ABB is to make an undisclosed investment in Key DH Technologies – the parent company of Hydrogen Optimized – as both firms seek to accelerate green hydrogen production.

It signals the expansion of an existing two-year strategic relationship and follows the German-Canadian Atlantic Renewable Hydrogen Expo in Stephenville, Newfoundland, which was attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in which both countries established a hydrogen alliance.

Read more:  Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance targets first exports by 2025

Hydrogen produced with low-to-zero carbon dioxide emissions is widely recognised as essential to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

By accelerating the strategic collaboration between ABB and HOI launched in 2020, the two companies are advancing the deployment of economic large-scale green hydrogen production systems to decarbonise hard-to-abate industries that address a wide range of essential needs – energy, metals, cement, utilities, ammonia, fertilizers, and fuels for aircraft, ships, trucks and rail.

The companies will leverage their respective capabilities and resources to rapidly commercialize HOI’s patented RuggedCell™ high-power water electrolysis technology for the world’s largest green hydrogen plants. Water electrolysis is the process of applying electrical energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. RuggedCell™ technology converts renewable electricity such as hydro, solar and wind power into green hydrogen for industry.

Joachim Braun, Division President, ABB Process Industries, said, “Following a rigorous validation of the RuggedCell™ technology, we are confident that, in combination with ABB’s high-power rectifiers, it can become a category leader in the large-scale green hydrogen segment. Our complementary technologies will strengthen the Hydrogen Optimized value proposition and fast-track the commercialization of the RuggedCell™.”

Andrew T. B. Stuart, President and CEO of KEY and HOI, said, “This agreement positions us for success in the large-scale segment with customers requiring installations in the hundreds of megawatts to multi-gigawatts. ABB’s global footprint, commercial relationships and technology leadership in high-power rectifiers, distributed control systems and manufacturing automation provide us with the market reach and capabilities to achieve our company’s goals.”

Global electrolyser capacity will reach an estimated 3,100GW by 2050, according to a June 2022 report published by DNV. The group forecasts that electricity-based green hydrogen will be the dominant form of hydrogen production by the middle of this century, accounting for 72% of output.

The proceeds of ABB’s investment into KEY, led by ABB Technology Ventures (ATV), will be used to advance HOI’s intellectual property development, build up corporate capabilities for increased business activity and introduce automated manufacturing and robotics. This will accelerate the rollout of gigawatt-scale electrolyser manufacturing.