Thorsten Herdan has worked for the German economic ministry for 8 years. Now, he’s moving to HIF Global. The mechanical engineer’s foray into politics lasted until January 2022. Mid-May, the e-fuel development company appointed Herdan the managing director of HIF EMEA.
Regardless of the many good news and developments around hydrogen, there must of course also be a critical consideration of the aspects that may, for example, hinder or delay rapid build-up of production capacity. In addition to adverse influences due in part to misunderstood or counterproductive regulatory measures (EU/Germany) are aspects such as the shortage of skilled workers, supply chain problems and financing.
Now it has come to the final step with the loss-making Siemens Gamesa: Siemens Energy will fully integrate the 67.1% subsidiary, as was to be expected. The parent company is buying the remaining shares via a takeover bid for 18.05 EUR per share. As interim financing, a loan in the amount of 4 billion EUR was taken, which will surely be refinanced through the issuance of treasury shares – there’s talk of up to 2.5 billion EUR. Now, there can be – as similarly put in some commentaries – a crackdown, as not all figures at the subsidiary were so transparent and some calculations are now being reconsidered.
Siemens subsidiary Gamesa still doesn’t seem to be out of the woods, looking at the strong loss (minus 627 million EUR) that this company contributed to its parent (total minus of 560 million EUR). Onshore wind is considered a problem area – combined with miscalculations and supply chain issues. For this reason, there is speculation that this subsidiary will be fully integrated or restructured via a share swap, which could be implemented in, among other things, a realignment or even a split-off. A partial merger with a competitor may also be possible.
All eyes will be on Rotterdam in March 2022 when the city will host its first-ever global hydrogen summit and exhibition. The Dutch region, which is home to Europe’s largest port, has its sights set on becoming a hydrogen hub, at least that is the intention set out in the country’s energy strategy. The Dutch government sees the international trade in hydrogen gas as a great opportunity – assuming that a pan-European pipeline project doesn’t get in the way.
Despite dubious past experience with the countries of the Middle East and North Africa region, in November 2021 the German government signed a declaration of intent with the United Arab Emirates covering the establishment of an Emirati-German task force for hydrogen and synthetic fuels. The deal was given the seal of approval in Dubai by … Read more
If you read about any of the major hydrogen projects underway, you will be unable to avoid Siemens Energy. Orders like the recent ones worth EUR 700 million should be on the agenda. Even the problems with its wind power subsidiary Gamesa seem solvable because – regardless of short-term problems (price increases in raw materials and component shortages) – the market is growing strongly. Here, I would venture to suggest to the company that it integrates wind farms into existing projects and offerings via Power Purchase Agreements, or PPAs, from the outset. Then you would be able to view a wind farm from a different return perspective and margin.
Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch put it clearly in an interview to members of the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) a few months ago: The technology group wants to be a global player in the hydrogen sector – starting with electrolysis and ending with the use of hydrogen in various markets. The group is now being expanded in this direction, although in the short term the negative influence of the wind turbine subsidiary Gamesa (67 percent share, approx. 11 billion euros stock market value; that of Siemens Energy is only approx. 9 billion euros for 22 billion euros turnover) had a negative impact on their own balance sheet – a loss of minus 307 million euros.