Close menu

May 10th, 2023 | 09:35 CEST

Panic at Plug Power: Hydrogen specialists Nel and First Hydrogen convince

  • Hydrogen
  • greenhydrogen
  • renewableenergies
Photo credits:

Is the wheat being separated from the chaff in the hydrogen sector? This is the impression one could get in the last few weeks. First, Nel convinced with its quarterly figures. The Norwegians are finally getting a grip on their margins and are building the next gigawatt factory in the US. First Hydrogen is also investing in North America. A new site for the production of hydrogen and fuel cell commercial vehicles is to be built in Canada. Plug Power, on the other hand, has its work cut out. The US company disappointed with its quarterly figures on Monday evening. In addition, capital measures were announced. The share price fell by almost 10% in German trading yesterday.

time to read: 4 minutes | Author: Fabian Lorenz
ISIN: PLUG POWER INC. DL-_01 | US72919P2020 , NEL ASA NK-_20 | NO0010081235 , First Hydrogen Corp. | CA32057N1042

Table of contents:

    First Hydrogen: Building in Canada

    Recently, the experts at pointed out that the slide in First Hydrogen's share price in recent weeks was an opportunity to get in on the hydrogen high-flyer of recent months (link to the study And they seem to be right. Driven by positive news from industry and from the Company itself, the rebound is underway.

    First Hydrogen's Generation I fuel cell vehicle with a range of over 500 km is currently being tested by Rivus. To put this in perspective, as a fleet manager Rivus manages around 85,000 light commercial vehicles in the UK. Through the British alone, First Hydrogen could easily reach its target of selling between 10,000 and 20,000 units of the utility van by 2025/2026. In the process, the fuel cell vehicle will be tested by more international customers.

    At the same time, the Company is laying the foundation for building an ecosystem around hydrogen. First Hydrogen has bought two plots of land in the Canadian town of Shawinigan. The Company's production plant for up to 35 MW of green hydrogen is to be built there. This will then not only be used to supply the light commercial vehicles (LCV) offered by First Hydrogen but will also be sold to other hydrogen vehicles. First Hydrogen will thus be a vehicle manufacturer and fuel provider in one. The new Shawinigan site will also produce First Hydrogen's light commercial vehicles for the North American market in combination with the Company's Hydrogen-as-a-Service product offering. The assembly plant will be designed to produce 25,000 vehicles per year at full capacity.

    First Hydrogen CEO Balraj Mann: "Shawinigan is the ideal place for us to build a hydrogen ecosystem. The city and region are very well positioned with abundant renewable energy resources, developing industrial communities and a growing green energy economy. It will also be crucial to work closely with the regional education network to build the skills needed for the future. We are very pleased that Investissement Québec recommended Shawinigan to us, and we expect that our joint projects will ultimately create hundreds of jobs in the region."

    Nel: Margins under control and expansion in the US

    Operationally, things are looking up again at Nel. Initially, the quarterly figures had surprised positively. Subsequently, Goldman Sachs, among others, confirmed the 'Buy' recommendation and raised the price target slightly to NOK 21. The Norwegian hydrogen specialists had exceeded expectations. Margins are improving noticeably, and the order book is at a record level.

    And the Norwegians continue to invest heavily. In the US state of Michigan, the Company wants to build an automated gigawatt electrolyser factory. Nel announced this at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in the US capital, Washington. When completed, the Michigan plant is expected to have a production capacity of up to 4 GW of alkaline and PEM electrolysers. In the future, Nel will build on its fully automated concept for the production of alkaline electrolysers, which was developed at Heroya in Norway. On-site, the Norwegians plan to invest around EUR 400 million. A large number of possible locations had previously been examined.

    "The decision for Michigan is based on an overall assessment of what the state can offer in terms of financial incentives, access to a highly skilled workforce and collaboration with universities, research institutions and strategic partners. The personal commitment of Governor Whitmer and her competent and service-oriented team should also be highlighted," said Håkon Volldal, CEO of Nel.

    Volldal emphasised that the short distance to General Motors, headquartered in Detroit, also played an important role in the choice of the state. The two companies are working together to further develop and improve Nel's PEM electrolyser technology.

    "Nel's new facility near our HYDROTEC development site in southeast Michigan will help us accelerate our electrolyser collaboration," said Charlie Freese, Executive Director of HYDROTEC at GM. "This technology is critical to lowering costs while creating a more sustainable hydrogen supply."

    Plug Power: In need of capital after significant loss

    Plug Power released figures for the first quarter of 2023 on Monday night and disappointed. The loss is higher than expected, and the revenue forecast for the 2023 financial year also fails to meet analysts' expectations.

