French gas company Air Liquide has purchased a “strategic investment” of 18.6% in the Canadian Hydrogenics Corporation, who develops electrolytic hydrogen production equipment and fuel cells. The $20.5 million investment also includes provisions for a cooperation on PEM electrolysis technology.
In a press statement, Air Liquide has stated that the investment stands to “reaffirm its long-term commitment to the hydrogen energy markets and its ambition to be a major player in the supply of carbon-free hydrogen, particularly for industry and mobility markets.”
The French company has been active in the field of hydrogen technology for some time, currently operating more than 120 hydrogen fuel stations and development projects around the globe. Additional facilities are also in development.
The cooperation between the two companies has been explained as a: “technology and commercial agreement to jointly develop PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolysis technologies for the rapidly growing hydrogen energy markets around the world.”
François Darchis, Air Liquide Senior Vice-President and board member, is convinced by the technological addition, stating: “Water electrolysis is one of the key technologies to accelerate the emergence of hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier. Indeed it enables the production of totally carbon-free hydrogen, thanks namely to renewable electricity.”