The topic of hydrogen and fuel cells is also becoming increasingly hotly debated on the stock exchange. The takeover of Hydrogenics, the Canadian frontrunner in fuel cell systems for trucks and rail vehicles as well as for electrolysers, by the US company Cummins Engine, should make people sit up and even trigger a wave of further takeovers or participations of listed companies in the industry.
In January, Eui-sun Chung, the executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Company, was named co-chair of the Hydrogen Council. He now heads the organization together with Benoît Potier, Air Liquide’s chief executive and chairman of the council since its founding in 2017. Both stressed the import of creating a zero-carbon hydrogen society.
The Hydrogen Council used the COP23 climate change conference to present a new report titled “Hydrogen, Scaling up.” Featuring contributions by consulting firm McKinsey, it describes a roadmap for advancing the large-scale introduction of hydrogen and assessing its impact on transforming the energy sector. According to the study, the gas could help cut carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 20 percent of the 2050 targets, or around 6 gigatons.
After one hydrogen filling station had each been installed in Wuppertal and Ulm in summer 2016, another three went into operation last fall. As reported previously (see Three New Hydrogen Filling Stations), the H2 pump at the Metzingen gas station south of Stuttgart came online on Sept. 23. Five days later, however, it had to be shut down again when a truck hit it. Its trailer had been caught in the pump, resulting in at least EUR 60,000 in damage.
In the 1960s and 1970s, France’s industry and research departments used to be very proactive in fuel cell development. Then, 1974 came to pass and with it the slogan of “all-electric, all-nuclear” (tout-éléctrique, tout-nucléaire). The number of fuel cell projects fell drastically and remained at its low level until about the end of the 1990s. In the meantime, a great many subsidies have gone into nuclear industry developments: Billions were and are being spent through CEA (Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique) in this field.
Over a construction period lasting two years, Air Liquide has constructed a new natural gas reformer in Dormagen. The French gases company has invested approximately 100 million Euros in the facility which is situated at the Chempark industrial park near Leverkusen, Germany, with the goal of producing hydrogen
The HyPulsion joint venture has now been owned in full by Plug Power since August 2015. As announced by the American (USA) company on July 27th 2015, it has acquired all of the shares in its former partner Axane, a subsidiary of the gases company Air Liquide. The New York-based manufacturer of fuel cells paid US-$ 11.5 m. for 80 % of the shares. In 2012, Plug Power and Axane joined forces to form HyPulsion, primarily with the goal of kick-starting the market for fuel cell forklift trucks. Andy Marsh, managing director of Plug Power, made the following comments: “We are now moving ahead with optimism to extend our presence in the European materials handling market. […] I am pleased that our collaboration with Air Liquide for the further development of the hydrogen sector in Europe is continuing.”
It may well be the case that Plug Power has itself triggered the fall in the price of its shares that occurred in recent weeks, as described in detail and substantiated by a report (Seeking Alpha dating from 2.9.2015). In detail: 1. The takeover of HyPulsion, the European joint venture with Air Liquide for US-$ 11.5 m. was settled in shares (6.4 m. units due to the fall in the share price instead of the originally planned 4.8 m. shares), whereby it had already been made clear that the Air Liquide subsidiary, Axane SA, would register these shares and sell them on the stock exchange. Plug would have been better off paying the US-$ 11.5 m.
On the basis of the H2 Mobility initiative which was established in September 2009 – as previously announced – a joint venture has been initiated. At the end of 2014, the partners Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total completed the final steps required to establish the company H2 Mobility Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG.
At first glance, the figures for the first quarter of 2015 turned out to be disappointing: a loss of US$11.1m. with a turnover of US$9.4m. (+ 69% compared with the same quarter in the previous year). However, Plug Power (PLUG, US$2.65) has also succeeded in generating an orders backlog of US$160m. (US$46m. in the 1st quarter, goal for this year: US$200m.). 265 GenDrive systems have been accounted for, while the accounting for a further 419 has been delayed to the second quarter. One H2 filling station has been accounted for while seven are to begin their duties in the second quarter (2014: 10 H2 filling station installation, there are to be more than 15 in 2015). As stated by the executive team during the telephone conference, the turnover is set to