October 11th, 2022 | 11:09 CEST
Plug Power, First Hydrogen, Lhyfe - The calm before the storm
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"[...] Why should a modular electrolyzer cost more than a motorcycle? [...]" Sebastian-Justus Schmidt, CEO and Founder, Enapter AG
Plug Power - Weakening top dog
Around the world right now, it seems as if politicians are fighting over the highest billion-dollar packages for climate change. Recently, for example, US President Joe Biden signed the "Inflation Reduction Act 2022", a package worth USD 370 billion, which is to flow directly into climate protection and the social sector over the next few years. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by around 40% by 2030. In this context, a tax credit of up to USD 3 per kg is to be given for the production of green hydrogen, as the US is willing to take the leading role in green hydrogen.
This news, which hit tickers in late August, was like grist to the mill of fuel cell technology pioneer Plug Power, whose vision is to become the largest global energy company focused on displacing diesel with green hydrogen. The four building blocks for Plug Power's vertical integration of green hydrogen are hydrogen generation, liquefaction, logistics and customer equipment. This puts the US-based company in a position to cover the value chain fully, scale the business and optimize margins for the future. In hydrogen production, the management team plans to build 13 plants by the end of 2025 in order to then be able to supply 500t of liquid green hydrogen per day. In addition, the goals are the construction of giga-factories and the operating of a green hydrogen highway through North America and Europe.
Meanwhile, the chart situation has clouded over significantly again after the hype. After peaking at USD 31.56 at the end of August with the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, it has since fallen to USD 19.80. The support zone in the area of USD 18.54 is now crucial. If this breaks, the next target would be the low for the year from early May at USD 12.70.
First Hydrogen - Further expansion
After a brilliant share price performance in August with highs at USD 5.30, the promising newcomer in the hydrogen sector, the Canadian company First Hydrogen, also corrected. At CAD 3.95, the share price is likely to tackle a test of the upward trend at CAD 3.60 that has existed since July. In the long term, the innovative company has a good chance of becoming one of the market leaders in hydrogen. The ambitious goal of the first-class management team is to cover the entire value chain in the H2 segment.
With globally established partners such as Ballard Power and AVL Powertrain UK and a "best-of strategy," First Hydrogen is working on developing and producing zero-emission, hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles. This will draw on existing technologies and a proven chassis, resulting in high cost and time benefits. The first operational readiness test runs have been completed successfully in terms of the trial operation of the two developed demonstration vehicles. Operational trials under practical conditions are to be carried out with major fleet operators in early 2023. Following the first successfully completed test phase, demand for the "utility vans" also continues to rise. In the meantime, 12 fleet operators across all sectors have come forward to take part in further tests of the demonstration vehicles.
In addition to the development and production of the light commercial vehicles, the Canadians also want to establish a worldwide hydrogen filling station network. A cooperation agreement was signed last year with FEV Consulting GmbH, based in Aachen, Germany, to develop a prototype for a customized refueling system for the hydrogen mobility market.
What is still missing to round off the value chain is the production of green hydrogen. Four production sites have already been identified in the United Kingdom. With the establishment of a transatlantic German-Canadian hydrogen supply corridor and the historic US Inflation Reduction Act, the expansion to manufacture and supply green hydrogen solutions for commercial vehicles will now also occur in the European Union, Canada and the United States.
Lhyfe - With pioneering work to an all-time high
In contrast to its peer group, the French hydrogen producer for industry and mobility is defying the general market correction. At the beginning of May, the Company went public on Euronext in Paris. Thanks to the good news flow of the last few weeks, a new all-time high was reached.
The joint venture "Sealhyfe" was founded with the US market leader Plug Power, which should represent a quantum leap for future hydrogen production. It announced the world's first production of hydrogen at sea on a floating platform using a state-of-the-art 1 MW electrolyzer from Plug at an offshore green hydrogen site in Saint-Nazaire, France. Here, Plug Power's electrolyzer is powered directly by offshore wind turbines. Plug's 1 MW EX-425D electrolyzer will be the first to operate on a floating platform in extreme conditions. The electrolyzer system has been marinized to meet acceleration, tilt and other marine specifications. The Sealhyfe project can be considered a proof of concept for future offshore green hydrogen production. The project will operate for 6 months at the pier and then for 12 months off the coast of Le Croisic at the SEM-REV offshore test site of the French engineering school Centrale Nantes.
In addition, the French company announced a letter of intent on a possible partnership with vehicle builder Gaussin. The plan envisions fueling Gaussin's H2 vehicles with Lhyfe's fuel. The Company announcement said that the partnership aims to identify potential customers who might be interested in such a comprehensive renewable mobility solution for logistics, port and airport locations.
With subsidies from policymakers around the world, hydrogen is expected to rise to become a key element of climate change in the coming years. There remains short-term downside potential in market leader Plug Power, while Lhyfe scores on strong news flow. Meanwhile, First Hydrogen is planning further expansion into Europe and the US.
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