November 26th, 2021 | 13:04 CET
Plug Power with a bang - what are Nel and First Hydrogen up to?
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"[...] Why should a modular electrolyzer cost more than a motorcycle? [...]" Sebastian-Justus Schmidt, CEO and Founder, Enapter AG
Plug Power to build 100 MW in Egypt
Plug Power has won a major contract from a green hydrogen consortium to supply a 100-megawatt electrolyzer. The PEM electrolyzer is expected to be the largest of its kind when commissioned and will be located in Egypt. The plant will produce green hydrogen for the production of up to 90,000 tons of green ammonia. Egypt has sufficient renewable energy resources and is considered a good location for green hydrogen production. The plant is expected to be ready for production in about 12 months and will be the largest green hydrogen plant globally. It is a highly prestigious order for Plug Power. It represents a breakthrough in the Middle East, where Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Saudi Arabia are currently racing to be the "largest producer" of green hydrogen. Even though Plug Power's stock barely reacted to the order, the chart looks promising.
First Hydrogen: Newcomer with potential
First Hydrogen's stock has yet to take off. Yet, the Canadian Company is well on its way. It aims to become the leading manufacturer of zero-emission, long-range hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles in the UK, EU and North America. Several experienced industry experts have joined forces to achieve this goal. With the "First Hydrogen Utility Van", a vehicle is currently in development with which First Hydrogen is addressing major logistics companies such as Amazon, UPS and DHL. The Company is pursuing a "best of" strategy, which means that proven chassis are used to reduce development time and costs. The prototype construction time is expected to be a maximum of 12 months, well below the industry average. Cooperation with two high-caliber companies was already agreed upon in the second quarter. Ballard Power, a global provider of innovative clean energy with a hydrogen fuel cell fleet, was secured for the technology. For the design, a definitive agreement was reached with AVL Powertrain UK, the world's largest independent automotive engineering, simulation and testing company. Two hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles are scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2022 for demonstration purposes.
In addition, First Hydrogen will also offer fuel cell-powered CO2 extraction systems that will allow users to operate the systems in remote locations - even without a power grid. At CAD 1.65, the stock is still trading well below its all-time high of CAD 2.30 in June 2021, though the Company is a good deal further along today than it was then.
Nel: Rebound underway
The Nel share tended to fall in recent days but then started to rebound on Thursday. The reason is a new order from Sweden. Nel announced that it had received an order for an alkaline water electrolyzer with a capacity of 20 megawatts. The customer is Ovako, a European manufacturer of structural steel. The electrolyzer is to be installed at Ovako's existing plant in Hofors, Sweden. Hydrogen is used there to heat steel before rolling and hot forming. The fossil-free hydrogen will replace fossil propane gas, which is currently still used to heat the furnaces at the plant.
"There is enormous potential for reducing CO2 emissions from steel heating processes by using green hydrogen. There are many similar sites with equally great potential for decarbonization throughout Europe and the rest of the world," says Jon André Løkke, CEO of Nel.
Hydrogen stocks are stepping on the gas again. Plug Power and Nel are among the industry heavyweights. But investors should also look at newcomers like First Hydrogen.
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