Hexagon Composites ASA signed a term sheet for a strategic cooperation and joint venture agreement with CIMC ENRIC, Chinese manufacturer of energy equipment and a subsidiary of China International Marine Containers (Group) Co., Ltd. (CIMC). The companies aim to sign the agreement in the 3rd quarter 2020 after board approval and final due diligence, based on a structure that allows both parties to consolidate their contribution to the business. Production in the new venture structure is expected as early as 2021.
This alliance will serve the fast-growing demand of the Chinese market for safe, lightweight and cost-efficient compressed hydrogen storage solutions. The strategic cooperation will support the transition to zero emission transportation also in Southeast Asia. The parties intend to jointly establish facilities for manufacturing of cylinders and assembly of systems to serve the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets.
China, the world’s largest auto market with over 28 million vehicles sold annually, has set its sights on creating a world-leading market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles within a decade. Chinese policymakers expect the market to grow from 5,000 vehicles by the end of next year, to 50,000 by 2025, and one million by 2030. The initial focus is on fuel cell buses and commercial vehicles, improving public awareness and showcase the safety of hydrogen.
The shift to zero emissions vehicles is driven by the desire to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions, as well as to increase energy independence by utilizing large amounts of hydrogen already available in China. Additionally, hydrogen provides a cost-efficient storage for surplus renewable energy from wind and solar.
“China is on its way to becoming the largest market globally for hydrogen mobility and distribution,” said Jon Erik Engeset, CEO of Hexagon. “We wanted to team up with a strong Chinese industrial partner to secure the leading role in this development. Together we can become the largest provider of hydrogen storage and distribution solutions in China and Southeast Asia.”
“We have a long history of remarkable performance and breakthroughs in alternative fuel storage and transportation. And now hydrogen will take the lead as the ultimate solution for the future needs of the mobility sector in China and on global scale. As a clean energy enterprise, our strategic alliance with Hexagon will accelerate the adoption of zero-emission transportation by fast tracking the introduction of all-composite Type 4 Hydrogen storage and transportation in China,” commented Xiaohu Yang, General Manager and Executive Director of CIMC ENRIC.
Source: Hexagon Composites