Burckhardt Compression, formerly a subsidiary of Swiss engineering group Sulzer, could become the next stock to pique the interest of investors. The world’s foremost manufacturer of piston compressors, Burckhardt [SIX: BCHN] is increasingly producing equipment that is later used in hydrogen production or transport, as in gas networks delivering hydrogen blends or in electrolyzers, providing the company with new and huge opportunities for growth. Burckhardt is expected to generate CHF 620 million to CHF 650 million in revenue this fiscal year. Its performance last year had already resulted in earnings of CHF 13 a share, including CHF 6.5 in dividend payouts. In its annual report, Burckhardt noted that 2020 saw a “substantial increase” in demand for hydrogen-related components in the transportation and energy sectors.
Swiss Hydrogen, a manufacturer of fuel cell systems, has a new owner. Groupe E, an energy provider based in Switzerland, announced in late 2017 that it had sold its stake in the company to Plastic Omnium, a French supplier of auto parts. The latter also acquired the shares held by others, namely entrepreneur Marco Simeoni, venture capital firm Capital Risque Fribourg and the Paul Scherrer Institute, also known as PSI.
Diamond Lite, a Swiss engineering firm founded by Hansjörg Vock in Herisau in 1982, used to be something of a European office for products by American electrolyzer manufacturer Proton OnSite. That changed last summer, when it was purchased by Swiss energy services provider Alpiq Holding, based in Lausanne, on June 30. With the acquisition of Diamond Lite, Alpiq has made a strategic investment in its growth markets.
It’s getting serious in Switzerland: Swiss utility IBAarau reported in mid-June 2016 that it had taken concrete steps to let the project initiated by H2 Energy and Coop Mineraloel (see Coop Sticks Around – Axpo Quits) become reality. IBAarau has recently submitted a building application to set up an H2 production system at the company’s hydropower plant in Aarau, Switzerland. The plant is said to provide 2% of its power generation for the envisioned electrolysis system plus compressor station from 2017 on.
Despite announcements to the contrary, the H2 project in Glattfelden in the Swiss canton of Zurich (see HZwei issue from July 2015) will deliver on its promises. At the beginning of March 2016, rumors had it that Axpo and Coop would stop their joint project. The project’s coordinator, Hansjörg Vock from H2 Energy, told H2-international that “the rumors weren’t true,” as “only Axpo had exited the project,” but had done so by mutual agreement.