October 10-11 — SPRINT Robotics World Conference and Exhibition will show that many robots are in use and that the industry is accelerating and starting to scale. Learn more.
  • October 30-31 — Fuze is a must-attend event for executives, investors, and founders serious about solving the energy crisis and boosting company efficiency. Learn more.

Baker Hughes makes moves

Missed these storied about Baker Hughes? Photo courtesy of Baker Hughes

As you might have seen, Baker Hughes had two pieces of news last week.

Houston-based energy technology company Baker Hughes is rolling out two new products — pressure sensors for the hydrogen sector.

“Hydrogen plays a key role in the transition to a more sustainable, lower-emissions future but also poses challenges for infrastructure and equipment due to hydrogen embrittlement,” Gordon Docherty says. Read more.

Additionally, the Baker Hughes Foundation revealed details on a $75,000 grant to Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, or HMSDC, and a $100,000 grant to Washington, D.C.-based WEConnect International. HMSDC supports economic growth of minority-owned businesses, and WEConnect International is focused on women-owned companies. Read more.

With 23 years within Sempra's family of companies, Tania Ortiz Mena has been named president of Sempra Infrastructure, which is based in Houston. Photo via Sempra

Houston-based subsidiary co. focused on clean energy names new president

newly appointed

A Houston-based arm of Sempra that's dedicated to delivering clean energy alternatives has named a new leader within its organization.

This week, Sempra Infrastructure announced Tania Ortiz Mena as its president. The company, which is a subsidiary of San Diego, California-based Sempra (NYSE: SRE), works within clean power, energy networks, and LNG, as well as other net-zero solutions.

In her new role, Ortiz Mena will lead all three of these business lines.

"Tania's extensive experience and exemplary leadership will continue to drive our growth strategy and commitment to facilitate a responsible energy transition, guided by our vision of delivering energy for a better world," Justin Bird, CEO of Sempra Infrastructure, says in a news release. "I am confident that Tania's vast expertise will continue to position Sempra Infrastructure as a champion of innovative energy solutions."

Before this promotion, Ortiz Mena served as group president of clean power and energy networks at the company. She has worked within Sempra's family of companies for 23 years and previously served as CEO of IEnova. Prior to that, she was IEova's chief development officer and vice president of development and external affairs.

In addition to her roles at Sempra, Ortiz Mena serves as independent board member of the Mexican Stock Exchange and as president of its Corporate Practices Committee. Also a member of the US-Mexico CEO Dialogue and adviser for the Mexican Natural Gas Association, she serves on the board of directors of several organizations including the American Chamber of Commerce Mexico, the Mexican Natural Gas Association and the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations.

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3 companies collaborate to build green hydrogen facility in Houston

Three corporations have teamed up to deliver a first-of-its-kind hydrogen production project to be located in the Houston area.

California-based HNO International Inc. has teamed up with Colorado-based Element One Energy and Houston-based Pneumatic and Hydraulic Co. to develop a hydrogen production facility that will produce 500 kilograms of green hydrogen a day.

"This collaboration represents a major milestone in our commitment to sustainable energy solutions," Donald Owens, chairman at HNO International, says in a news release. "The development of the 500kg per day green hydrogen production facility in Houston is a testament to our dedication to advancing sustainable hydrogen infrastructure.

"This facility is just the beginning, as we have plans for additional installations in 2024, 2025, and beyond, further solidifying our position as leaders in the hydrogen energy infrastructure sector," he continues.

The facility will install HNO International's Scalable Hydrogen Energy Platform, or SHEP, a hydrogen energy system that's designed to produce, store, and dispense green hydrogen from water using a 1.25 megawatt electrolyzer. SHEP is scalable, modular, and compact, requiring less than 3,000 square feet of space.

For 60 years, Pneumatic and Hydraulic Co. has worked in the compressed gas industry with its hydrogen division Total Hydrogen Solutions, serving a range of industries, including notable aerospace clients like SpaceX, Blue Origin, NASA,

Element One Energy designs and manufactures electrolyzers and solid-state hydrogen storage systems with over 20 years of engineering experience with cryogenic storage and high pressures.

Houston sustainable biotech company names new CFO

new hire

A growing Houston carbon utilization company has named its newest C-suite member.

