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MAN Energy Solutions acquired nearly 99% of the shares in H-TEC SYSTEMS, the manufacturer of PEM electrolysers based in Augsburg, Germany.
Subject to approval by the competition authorities, MAN Energy Solutions has acquired the shares of the previous majority shareholder, GP JOULE, adding to the 40% stake it previously took in the company in 2019. The remaining shares are currently in free float.
MAN Energy Solutions sees green hydrogen as an "incredibly important natural resource on our journey to becoming a climate-neutral global economy," according to a press release.
"With the acquisition of H-TEC SYSTEMS, from now on we will cover all processing steps of the hydrogen economy under the umbrella of MAN Energy Solution," said Dr. Uwe Lauber, Chief Executive Officer of MAN Energy Solutions. "By doing so, we are strategically investing in our expertise as tomorrow's provider of sustainable energy solutions and providing H-TEC SYSTEMS with complete access to our resources and sales networks at the same time. However, the current other shareholder GP JOULE will remain an important sales partner.”
H2 and Power-to-X technology
H-TEC SYSTEMS was founded in 1997 and has over 20 years of experience in hydrogen development and research. At production sites in Schleswig-Holstein and Bavaria, Germany, stacks and electrolyzers in the megawatt class based on the polymer-electrolyte membrane process (PEM) are developed by 60 specialists to cover the hydrogen demand for both industrial hydrogen applications and electricity conversion. The H-TEC SYSTEMS electrolyzers already make effective sector coupling possible today.
MAN Energy Solutions is also a forerunner in Power-to-X technology, which enables green hydrogen to be converted into climate-neutral fuels. In 2013, the company commissioned the methanation reactor for Europe's first and for a long time most powerful Power-to-Gas plant on a 6 MW scale for Audi AG. Since then, MAN has consistently developed PtX technology and offers turnkey plants with a capacity of 50 MW.
Power-to-X is an umbrella term for a number of conversion, storage and reconversion pathways that use surplus electric power from renewable energy, typically solar and wind. “X” stands for the type of energy into which the electricity surplus is being converted. These are generally gases, liquids or heat.
Efforts to cut carbon emissions and improve local air pollution require changes to how energy is produced and consumed. The European “Green Deal,” for example, is a set of policy initiatives from the European Commission with the aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. It includes the phase out of coal, a substantial increase in renewable generation and ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.
Wind and solar energy represent the main pillars of these plans, but hydrogen has a complementary role. It is seen as a way to enable large-scale integration of renewables into the power generation network; as a means of distributing energy across sectors and regions, and as a storage buffer to increase system resilience. Wind and solar require large-scale energy storage to compensate for short-term and seasonal imbalances. Due to the orders of magnitude involved, this can best be achieved by converting excess electricity using various Power-to-X concepts.
Hydrogen can be produced in numerous ways including fossil fuels, biomass, crops, nuclear energy and from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power. This diversity of potential supply sources is why hydrogen is seen as the ideal energy carrier. The main Power-to-X concept being targeted uses excess renewable electricity production from wind and sun to split water into hydrogen and oxygen in an electrolyser. As the hydrogen is produced from purely renewable sources, this is known as green hydrogen.