Air Liquide and Siemens Energy form JV for the European production of large-scale renewable hydrogen

By Jim Gibbins - 20th July 2022

France / Germany - Air Liquide of Paris, France and Siemens Energy AG of Munich, Germany is to form a joint venture in Berlin for series production of industrial scale renewable hydrogen electrolyzers in Europe to aid acceleration of the hydrogen economy.

The companies jointly stated the project* partnership would enable the emergence of a sustainable hydrogen economy in Europe and foster a European ecosystem for electrolysis and hydrogen technology. Production is expected to begin in the second half of 2023 and ramp-up to an annual production capacity of three gigawatts by 2025.

Air Liquide is to hold a 25.1 per cent stake, and Siemens Energy hold 74.9 per cent of the joint venture, the creation of which remains subject to approval of the competition and other authorities. As well as the headquarters, the joint venture’s multi-gigawatt factory that produces electrolysis modules (stacks) will also be in Berlin. This factory will supply stacks to both Groups for their respective broad range of customers and to serve the rapidly growing market.

Based on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysis technology, these stacks will feature a high degree of efficiency, which, the companies’ state, are ideally suited to harvest volatile renewable energy. In addition, Air Liquide and Siemens Energy have agreed to dedicate R&D capacities to the co-development of the next generation of electrolyzer technologies within the framework of the partnership.

The strategic partnership will benefit from a portfolio of hydrogen projects combining both Air Liquide and Siemens Energy’s pipelines, targeting large industrial-scale hydrogen projects in collaboration with customers. This will create a solid basis for the required rapid ramp-up of electrolysis capacities and thus is expected to make competitive renewable hydrogen available sooner.

One of the first projects is the Air Liquide Normand’Hy electrolyzer project, located in Normandy, France. The large-scale Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer project of Air Liquide Normand'Hy is expected to supply renewable hydrogen for industrial and heavy mobility applications. This project, with a capacity of 200 megawatts (MW) expected in the first phase, is planned to be commissioned in 2025, and will allow the avoidance of more than 250,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer of Air Liquide, said:

The creation of this Franco-German joint venture is a major step towards the emergence of a leading European renewable and low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem. By scaling up the production of large scale electrolyzers, Air Liquide and Siemens Energy will be able to provide their customers with access to large amounts of competitive renewable hydrogen and to decarbonize their activities. In line with its Sustainable Development strategy, Air Liquide is more than ever committed to making hydrogen a driving force of the energy transition and of the fight against global warming.

 Christian Bruch, CEO, and President of Siemens Energy AG added:

We want to be a driving force in hydrogen technology. To make green hydrogen competitive, we need serially produced, low-cost, scalable electrolyzers. We also need strong partnerships. Together with Air Liquide as a pioneer in hydrogen for over 50 years, we look forward to implementing innovative solutions and collaborating to shape this new hydrogen market.

 *The project partners have and will apply for “large projects” funding under the EU’s Innovation Fund, Green Deal and Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI)-scheme for hydrogen, funded by the European Governments.

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