Huge news has reached us regarding Plug Power: H2 Energy Europe has contracted Plug for an electrolysis capacity in the amount of 1 GW. A complex is to be built in Denmark and the regenerative electricity generated via wind power. The goal is to produce 100,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year, which is to be used primarily in hydrogen-powered trucks, specifically to fuel 150,000 of them per day.
The plans are huge: three sites are to start production already this year. The first target for the current fiscal year is 70 tonnes of hydrogen per day. This should enable a profit margin of 30 percent. Of this, 40 to 50 tonnes per day are needed for existing activities and 20 to 30 t/day will be brought to market as a tradable commodity, is my expectation.
The US corporation Plug Power opened its European headquarters in Duisburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) on March 18th, 2022. The new production site of Plug Europe lies at the center of Duisburger Hafen, the world’s largest inland port. CEO Andy Marsh had really wanted to make a special trip from the United States to make the opening speech, but he was unable to because of a corona infection. Chris Suriano stepped in for him. Suriano declared, “Our local presence is very important in our key markets.” He smugly added, “We have only just begun.”
Hydrogen + Fuel Cells Europe, according to the current status, will take place May 30th to June 2nd in person on the Hannover Messe fairgrounds. There, industry representatives will be able to network in the dependable corporeal format again. That’s the assumption of Tobias Renz anyway, the organizer of this trade fair. The space booked for stands may be similar to the last time, in 2019, before the corona pandemic. Renz hopes to be able to present around 200 exhibitors once again.
Plug Power is benefiting from the fact that a variety of analysts view the company to be a front-runner in an American hydrogen economy in 2023/24 and one that should be very well positioned to produce green hydrogen through the development of its own electrolyzer capacity in the longer term. In nine years’ time, a revenue of USD 9 billion may even be possible. Until then, a hydrogen price of USD 1 per kilogram should be achievable, according to Evercore analyst James West.
The time has come for new collaborations in the hydrogen sector. As noted in this year’s May issue, the number of reports about company mergers and new partnerships has increased steadily over the past months. One example of this is the partnership formed by electrolyzer manufacturer Nel after its recent foray into the solar market. In early May, the group announced that one of its subsidiaries, Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser, is now working with First Solar, a manufacturer of PV modules, to design integrated solar-hydrogen power plants.
A short time later, news broke that Danish hydrogen business Everfuel and Norwegian aluminum maker Norsk Hydro signed a memorandum of understanding to improve conditions for electrolyzers in Europe. The agreement contemplates installing the Hydrogen Distribution Centers that are being developed by Everfuel at electrolyzer sites near Norsk Hydro’s aluminum smelters to ensure the fast and safe refueling of the latter company’s hydrogen trailers.
A few months ago, Plug Power [Nasdaq: PLUG] was forced to revise several of its previously published financial statements. While the accounting errors were not severe enough to have a material impact on the statements, they resulted in a USD 62.9 million decrease in R&D costs in the years 2018 to 2020 and a corresponding rise in cost revenue. Furthermore, non-cash charges, including charges associated with warrants Plug granted to Amazon and Walmart, exceeded USD 400 million. That’s pretty notable. Do these charges have anything to do with Plug’s relatively high amount of short interest, which comes to over 50 million shares? Could Amazon and Walmart have exercised warrants? Or have they now shorted stock to shore up their unrealized gains running into the billions of dollars?