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MAN BUYS INTO HYDROGEN AS FUEL FOR THE FUTURE

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 

MAN Energy Solutions is acquiring 40% of the shares of the electrolysis technology company H-TEC Systems. A contract confirming the partial acquisition has been signed in Augsburg by Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions, and Ove Petersen and Heinrich Gärtner, executive managers of the GP Joule Group.

The contract makes provisions for a majority or complete takeover of H-TEC Systems at a later date. H-TEC Systems has more than 20 years' experience in R&D of hydrogen technology. Since 2010, it has been a subsidiary of GP Joule, a project developer specialising in renewable energies and sector coupling that retains around 60% of the remaining shares.

"We view this partnership with H-TEC Systems as a strategic milestone and as our entry into the hydrogen economy," said Lauber. "Hydrogen can be obtained from renewable energy sources in a climate-neutral fashion, and forms the basis for the production of a variety of synthetic fuels using power-to-X technology. These 'e-fuels', as they are known, are urgently required to bring about a change in energy policy, since they allow renewable energy sources to be used even outside of electricity grids. The production of hydrogen consequently constitutes an important interface in the coupling of the energy, transportation and heating sectors."

MAN Energy Solutions' initial main interest in hydrogen power appears to be in land-based energy, but the company shares the conviction with GP Joule's management that strategies and technologies for the decarbonisation of industry and transportation will determine the future development of the market, and that hydrogen power should be promoted as an energy system for the future, not only on land but also at sea.

"H-TEC Systems will be able to continue to focus on developing and producing series production-ready technologies for converting electricity into hydrogen in a cost-efficient manner," said Heinrich Gärtner, co-founder and CTO of GP Joule. "In doing so, we will be able facilitate a rapid transition from fossil fuels to energy sources that are renewable and free of CO2."

The acquisition marks another step in the strategic direction MAN Energy Solutions had already decided upon in 2017 – namely, the realignment of the business to focus on sustainable future markets. At that time, the company announced that its business activities concerning sustainable technologies and solutions would be expanded to become the main source of revenue by 2030. This realignment is being achieved through strategic acquisitions and partnerships such as MAN's 40% stake in Aspin Kemp Associates, a Canadian company specializing in battery technology and the acquisition of the maritime division of Cryo AB, a Swedish company manufacturing cryogenic equipment for the storage, distribution and handling of LNG. In collaboration with ABB, MAN has also introduced the trigeneration storage solution ETES (Electro-Thermal Energy Storage system) to the market.

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