Ben Gardner To Lead Engineering, R&D At Aries Clean Energy

Aries Clean Energy is pleased to announce that Ben Gardner has joined its team as vice president of engineering and will direct all efforts in design, construction, and operations, as well as the company’s ongoing research and development programs. Aries is a privately held company focusing on renewable, distributed energy generation using alternative feedstocks.

2017 05 15 070708“Ben’s experience in taking companies from early stages of development all the way through to commercialization will be invaluable to executive management and to our engineering teams,” Aries CEO Greg Bafalis said. “His previous work with fluidized bed gasification is especially important to us, and Ben brings a waste conversion and green energy knowledge base that is rare to find even in a global marketplace.”

Gardner, recently engaged as a consultant with several energy companies, provides Aries with almost 20 years of progressive engineering, project management, project controls, commissioning/startup and plant manager experience. His career path in the power and chemical industries include Southern Company Services (Birmingham, AL), Range Fuels (Denver, CO), and RTI International (Research Triangle Park, NC).

As an independent resource, he has worked on the technical and management teams at such industry pioneers as Agilyx Corporation, Sundrop Fuels, and Brightleaf Power. Aries Clean Energy, formerly branded as PHG Energy, in 2014 acquired the intellectual property and assets of MaxWest Environmental Technologies, a fluidized bed gasification company where Gardner had previously contributed as a technical consultant in process engineering.

“The great news here is that Aries has already proven its patented technology and installed the world’s largest downdraft gasification plant for a city here in Tennessee,” Gardner said. “That commercialization step is critically important for the company to move to the next level. What I see now in the project development pipeline is very exciting, and we are moving into a phase of rapid growth through new deployments across the United States as well as offshore.”

About Aries Clean Energy

Aries Clean Energy, LLC, based in Nashville, Tennessee, designs and builds innovative bio-based downdraft and fluidized bed gasification systems using its eight patents granted to date. Its projects provide for the sustainable disposal of waste, reduction of carbon emissions, and the production of clean thermal and electrical energy. The company’s ongoing R&D efforts are focused on cleaning syngas produced from waste for use in internal combustion engines. A solar division designs and implements commercial and community scale photovoltaic facilities.

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AFC Energy Extends Presence into European Power Market at the Covestro Industrial Park Brunsbüttel

AFC Energy (AIM: AFC), the industrial fuel cell power company, is pleased to announce it is expanding its position into the German power market following commencement of engineering works for the deployment of an initial 1MW proprietary fuel cell system at the Covestro Industrial Park Brunsbüttel, owned by the Covestro Deutschland AG (“Covestro”).

Preliminary engineering work commenced in Brunsbüttel, Germany, on the 6th April 2017 with representatives from Covestro (formerly Bayer Material Science), plantIng GmbH (“plantIng”) and AFC Energy present.

afc logoThe engineering work, designed to review whole of system engineering, integration and project costing, is being led by AFC Energy and is framed around the installation of an initial 1MW alkaline fuel cell system at the Brunsbüttel site with hydrogen sourced from Covestro’s hydrogen grid. Power generated would be sold into the local power grid under long term power purchase agreements. Proximity of the Company’s fuel cell system to the hydrogen source also offers the potential to materially expand the project in due course.

This scheme is very much consistent with AFC Energy’s focus on partnering with large energy intensive industrial partners to utilise surplus industrial grade hydrogen from localised facilities to generate long-term, clean power with a resultant reduction in environmental greenhouse emissions.

Importantly, work conducted in recent months at AFC Energy to demonstrate acceptance of lower industrial grade hydrogen in the fuel cell, together with the material

improvements evidenced in fuel cell longevity, power output and stack design, are all critical to the initiation of this project. It further validates the importance of these technical breakthroughs for AFC Energy in advancing commercial deployment opportunities.

The engineering work underway includes assessment of:

  • the utilisation of hydrogen from Covestro ́s hydrogen sources to generate an initial 1MW of power using AFC Energy’s fuel cell systems; 

  • potential further expansion of the fuel cell plant into a larger-scale commercial installation and power output therefrom; and 

  • integration of the Company’s fuel cell system with other innovative third party technologies. 

The review will be conducted over several months with input from all partners. 