    Plug Power increased its revenue from USD 141 million to USD 210 million in the first quarter of 2023. Unfortunately, the loss also increased significantly, from USD 156.5 million, or USD 0.27 per share, to USD 206.6 million, or USD 0.35 per share. For the full year 2023, Plug Power forecast revenue of USD 1.2 billion to USD 1.4 billion. According to Bloomberg, this is well below average analyst estimates of USD 2.04 billion. Plug Power attributes the large loss to increased hydrogen molecule costs combined with historically higher natural gas prices and continued supply disruptions.

    Given the loss, it is not surprising that Plug Power requires fresh capital. The Company is currently looking at several sources of low-cost, non-dilutive capital, and the second phase of due diligence with the US Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office is underway. There would also be discussions with banks for an asset-backed loan.

    Hydrogen will be a crucial part of the energy mix. However, it is not yet clear which companies will benefit. But the wheat is being separated from the chaff. While Nel seems to be getting a grip on its margins, Plug Power is facing significant challenges. The losses are increasing, the supply chains are still not under control and fresh capital is needed. By contrast, things are going well at First Hydrogen. The Generation I vehicles are being tested and will hopefully be ordered soon. Generation II is already in development, and the Company plans to produce hydrogen themselves in the future. The Canadians are valued much more favourably than Nel and Plug Power.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

    Risk notice

    Apaton Finance GmbH offers editors, agencies and companies the opportunity to publish commentaries, interviews, summaries, news and the like on These contents are exclusively for the information of the readers and do not represent any call to action or recommendations, neither explicitly nor implicitly they are to be understood as an assurance of possible price developments. The contents do not replace individual expert investment advice and do not constitute an offer to sell the discussed share(s) or other financial instruments, nor an invitation to buy or sell such.

    The content is expressly not a financial analysis, but a journalistic or advertising text. Readers or users who make investment decisions or carry out transactions on the basis of the information provided here do so entirely at their own risk. No contractual relationship is established between Apaton Finance GmbH and its readers or the users of its offers, as our information only refers to the company and not to the investment decision of the reader or user.

    The acquisition of financial instruments involves high risks, which can lead to the total loss of the invested capital. The information published by Apaton Finance GmbH and its authors is based on careful research. Nevertheless, no liability is assumed for financial losses or a content-related guarantee for the topicality, correctness, appropriateness and completeness of the content provided here. Please also note our Terms of use.

    Der Autor

    Fabian Lorenz

    For more than twenty years, the Cologne native has been intensively involved with the stock market, both professionally and privately. He is particularly passionate about national and international small and micro caps.

    About the author

    Related comments:

    Commented by Armin Schulz on June 17th, 2024 | 06:30 CEST

    BioNTech, dynaCERT, Plug Power - A single piece of news can change everything

    • Hydrogen
    • greenhydrogen
    • Biotechnology

    Share prices are characterized by their high volatility and can undergo significant changes in a short space of time. Often, just one piece of company news can completely change investor confidence. Shares that were previously under selling pressure and were avoided can suddenly become very popular and experience considerable price increases. Examples include Lufthansa, whose share price rose significantly with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Market sentiment can turn quickly when negative factors disappear. A single piece of positive company news can prompt investors to become more involved again, significantly increasing demand and, consequently, the share price. We have identified three potential turnaround candidates.


    Commented by Fabian Lorenz on June 12th, 2024 | 07:00 CEST

    Shock at Plug Power! Thyssenkrupp Nucera and Altech Advanced Materials with up to 100% upside potential!

    • Batteries
    • Hydrogen
    • Innovations

    Alarm at Plug Power. After the price jump in May, the share has gone into reverse again and lost 10% of its value in just a few days. Financing worth billions for the struggling hydrogen pioneer is uncertain, bringing the Company's potential insolvency back into the focus of investors. German hydrogen hopeful Thyssenkrupp Nucera received positive analyst comments. Could the share perhaps even double in value? And what is Altech Advanced Materials doing? The shares of the German battery hopeful have bottomed out and may offer an entry opportunity. The market potential for Altech is huge.


    Commented by André Will-Laudien on June 11th, 2024 | 06:45 CEST

    After the European elections: Is it all happening now? Nel ASA, Kraken Energy, Siemens Energy, ThyssenKrupp and Nucera in focus

    • Mining
    • Uranium
    • renewableenergies
    • Energy

    Europe has voted, and the Green parties have suffered historic losses! Now, the energy debate is coming to the fore again. While Germany is focusing entirely on green energy in the future, other countries have long since turned the challenges of the time into action. Nuclear energy remains a "zero-zero solution", making France, the Czech Republic and Poland the biggest climate protection exporters in the EU. This is because many new state-of-the-art reactors are being built here. The electricity market is huge, as Germany alone will have to shut down its gas and coal-fired power plants over the next few years due to the CO2 reduction commitments from the Paris Agreement. This threatens to create a supply gap that can only be filled with alternative energies, nuclear power, or hydrogen. What should investors focus on now?