MAN doubles down on its hydrogen bet

MAN Energy Solutions is acquiring 40% of the shares of the electrolysis technology company H-Tec Systems with a view to possible complete takeover later. No price has been revealed for the purchase, which furthers the engine manufacturer’s commitment to hydrogen propulsion.

H-Tec Systems has more than 20 years’ experience in the research and development of hydrogen technology. Across sites in Lübeck, Braak and Augsburg, a team of 20 employees develops and produces stacks and electrolyzers for manufacturing hydrogen with electricity. Since 2010, H-Tec Systems has been a subsidiary of GP Joule, a project developer specialising in renewable energies and sector coupling that retains around 60% of the remaining shares.

“We view this partnership with H-Tec Systems as a strategic milestone and as our entry into the hydrogen economy,” said Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions. “Hydrogen can be obtained from renewable energy sources in a climate-neutral fashion, and forms the basis for the production of a variety of synthetic fuels using power-to-X technology. These e-fuels, as they are known, are urgently required to bring about a change in energy policy, since they allow renewable energy sources to be used even outside of electricity grids. The production of hydrogen consequently constitutes an important interface in the coupling of the energy, transportation and heating sectors.”

Lauber continued: “As the electrolysis market matures commercially, we estimate that it will become medium- or long-term in nature. By acquiring a stake in H-Tec Systems, we are positioning ourselves in this strategic future market at an early stage.”

This acquisition marks another step in the strategic direction MAN Energy Solutions had already decided upon back in 2017 – namely, the realignment of the business to focus on sustainable future markets. At that time, the company announced that its business activities concerning sustainable technologies and solutions would be expanded to become the main source of revenue by 2030.

In December, MAN Cryo, a wholly owned subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions, became the first supplier to develop a marine, liquid hydrogen fuel-gas system.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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