By Aby Jose Koilparambil
(Reuters) – Johnson Matthey said on Tuesday it was partnering in hydrogen technology with U.S.-based Plug Power until at least 2030, as the British company hones its focus on its green hydrogen-related business.
Companies globally are increasing investments in green hydrogen, a zero-carbon fuel made by using renewable power from wind and solar to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, in their quest for energy which does not add to global warming.
Green hydrogen has been identified some as a potentially important way of decarbonising transport, by powering vehicles with only water as a by-product, as countries are looking to meet their net zero goals.
Johnson Matthey is a leading supplier of catalyst coated membranes (CCMs), which are a key component of fuel cells which use hydrogen fuel to generate electricity.
The London-based firm said it would supply a substantial portion of Plug’s demand for components of fuel cells and electrolysers, to be used for green hydrogen production.
“The rationale for the partnership is driven by the push towards renewable energy, largely due to the regulatory incentives provided in the United States and partly due to the energy crisis in Europe,” Johnson Matthey Chief Executive Liam Condon told Reuters.
The FTSE 100 firm, which makes catalytic converters for vehicles and refines the platinum group of metals used mainly by automakers, said last year it was exiting its battery materials business due to tough competition and low returns.
It said it is targeting 200 million pounds ($246 million)in sales from its hydrogen technology business by 2025, compared with just 25 million pounds last year, and expects “significant sales growth” thereafter.
Johnson Matthey said the companies would jointly invest in up to 10 gigawatt new CCM manufacturing capacity in the United States, which would begin production in 2025.
The company, which did not disclose specific financial details about the partnership, said the capital expenditure for the facility was included within its 1 billion pound, three-year capex outlook outlined in 2022.
($1 = 0.8121 pounds)
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Subhranshu Sahu and Alexander Smith)