2022 has been a very busy year for Hive! We’ve grown our pipeline, completed project sales, begun exploring new technologies, invested in more circular economy start-ups, launched new projects, and expanded to new countries. All in 12 months!
Here are some of the top highlights from the past year.
Hive acquired majority shares in CuanTec
We began the year on a high with the acquisition of circular economy company, CuanTec. In January we announced our plans to partner with CuanTec Ltd, expanding on our Hive Ventures portfolio.
CuanTec is a Scottish business that aims to convert shellfish waste into ultra-pure chitin, a natural biopolymer. The uses for chitin are vast but include pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and food applications, as well as for the production of chitin-based bioplastics that are 100% biodegradable and compostable. CuanTec’s aim is to reduce waste and emissions associated with current practices of landfilling or incinerating shellfish waste, and to produce a sustainable packaging alternative.
The Hive Ventures team is working closely with CuanTec in their scale up from lab scale to pilot industrial production in Glenrothes, Scotland, which will be pioneering their extraction technology to convert shellfish waste into chitin. CuanTec are also continuing their R&D activities and are working to further refine and expand their bioplastic product offering.
Hive teamed up with Fusion Fuel for green hydrogen project in Spain
Back in February we announced our plans to pair up with Portuguese company, Fusion Fuel. The collaboration grants us access to Fusion Fuel’s pioneering electrolysis technology, developed for the use in green hydrogen production.
First 2022 country expansion – Croatia
In February we also announced our first country expansion of the year, Croatia. We appointed Ivo Dubravcic as Croatia Country Manager to begin developing a pipeline of renewable energy projects in the country. Since February, Ivo has been working on establishing photovoltaics, wind, and battery projects in the country; we now hold a 924 MW pipeline in Croatia.
Hive Ventures completed its second investment of 2022, Nafici Environmental Research Ltd
Nafici Environmental Research (NER) was our second acquisition of the year. Towards the end of February, we announced our partnership with Nafici Group Limited to invest in NER. NER is a circular economy business located in Southern England. NER’s goal is to convert agricultural waste (such as wheat straw) into EcoPulp, an alternative to wood-based pulps in the production of paper packaging materials.
Later in 2022 we followed up with NER as they began international expansion. Not only did NER take on new members of the management team to bolster the company’s growth, but it invested in its UK R&D plant to allow customers testing and research into pulping of various feedstocks, unlocking further market opportunities. That’s not all! NER is also well on its way to commissioning its first commercial scale plant in China, which will be producing 50 tonnes of Ecopulp per day at all capacity.
Hive Ventures is working with the team to grow the business through the development of their first site in Europe which will be of a similar size and scale to China. They are in a critical phase of project development and will soon be seeking investors for this project which will see the first commercial-scale plant producing Ecopulp for the European market. Watch this space for Ecopulp-based packaging on your shelves soon!
Expansion to Chile
In March we announced the appointment of Italo Silva, our Chile Country Manager, in line with our global growth and focus on Latin America. Chile has a strong renewable energy agenda in place with a particular focus on green hydrogen development.
Since then, Italo has been working on establishing a clean energy pipeline in Chile, which now sits at over 2 GW! We have six early-stage projects, five of which are solar, and one is wind and green hydrogen. We hope to announce more details and progress on these projects in 2023.
Hive began working in France
In our third country expansion this year, we began working in France. Thomas Quillasi joined the Hive group as France Country Manager in July. Thomas’ focus is to begin a pipeline of renewable energy project in the country, with an initial focus on solar and later ambition to explore green hydrogen. In the short few months Thomas has been with the team, he has already established a 100 MW pipeline consisting of two projects in their early stages.
We were granted the status of ‘Investment of Exceptional Importance’ for our Greek project
In September we were granted approval on plans for a 200 MW photovoltaic 100 MW li-ion storage and green hydrogen farm in Domokos, Greece. The investment was approved in September by the Interministerial Committee and categorised as an emblematic investment of exceptional importance. This was a huge step forward for Hive Greece and will provide Hive a fast track for permits for the project, BlueSky.
Hive Aggregates launched its first project
One of our circular economy teams, Hive Aggregates, launched its first project. The Retford Circular Economy Project is located nearby Retford, Nottinghamshire. The project will undertake the extraction of pulverised fuel ash (PFA) waste from a former landfill. The PFA will then be processed using innovative technology to produce a sustainable cement substitute. This project will supply a continued source of PFA to the UK supply chain and will save up to 5.3 million tonnes of carbon.
Hive Ecosystems nursery was constructed, and planting began
Hive Ecosystems is part of the Hive Group based in South Africa. This year, the team kicked off its project with the construction of a 2ha nursery. The nursery is located on Hive Ecosystems 7,000+ ha farm, based in the Eastern Cape. The goal is to restore the land here which has previously been degraded due to overgrazing. This year, the team established the nursery, which has a fully automated solar powered irrigation system, and began planting the first cuttings of spekboom at the site. In upcoming years, over 7 million plants will be planted here to restore the land and sequester carbon from the plants and soil.
Expansion to Poland
Our latest country expansion was Poland. In October we announced the appointment of Artur Foksa, our Poland Country Manager. Similarly to Ivo, Italo, and Thomas, Artur’s role is to establish a green energy pipeline in the country. Poland has experienced significant growth in renewables in recent years, with clean energy consumption rising more than 15% in 2020.
We sold four projects in Spain
Spain is one of our leading countries for solar development, with 16 projects completed or sold in the country. This year alone we completed the sale of four projects with a total capacity of 120 MW – Rocio, Palma, Pedregal, and Fundici. Spain will continue to be a key area of focus for Hive in 2023 as we currently hold a 7,811 MW pipeline in the country, with a major segment attributed to green hydrogen development.
Hive Hydrogen granted special integrated project status
Finally, in December we announced that our Green Ammonia project, Coega, secured ‘Special Integrated Project Status’. The project, located in South Africa, will be one of the world’s largest green ammonia plants once complete. We recently shared how the project will be supporting South Africa’s Just Energy Transition and the newly granted project status is a great testament to the importance and significance of the development.