Bakken Energy hits key application milestone for $1.7b loan guarantee

Mike Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer at Bakken Energy

Bakken Energy, through its subsidiary Great Plains Hydrogen, LLC, has been invited by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) to submit a Part II application under the Title XVII Innovative Clean Energy Loan Guarantee Program. This is big for Bakken’s process in applying for DOE financing for $1.7bn of their $2.35bn clean hydrogen project.

Why is the invitation a significant milestone?

Established via Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the DOE-backed loan, if awarded after DOE reviews the Part II application and completes subsequent due diligence, will support the acquisition of the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in North Dakota and its redevelopment into a world class production facility with low-cost clean hydrogen. Achieving this invitation to the Part II process is a key milestone for Bakken in the Department of Energy’s LPO process.

The invitation reads “while this invitation does not imply that Great Plains Hydrogen, LLC will be invited any further forward in the process, LPO does not extend this invitation lightly, and believes that the Company and the Project have the potential to join the LPO portfolio.”

DOE’s invitation is not an assurance that DOE will invite the applicant into the due diligence and term sheet negotiation process, that DOE will offer a term sheet to the applicant, or that the terms and conditions of a term sheet will be consistent with terms proposed by the applicant. The foregoing matters are wholly dependent on the results of DOE review and evaluation of a Part II application, and DOE’s determination whether to proceed.

Who are Bakken Energy’s partners on the project?

Bakken Energy partnered with Mitsubishi Power Americas on this clean hydrogen production facility that will have an estimated gross production capacity of 381,000 metric tons/year.

The project will employ new and significantly improved technologies including ultra-high efficiency, state-of-the-art Auto-Thermal Reforming (ATR) technology and ensures greater than 95% capture rates for resultant CO2 while delivering economical hydrogen production.

This clean hydrogen production facility will provide clean hydrogen to our target markets of long-haul trucking and agriculture in the Upper Midwest region. In addition, Bakken Energy has partnered with the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA) Nation to use low carbon intensity clean hydrogen production processes to work toward the elimination of natural gas flaring and the related CO2 emissions from flaring on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

What were the executives’ thoughts on the invitation?

“We are grateful to the DOE LPO for the confidence it has shown this project in advancing it to the Part II process. Bakken Energy is proud to have met their stringent Part I requirements and mindful that the magnitude of the project is historic not just for clean hydrogen, but for the whole clean energy industry,” said Bakken Energy Chairman and Founder Steve Lebow.

“The projects we are developing are examples of Bakken Energy’s commitment to produce the lowest cost clean hydrogen and materially contribute to the development of the hydrogen economy in the United States,” Steve Lebow further commented.

“The transformation of the Great Plains Synfuels Plant is a challenging and important undertaking but is just the first in a series of clean hydrogen projects we and our partners are developing. As these projects come online, they will establish North Dakota as the leader in the affordable clean hydrogen production economy,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO, Bakken Energy.

Bakken Energy will capture natural gas that would otherwise be flared and convert it into clean hydrogen. “We are proud to be working alongside the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA) leadership, and thank them for their ongoing support and partnership,” Hopkins further said.