Air Liquide Takes Stake in Hydrogenics

28.01.2019 -

French industrial gases group Air Liquide has paid $20.5 million to buy an 18.6% stake in Hydrogenics, a Canadian manufacturer of electrolysis hydrogen production equipment and fuel cells.

Both companies have also entered into a technology and commercial agreement to jointly develop proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis technologies for the global hydrogen energy market.

The Paris-based company said the move reflects its ambition to be a major player in the competitive supply of decarbonated hydrogen on a large scale, particularly for industry and mobility markets.

“Water electrolysis is one of the key technologies to accelerate the emergence of hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier. Indeed it enables the production of totally carbon-free hydrogen, thanks namely to renewable electricity,” said Franҫois Darchis, senior vice president and a member of Air Liquide’s group executive committee. “We are more than ever convinced that hydrogen will play a major role in the fight against global warming.”

Air Liquide said while the major technical pitfalls for driving hydrogen-powered cars were overcome decades ago, price remains a barrier and the only way the cost can fall is through mass production in each market segment where hydrogen is used.

According to the industrial gases group, the Hydrogen Council expects one in twelve cars in Germany, South Korea, Japan and California, USA, to be hydrogen-powered by 2030.

On a global scale, industry could replace 10-15 million t of chemical raw materials with hydrogen and more than 50 million homes could be connected to a combined gas and hydrogen network by 2030.

The Council said annual investments of between $20-25 billion would be needed to achieve these ambitions.