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Thyssenkrupp Hydrogen Unit Plans to Take on China, Japan Rivals

The company competes with Japan’s Asahi Kasei and China’s Bluestar (Beijing) Chemical Machinery in chlor-alkali membrane technologies


ThyssenKrupp Nucera, formerly Uhde Chlorine Engineers, is a joint venture between ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions and Industrie De Nora. Photo: De Nora.

 

A unit of Germany’s Thyssenkrupp, aims to raise up to 600 million euros ($687 million) from a possible initial public offering as it seeks to compete with Chinese and Japanese rivals betting on the booming hydrogen sector.

This would correspond to a stake of 10-20% based on a valuation range of 3 billion to 6 billion euros that analysts have put on Uhde Chlorine Engineers, which is being rebranded Thyssenkrupp Nucera and could be listed in the first half of this year.

Thyssenkrupp first floated the idea of an IPO of its hydrogen business in May last year. “Demand is huge,” said Denis Krude, CEO of Thyssenkrupp Nucera. “We want to use that opportunity,”

The company competes with Japan’s Asahi Kasei, China’s Bluestar (Beijing) Chemical Machinery and UK-based chemicals group Ineos for market share in chlor-alkali membrane technologies needed to produce hydrogen.

“We are a technology leader for electrolysis and have been in the business for decades,” Krude, who has led the division since October 2016, said.

Thyssenkrupp Nucera is also active in alkaline water electrolysis (AWE), a key requirement for the generation of hydrogen produced via renewable energy.

In the fiscal year that ended in September, Thyssenkrupp Nucera posted earnings before interest and tax of 27 million euros while sales came in at 319 million euros, a level expected to triple to 900 million to 1 billion euros by 2025/26.

Its order backlog currently stands at 1.3 billion euros, with AWE accounting for about 70%. “The market has enormous potential,” Krude said.

Thyssenkrupp owns 66% of the unit, with Italy’s De Nora holding the remainder.

 

  • Reuters, with editing by George Russell

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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