Leading gases, technologies, and services company Air Liquide and energy technology company Siemens Energy announced today the formation of a new joint venture, targeting the production of industrial-scale renewable hydrogen electrolyzers, aimed at enabling the emergence of a sustainable hydrogen economy in Europe. Under the new agreement, Air Liquide and Siemens energy will hold 25.1% and 74.9% of the new joint venture.

Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, particularly for sectors with difficult to abate emissions, in which renewable energy solutions such as wind or solar are less practical. The development of clean hydrogen capacity will require massive investments in areas including infrastructure, electrolysis, and transport.

One of the key technologies required to produce clean hydrogen is electrolysis, which is a process that separated the hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water. According to Air Liquide, when combined with renewable power, electrolyzers can supply low carbon hydrogen to a range of applications, including mobility and industrial sectors.

Christian Bruch, CEO, and President of Siemens Energy AG said:

“We want to be a driving force in hydrogen technology, To make green hydrogen competitive, we need serially produced, low-cost, scalable electrolyzers. We also need strong partnerships. Together with Air Liquide as a pioneer in hydrogen for over 50 years, we look forward to implementing innovative solutions and collaborating to shape this new hydrogen market.”

A joint multi-gigawatt factory that produces electrolysis modules (or “stacks”), located in Berlin, will supply both companies for their own customer needs, and serve the broader market. The two companies have also agreed to dedicate Research & Development capabilities to the development of next-generation electrolyzer technologies.

According to Air Liquide, the partnership will benefit from a portfolio of hydrogen projects that combine both companies’ pipelines, targeting large industrial-scale hydrogen projects in collaboration with customers. One of the first projects is the Air Liquide Normand’Hy electrolyzer project, with a capacity of 200 MW.

Today’s announcement follows the launch of Air Liquide’s strategic plan for 2025 earlier this year, which features plans for the company to accelerate its hydrogen development,  including targets to triple hydrogen revenues in order to reach more than €6 billion by 2035 by investing approximately €8 billion in hydrogen supply chain by 2035. The company also aims to bring its total electrolysis capacity to 3 GW by 2030.

François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer of Air Liquide, said:

“The creation of this Franco-German joint venture is a major step towards the emergence of a leading European renewable and low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem. By scaling up the production of large-scale electrolyzers, Air Liquide and Siemens Energy will be able to provide their customers with access to large amounts of competitive renewable hydrogen and to decarbonize their activities.”

Production under the new joint venture is expected to begin in the second half of 2023 and lead to an annual production capacity of three gigawatts by 2025.