In mid-November 2020, diesel and gas engine maker Cummins, which has more than 6,700 employees in Europe, announced plans to erect a production site above Germany’s defunct Ewald mine in Herten. The decision was not surprising. Hydrogenics Germany lies a mere 20 kilometers west of Herten, and Cummins acquired parent company Hydrogenics Corp. in September 2019.
The new factory will reportedly have a 10-megawatt capacity per year and will focus on assembling fuel cell systems for industrial partner Alstom’s hydrogen trains. Alstom, a rolling stock manufacturer, said it has received dozens of orders for its Coradia iLint railcars, each running on a total of six fuel cell modules. Besides the factory, the site in Herten will accommodate facilities for proprietary research and development. The entire complex is scheduled to come online in July 2021.
After increasing its investment in Loop Energy in March 2020, Cummins, of Columbus, Indiana, took a shift in strategy, forming a joint venture with NProxx last June. NProxx specializes in hydrogen storage systems, i.e., type IV pressure vessels, which are also needed to power fuel cell railcars. In September, Cummins then launched an additional partnership with Hyundai.