SK Gas, a part of South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate, SK Group, has led a $34 million fundraising round for C-Zero.
In addition to Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Eni Next, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and AP Ventures, two new investors joined SK Gas: Engie New Ventures and Trafigura, one of the world’s largest physical commodities trading organizations.
The funds will be used to construct C-first Zero’s pilot plant, which is anticipated to go online in the first quarter of 2023. The facility will be able to produce up to 400 kg of hydrogen per day from natural gas without emitting any carbon dioxide.
“We are excited to be scaling up our innovative technology with experienced investors and partners who recognize the need to decarbonize natural gas and the opportunity that turquoise hydrogen production represents,” said Eric McFarland, CTO of C-Zero. “Natural gas provides a quarter of the world’s energy, so the scale of the opportunity ahead of us is enormous. But we cannot do it alone.”
“We are eager to bring C-Zero’s technology to Korea, where we see great synergies with our plans to build a hydrogen value chain complex in Ulsan,” said Brian (Byung Suk) Yoon, CEO of SK Gas. “SK Gas strongly believes in the potential of methane pyrolysis and its ability to help countries like Korea in their decarbonization efforts by producing low-cost, clean hydrogen.”
“We see significant applications for low-carbon hydrogen production through methane pyrolysis which complement ENGIE’s existing activities and skill sets. Investing early on in C-Zero’s journey brings us familiarity with the technology, and could help ENGIE achieve its goal of Net Zero by 2045” said Johann Boukhors, Managing Director of ENGIE New Ventures.
“Trafigura is backing C-Zero as part of a series of investments in clean energy technologies, including low-carbon fuels needed for the energy transition. C-Zero is reaching a critical stage with the construction of its first pilot plant to successfully demonstrate the production of low-carbon hydrogen from natural gas,” said Julien Rolland, Head of Power and Renewables for Trafigura.