Chart Industries Inc. has agreed to acquire Utah-based Sustainable Energy Solutions Inc. (SES) for $20 million in cash in a deal that would allow it to expand into carbon capture for liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers.


Atlanta-based Chart said this week it has signed a letter of intent to acquire SES, but added that the deal is expected to close in the next 30 days after a definitive agreement is reached. The deal also includes an associated earn-out for SES to net more if certain conditions are met. 

The deal comes as the fossil fuel industry is facing increasing scrutiny to limit its impacts on the climate. SES develops sustainability solutions for the energy industry and its Cryogenic Carbon Capture (CCC) technology would allow Chart to expand its market opportunities in the carbon and air capture space from an estimated $400 million to $600 million. 

Chart provides liquid gas technologies and equipment for the energy, water and space industries, among others. It has in recent years become more focused on the core cryogenic and alternative energy businesses, including LNG and hydrogen.

In addition to expanding into carbon capture for natural gas liquefaction, the acquisition would also afford Chart opportunities in utility-scale energy storage, and road, rail and water transport equipment, and onsite storage options for liquid carbon dioxide generated through the CCC technology. 

While Chart said there are near-term opportunities for CCC, it does not expect a significant change in its 2021 outlook as a result of the transaction. 

There’s a growing urgency in the global gas export arena to clean up operations as more countries are scrutinizing their energy sources and aiming to cut emissions. 

NextDecade Corp. said in October that it would use carbon capture and storage technology to reduce expected carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by about 90% at its proposed Rio Grande LNG export project in Brownsville, TX. Cheniere Energy Inc., the largest LNG exporter in the United States and one of the largest gas consumers, is reviewing its business to further cut its environmental footprint, including the possibility of carbon management solutions at its terminals on the Gulf Coast

Last week, Siemens Energy partnered with Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, Novatek, to develop solutions to cut Novatek’s greenhouse gas emissions by using hydrogen and increasing energy efficiency in LNG production. Last month, Qatar, the world’s largest LNG exporter, announced a supply deal with Pavilion Energy Trading & Supply Pte Ltd. that would detail the emissions it takes to produce and deliver cargoes.

Meanwhile, the world’s three largest LNG importers, China, Japan and South Korea, along with the European Union, have announced goals to achieve carbon neutrality.