ITM Power supply a number of hydrogen forecourts around the UK
Linde now owns 20 per cent of ITM Power as two firms enter a joint venture to deliver green hydrogen to industrial sites
Multinational chemicals giant Linde has taken a 20 per cent stake in UK hydrogen firm ITM Power, as commercial interest in the hydrogen sector continues to heat up.
The investment – worth £38m – was announced last week and forms part of a wider fundraise from ITM Power, which banked £140m from investors in support of plans to switch to larger manufacturing facilities. ITM Power wants to build and produce 5MW electrolysers, which use electricity to generate hydrogen.
Linde and ITM Power have also teamed up to form a 50/50 joint venture, which they said will focus on delivering ‘green’ hydrogen produced via electrolysis powered by renewable electricity to industrial sites.
“The major strategic investment from Linde cements a five year relationship between us and provides ITM Power with a world leading partner that brings deep expertise in engineering, procurement and construction and a global customer base,” said Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power. “The joint venture will enable us to focus on our core competency of the development and sale of electrolysers, and with Linde as our partner to deliver green hydrogen at scale. The successful fundraising provides the financial resources to exploit this exciting opportunity to the full.”
Hydrogen is mainly produced using a thermochemcial conversion powered by fossil fuels, negating some of the environmental benefits associated with its use as a zero emission gas. Electrolysis is the only way to produce hydrogen without using fossil fuels, but to date the green hydrogen sector has been hampered by relatively high costs.
Nevertheless, growing numbers of companies – particularly those working in heavy industry or transportation – see hydrogen as their best bet for decarbonising. The UK’s climate watchdog, the Committee on Climate Change, has said hydrogen will likely have a key role to play if the UK is to meet its decarbonisation targets.
“We are seeing increasing global demand for hydrogen as a solution to renewable energy storage needs and the decarbonisation of major industrial processes,” Cooley added. “The fundraising and our partnership with Linde will help us to meet this demand on a growing scale, deliver efficiencies throughout our supply chain and represents a significant step on our pathway to medium-term profitability.”
In related industry news, oil giant Shell last week named Nanosun – a firm which is developing a low-cost hydrogen refueller – as the ‘best start-up’ in its New Energy Challenge.
Nanosun will recieve €100,000 in rewards through Shell’s Gamechanger programme as a result of winning the competition. According to Shell, Nanosun’s technology could cut the cost of hydrogen refuelling, enabling the mass rollout of hydrogen technologies.