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US Department of Energy grants $ 1 billion hydrogen expansion loan

The U.S. Department of Energy has conditionally granted hydrogen company Monolith a $ 1.04 billion loan to expand its hydrogen and carbon black production operations in Hallam, Nebraska.

The loan was issued under the Ministry’s Title XVII Innovation Energy Loan Guarantee Program. Monolith will use the loan for its pyrolysis technology, which uses natural gas as a feedstock to produce hydrogen, part of which will be converted to ammonia as a fertilizer, and carbon black, which is commonly used in tires.

The company expects the 20-year loan to generate 1,000 jobs, help Monolith’s Olive Creek plant produce 194,000 tonnes of carbon black per year, making it the world’s largest production facility. carbon black in the United States, and avoids one million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year compared to traditional manufacturing processes.

“Achieving the ambitious goal of global decarbonization by 2050 will require innovation from US companies like Monolith and the resources of like-minded organizations like the Department of Energy,” said Rob Hanson, co-founder and director general of Monolith.

“Monolith was founded with the belief that private sector companies could develop the innovation needed to help lead the clean energy transition, while creating well-paying green jobs and strengthening our supply chain. country. “

Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas feedstocks, the carbon dioxide by-product of hydrogen production being captured and stored. However, the process is not emission free.

Green hydrogen is made using electrolysis powered by renewable energy to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, creating an emission-free fuel.

One of Monolith’s backers is NextEra Energy Resources, a clean energy company providing solutions in renewable energy and natural gas.

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“As a leader in wind and solar power and as an investor in Monolith, NextEra Energy Resources is encouraged by the conditional approval of the US Department of Energy of Monolith’s loan application,” said John Ketchum, President and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources.

“Monolith’s clean hydrogen production process is powered by locally produced renewable electricity and represents a significant step forward in supporting the cost-effective decarbonization of several sectors of the US economy.”

In 2021, the DoE loan program office streamlined its process for applying for Title XVII loans, removing application fees until companies reach financial close on the loan.

The loan program empowers the DoE to make loans for projects that “avoid, reduce or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions; and use new or significantly improved technologies over commercial technologies in service in the United States at the time of warranty issuance.

“The goal of the Title XVII Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program is to recognize and support technologies that reduce emissions and support a clean energy future,” said Jennifer Granholm, secretary of the US Department of Energy.

“Advanced, clean production technologies like Monolith’s are impactful types of projects that not only support sustainability, but also economic growth and clean energy jobs for the American people.”