Two of Europe’s most prominent electrolyser makers have both announced multi-million-dollar investments that will help the companies fund factory expansions.
Norway’s Nel, which produces alkaline and PEM electrolysers said it had raised NKr1.5bn ($174m) from a share offering, while Germany’s Sunfire, which manufactures alkaline and high-temperature solid-oxide machines, attracted €86m ($94.7m) of funding from three sources — Danish offshore wind-focused renewables investor Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), Swiss environmental and social impact investor BlueEarth Capital and New York-based Carbon Direct Capital Management.
In addition, CIP has entered a framework agreement with Sunfire to purchase pressurised alkaline electrolysers with a total capacity of up to 640MW, to supply some of the Danish company’s multi-gigawatt green hydrogen project pipeline.
In February, CIP announced plans to build a 2GW green hydrogen project in Spain, in partnership with wind turbine maker Vestas, gas transmission system operator Enagás, power and gas utility Naturgy, and fertiliser producer Fertiberia, with a view to beginning construction on a 500MW first phase by the end of next year.
“One key factor to drive down the cost of green hydrogen is the industrialisation of the manufacturing of electrolysers and CIP plans to participate in this through partnerships and framework agreements,” said Felix Pahl, partner at CIP. “Sunfire is a leader in electrolysis technology, which will be the key component in the decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors and a contributor to European energy independence.”
The German company had raised €109m of capital just five months ago, taking its total Series D raising to €195m.
“With the EU set to significantly increase its targets for renewable hydrogen to reduce fossil fuel dependency, key players in the energy market are rising to the challenge,” the company said in a statement. “Sunfire is rapidly expanding its manufacturing capacity and has raised further funds to enable the scaling of its hydrogen technologies.”
Sunfire also received €60m of grants from the German government in January to help the company achieve serial, automated production of its solid-oxide electrolysers and gigawatt-scale industrial production of its pressurised alkaline electrolysers.
Nel raised its NKr1.5bn by selling 98 million new shares at NKr15.30 ($1.77) each.
“The net proceeds from the private placement will be used for continued investments in production capacity, organisational growth linked to order intake and tender activity, and general corporate purposes," the company said.
Nel has a 500MW fully automated factory in Herøya, Norway, which has the capacity to be expanded to 2GW. The company said in January last year that the 2GW extension would help reduce the of its electrolysers by 75%.