Rice Acquisition Corp. (RONI) and energy company NET Power closed a $2 billion merger on June 8 that will create a new energy company already backed by large independent E&Ps, Asian conglomerates and major oilfield service companies.
The company offers clean energy produced from the combustion of natural gas with pure oxygen to spin turboexpanders, with remnant CO2 ultimately sequestered.
NET Power said it has an initial enterprise value of approximately $1.5 billion and a market capitalization in excess of $2 billion.
NET Power received gross proceeds of more than $675 million from the combination, consisting of more than $135 million cash from RONI's trust account and approximately $540 million in PIPE capital from strategic and financial investors. A PIPE, or private investment in public equity, is a funding mechanism that allows investors to buy stock directly from a company at a reduced price.
Proceeds are expected to “fully fund” NET Power’s corporate operations and grow its backlog of utility-scale power plant projects, with plant deliveries expected to begin in 2026.
Occidental Petroleum provided $10 million in interim financing to support NET Power's operations through the closing. In addition to Occidental, NET Power’s backers include Baker Hughes, Constellation Energy and 8 Rivers, a subsidiary of SK Group.
Since the merger was announced in December, NET Power upsized its PIPE to $540 million from approximately $225 million. The company has also commenced the FEED for its first standardized utility-scale project near Occidental's Permian Basin operations.
In May, NET Power announced a planned joint venture with SK Group to pursue the origination and development of utility-scale NET Power plants across Asia.
"This deal sets NET Power on a path to accelerate the buildout and commercialization of our technology and bring the world the trifecta of clean, affordable, and reliable energy," Danny Rice, NET Power CEO said in a press release. "Rapid deployment of decarbonized baseload power around the world is critical to addressing climate change and NET Power's technology offers a path forward. I'm excited to join the team and lead the global deployment of this critical technology."
Vicki Hollub, president and CEO of Occidental, said NET Power has a transformative technology that supports the company’s net-zero ambitions through its ability to provide “near emissions-free power to our Permian Basin operations and future Direct Air Capture sites."
Baker Hughes Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli emphasized the importance of climate technology in addressing the energy trilemma and reducing emissions, according to the press release.
"With demand for natural gas expected to grow over the coming decades, NET Power's near-zero emissions power plant design exemplifies the vital role of climate technology in enabling the transition to lower emissions,” Simonelli said.
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