Founded in 1999 by AkzoNobel, Nedstack is a Dutch developer and manufacturer of PEM Fuel cell power solutions, and a participant to the IPCEI Hy2Tech programme.

The partnership aims to industrialise hydrogen technologies within the region and was today approved, under EU State aid rules, as an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI).

Read more: European Commission approves IPCEI Hy2Tech programme

It brings together 35 partners from 15 different member states, with these member states providing up to €5.4bn in public funding, which is expected to unlock an additional €8.8bn in private investments.

Nedstack is a participant to the IPCEI Hy2Tech programme and with this breakthrough, will now realise a semi-automated production system for fuel cell stacks with an annual nameplate production capacity of one gigawatt of stack power.

The Nedstack Fuel Cell Giga Factory (FCGF) will be accommodated next to the company’s current operations in Arnhem, the Netherlands, at the IPKW business park. The project – which is still pending final approval by the Dutch national government – will help to lift the regional hydrogen eco-system into a new era of industrialised and green fuel cell production.

A first phase of the production system is expected to see start-of-production in 2023, with the full line able to meet the gigawatt capacity rate in 2026.

“Europe has always been a leader in the adoption of hydrogen and fuel cell technology,” enthused Arnoud van de Bree, CEO of Nedstack (pictured below).

“IPCEI Hy2Tech and our Fuel Cell Giga Factory (FCGF) project help strengthen the European capacity to develop and manufacture key technologies to achieve our climate goals, while protecting employment and energy security.”

©Nedstack | Arnoud van de Bree, CEO

Peter van der Wal, Chief Operations Officer at Nedstack, was just as effusive, explaining the significance of the new FCGF as he added, “Due to the rapid scale-up of the hydrogen economy, the current Nedstack production infrastructure has become the limiting factor to our growth and our social impact.

“The FCGF project serves to radically increase production capacity, to scale up our supply chain, it targets cost reduction, enables wider adoption of zero-emission power solutions and moreover helps to contribute to a Net Zero society.”


First wave

The Netherlands is the second-largest hydrogen producer in Europe today and accommodates a strong ecosystem of hydrogen and fuel cell-related businesses and academia.

The country is also amongst the European countries with an established National Hydrogen Plan and agenda. On the basis of this national policy framework and in light of the larger climate agenda, the Netherlands is actively participating in a variety of European hydrogen programmes, amongst which is the IPCEI on hydrogen.

©Nedstack | Pictured: The Nedstack HQ at Industriepark Kleefsewaard

The Hy2Tech project constitutes the first ‘wave’ of the IPCEI on hydrogen, Nedstack says, and more Dutch initiatives are currently in a formal notification process or under planning in the next waves.

Nedstack aims to be at the heart of this movement. The company was founded by AkzoNobel with the purpose of developing and industrialising PEM fuel cell technology for high power applications. The original use cases for such power-plants had been almost exclusively in the field of chlorine-production sites where large volumes of hydrogen were vented as a by-product gas.

With the emergence of the hydrogen economy however, high-power fuel cell systems are in dire need and provide feasible transition paths for – amongst others – the maritime domain, for balancing and buffering of surplus renewables, and to provide an alternative to diesel generators for off-grid power applications.