Mr Adam Bond, AFC Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “AFC Energy is pleased to strengthen our position in the German power market at Covestro Industrial Park Brunsbüttel. Covestro and AFC Energy have been in dialogue for much of 2016 with regards the potential siting of an AFC Energy fuel cell system at the Brunsbüttel facility, one of the largest of Covestro’s 30 industrial parks around the world, and we hope to see this relationship extend over many years and be a catalyst that will drive momentum behind fuel cell deployment not only in Germany, but also the rest of Europe.”


Alfa Laval wins SEK 210 million energy-efficiency order in China

Alfa Laval – a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling – has won an order to supply compact heat exchangers to a refinery in China. The order has a value of approximately SEK 210 million. It is booked in the Welded Heat Exchangers unit of the Energy Division, with deliveries scheduled for 2018.

The heat exchangers will be used to recover energy and to increase the yield in the refinery.

2014 08 14 093039 alfa laval“I am pleased to announce this large order for our energy-efficient compact heat exchangers,” says Susanne Pahlén Åklundh, President of the Energy Division. “We have a wide range of reliable products that are more than qualified to meet the tough demands from customers in the refinery and petrochemical industries.”

Did you know that… in this application compact heat exchangers (such as spiral and welded plate heat exchangers) are up to 50 percent more energy-efficient than the traditional shell-and-tube heat exchangers?

About Alfa Laval
Alfa Laval is a leading global provider of specialized products and engineering solutions based on its key technologies of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling.

The company’s equipment, systems and services are dedicated to assisting customers in optimizing the performance of their processes. The solutions help them to heat, cool, separate and transport products in industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar and ethanol.

Alfa Laval’s products are also used in power plants, aboard ships, oil and gas exploration, in the mechanical engineering industry, in the mining industry and for wastewater treatment, as well as for comfort climate and refrigeration applications.

Alfa Laval’s worldwide organization works closely with customers in nearly 100 countries to help them stay ahead in the global arena. Alfa Laval is listed on Nasdaq OMX, and, in 2016, posted annual sales of about SEK 35.6 billion (approx. 3.77 billion Euros). The company has about 17 000 employees.


Carbon Capture and Storage needs to be part of the UK’s future energy system and the economic prize could be considerable

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) should remain a key option in the UK’s future low carbon energy system and could present a considerable economic opportunity, according to the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

eti logoThe value of CCS comes from its potential for use in multiple operations – power generation, the capture of industrial emissions, through the gasification of various feedstocks providing new low carbon energy supplies and delivering “negative emissions” when used in combination with Bioenergy (BECCS).

Achieving the UK’s legally binding 2050 carbon targets without deploying any CCS is very likely to result in substantially higher costs.Based on ETI systems modelling delaying its implementation adds an estimated £1-2bn a year throughout the 2020s to the otherwise lowestt cost options for reducing carbon emissions.

The ETI’s findings are based on 10 years of analysis  and technology development carried out in CCS.

ETI believes existing, proven technologies, developed from a mature technology base should be used to capture CO2,  to move the industry forward today. There is significant storage capacity off the UK coast with no technical barriers to its use. Again from its detailed analysis of UK storage potential the ETI believes no more than six shoreline hubs and 20 offshore stores are needed to deploy CCS effectively in the UK.

Initial infrastructure development incurs high cost, but when viewed as an energy systems wide component in a low carbon transition CCS can bring long term benefit to the UK and potential investors.Public and private sectors   need to take on board the risks that they arebest placed to manage and long term commitments are needed from both sides.

For the industry to progress it has to develop a first commercial CCS plant in the UK.The key to reducing the cost of CCS in the short to medium term is by delivering a small number of large plants sequentially, not further innovation from technology focused research and development activity.

BECCS should also be a component of any UK CCS strategy and its deployment advanced as it can deliver negative emissions (the net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere) whilst also producing energy – electricity, heat, liquid & gaseous fuels.

There are also no “show stopping” technical barriers to BECCS and the UK is well placed to exploit the benefits if the components of BECCS are deployed. But it is unlikely to be implemented unless CCS infrastructure is first developed by large scale power with CCS projects.

Andrew Green, the ETI’s CCS Programme Manager said:

“CCS is critical to decarbonising the UK power, heat and transport sectors, through providing reliable, low carbon electricity generation and the cost-effective production of hydrogen.

"Although critics have claimed it is expensive our analysis has shown that the costs and risks to the UK’s decarbonisation pathway could actually be reduced by bringing forward, rather than delaying, the deployment of CCS. This makes the economic prize of CCS to the UK potentially considerable.