Lisa Bromiley has joined Cemvita as CFO. Bromiley will work on spearheading capital markets, strategic positioning, and financial management of the company.

"We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Bromiley to Cemvita as our CFO,” Moji Karimi, CEO of Cemvita, says in a news release. “She joins us at an inflection point in our growth trajectory and I’m confident that Lisa's strategic financial acumen will play a pivotal role in driving Cemvita's continued success.”

Bromiley brings over two decades of experience in energy and commodity-related finance. She previously played a key role in the development of Flotek Industries Inc. and assisted Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. to achieve a market capitalization of $4 billion. Bromiley holds a Master of Professional Accounting and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas. She is also a certified public accountant.

"As the new CFO of Cemvita, I'm very excited to lead the company through a crucial expansion in 2024,” Bromiley says in the news release. “We're moving swiftly from development to commercialization, using our patented microbes to produce sustainable feedstocks from carbon waste. I believe our core mission to recycle carbon waste, including CO2, for profitable industrial feedstock production is vital for a more sustainable world."

Cemvita’s eCO2 recently helped garner the Houston company its spot in the Sustainable Aviation Challenge. The eCO2™ takes waste streams and carbon dioxide and uses them to produce valuable materials like plastics,proteins, and fuel feedstock through microbiology. Cemvita also plans to remove 250 million tons per year from the atmosphere by 2050.

Houston offshore robotics company secures $12M, makes major leadership changes

big moves

In the wake of a leadership reshuffling and amid lingering financial troubles, publicly traded Nauticus Robotics, a Webster-based developer of subsea robots and software, has netted more than $12 million in a second tranche of funding.

The more than $12 million in new funding includes a $9.5 million loan package.

Nauticus says the funding will accelerate certification of the company’s flagship Aquanaut robot, which is being prepared for its inaugural mission — inspecting a deep-water production facility in the Gulf of Mexico that’s owned by a major oil and gas company.

The new funding comes several weeks after the company announced a change in leadership, including a new interim CEO, interim chief financial officer, and lead general counsel.

Former Halliburton Energy Services executive John Gibson, the interim CEO, became president of Nauticus last October and subsequently joined the board. Gibson replaced Nauticus founder Nicolaus Radford in the CEO role. Radford’s LinkedIn profile indicates he left Nauticus in January 2024, the same month that Gibson stepped into the interim post.

Radford founded what was known as Houston Mechatronics in 2014.

Victoria Hay, the new interim CFO at Nauticus, and Nicholas Bigney, the new lead general counsel, came aboard in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“We currently have the intellectual property, prototypes, and the talent to deliver robust products and services,” Gibson says in a news release. “Team Nauticus is now laser-focused on converting our intellectual property, including both patents and trade secrets, into differentiated solutions that bring significant value to both commercial and government customers.”

A couple of weeks after the leadership shift, the NASDAQ stock market notified Nauticus that the average closing price of the company’s common stock had fallen below the $1-per-share threshold for 30 consecutive trading days. That threshold must be met to maintain a NASDAQ listing.

Nauticus was given 180 days to lift its average stock price above $1. If that threshold isn’t reached during that 180-day period, the company risks being delisted by NASDAQ. The stock closed February 6 at 32 cents per share.

The stock woes and leadership overhaul came on the heels of a dismal third-quarter 2023 financial report from Nauticus. The company’s fourth-quarter 2023 financial report hasn’t been filed yet.

For the first nine months of 2023, Nauticus reported an operating loss of nearly $20.9 million, up from almost $11.3 million during the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, revenue sank from $8.2 million during the first nine months of 2022 to $5.5 million in the same period a year later.

Nauticus went public in September 2022 through a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) merger with New York City-based CleanTech Acquisition Corp., a “blank check” company that went public in July 2021 through a $150 million IPO. The SPAC deal was valued at $560 million when it was announced in December 2021.

Nauticus recently hired investment bank Piper Sandler & Co. to help evaluate “strategic options to maximize shareholder value.”

One of the strategic alternatives involves closing Nauticus’ previously announced merger with Houston-based 3D at Depth, which specializes in subsea laser technology. When it was unveiled last October, the all-stock deal was valued at $34 million.