Set to fund UAC’s manufacturing expansion in Norway and Asia, NRP Zero has invested an undisclosed amount for a 10.7% shareholding in the company, which is hoped to increase manufacturing volume across its facilities to 12,000 pressure vessels per year.
The expansion plans include a manufacturing expansion in Kristiansand, Norway, with an addition investment in China, where UAC’s Chinese joint venture company is building a manufacturing facility, which is expected to produce 8,000 pressure vessels annually.
UAC is a majority shareholder in the Chinese joint venture, alongside Yield Capital and Chinese industrial group, Befar Group.
H2 View understands, Chinese companies Hypower and Befar Group have already placed a conditional $60m order for hydrogen pressure tanks from UAC.
UAC’s advanced lightweight pressure tanks, and transportation modules for hydrogen, biogas, and compressed natural gas, are hoped to allow for the transport of two-three times more hydrogen compared to similar-sized tanks made of steel, which it says represents major cost and environmental benefits.
“UAC is a global technology leader that is well positioned to win market shares within transport and storage in a rapidly growing market,” said Carl Peter Finne, Managing Partner in NRP Zero. “The company’s management has proven that it can deliver strong growth and improved profitability.”
Finne, added, “We are very pleased to invest into UAC and look forward to collaborating with existing owners and the management to develop the company further.”
Øyind Hamre, CEO of UAC, commented, “Yield Capital’s previous investment in UAC contributed towards establishing the Chinese joint venture. We have also ordered long lead items such as machines and other equipment.
“The new investment from NRP Zero means that we can increase production volumes in both Norway and China quicker than we originally planned. The initial target volume for both manufacturing facilities is 12,000 pressure tanks annually.”
The investment comes at a time when demand for hydrogen seems set to boom, with regions such as China, the US, and the EU introducing ambitious hydrogen plans.
Hamre continued, “We expect revenue well in excess of NOK 200m ($20.2m) this year (2022). The key is strong focus on operations and our value chain, plus the strategic choice we have made to retain world leading product expertise and specialist competence here in Kristiansand.”
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