"Early commitment by private sector investors will need similar commitments from the public sector to make investments attractive - therefore long term policy commitment from government is more important than early funding.

"The key to early cost reduction for CCS is through the deployment of investable projects rather than creating new capture technology platforms. The challenge CCS presently faces is a commercial one not a technical one.

"Today’s capture technology is from a mature technology base and further improvements are expected in cost and performance. This can move the industry forward today. Deeper technology improvements will not be as impactful as reducing costs by deployment. It is about making it work, and work at a scale which enables cost reductions.

"Developing lower cost, more efficient technologies remains important for the future, but the commercial deployment of CCS must not be delayed to wait for such developments.”

During 2017 the ETI will be releasing technical data and reports from projects delivered across its technology programmes over the last 10 years. It has just released over 100 documents on its website from its CCS technology programme on the analysis it has undertaken to date in this area to help inform the debate on CCS in the UK.

Information from its CCS programme can be found at

About the ETI

The ETI is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Rolls-Royce and Shell – and the UK Government.

The role of the ETI is to act as a conduit between academia, industry and the government to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies. We bring together engineering projects that develop affordable, secure and sustainable technologies to help the UK address its long term emissions reductions targets as well as delivering nearer term benefits. We make targeted commercial investments in nine technology programmes across heat, power, transport and the infrastructure that links them.


Aquila Capital acquires six Norwegian hydropower plants

Alternative Investment Company Aquila Capital has acquired six run-of-river hydro power plants from the Norwegian energy company BKK AS. The power plants, located near Bergen, produce approximately 70 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity per year, equivalent to the average consumption of about 3,500 households. The assets will be operated and managed by Småkraft AS, which is 100% financed by investment vehicles managed by Aquila Capital.  Småkraft AS specialises in the operation and development of smaller run-of-river power plants in Norway. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

  • Acquisition adds further scale to Aquila Capital European Hydropower Fund portfolio

logo aquila2 grayThe Nordic region is a highly attractive market for hydropower investments with a large number of existing run-of-river power plants, a mature renewable energy sector and a stable legal framework. There are a growing number of opportunities for professional investors to increase their exposure to this market as local energy suppliers are divesting assets in order to develop increasingly specialized strategies. The sale of BKK AS to Aquila Capital underlines this trend as it is reflects the former’s long-term repositioning towards owning larger power plants.

Tor Syverud, Head of Hydropower at Aquila Capital, said: "We are delighted to have acquired this portfolio of high quality hydro power plants. We have been active in Scandinavia for several years now during which time we have established an extensive local network and a strong pipeline of target investments."

Wenche Teigland, CEO at BKK Production, added: “Through Småkraft AS Aquila Capital already has a significant presence in the local area.  We have every confidence that these hydropower assets will be managed to the highest possible standard going forward.  All agreements and commitments with landowners will continue in their existing form.”

Roman Rosslenbroich, CEO and Co-Founder of Aquila Capital, said: "Run-of-river plants have among the best conversion efficiencies of all energy sources, with an efficiency factor exceeding 90 percent. They use proven, mature technology that, if well maintained, can produce energy for many decades. The long-term stable cash flows produced by hydropower are uncoupled from volatile carbon energy types as well as other traditional asset classes such as equities and bonds, providing investors with strong diversification benefits.

"By integrating the newly acquired plants into the portfolio managed by Småkraft, we can also ensure very low operating costs," continued Rosslenbroich.

About Aquila Capital

Established in 2001, Aquila Capital is committed to provide institutional investors worldwide with alternative investment solutions in real assets, financial and private markets. Applying a multi-disciplinary investment approach, Aquila Capital’s range of alternative investments is managed by dedicated specialists in their respective asset classes and underpinned by an infrastructure that combines strong operations, stringent corporate governance and a successful track record.
Aquila Capital has been dedicated to develop alternative investment solutions since its establishment. Over 200 professionals across ten offices globally are working across the whole value chain of alternative investments to generate stable, positive returns for investors. 

Further information can be found at

About OX2

OX2 is a renewable energy company with operations in wind power, solar power, bioenergy and geothermal energy. By offering sustainable investments, system solutions and products to financial operators, businesses and consumers, OX2 is a driving force in the conversion towards a renewable energy sector and a fossil fuel-free vehicle fleet. OX2 has realized a significant part of the large-scale onshore wind power projects in the Nordic region and produces biogas and green district heating in one of Sweden's largest biogas plants.

For more information, please visit