April 3 (Renewables Now) - Air Liquide SA (EPA:AI) announced on Tuesday an equity investment of USD 12 million (EUR 10.7m) in FirstElement Fuel Inc (FEF), a California-based firm building a hydrogen charging network.
Air Liquide’s move to take a stake in the company will support the ramp-up and deployment of hydrogen fueling infrastructure in California, including the further expansion of the “True Zero” branded retail hydrogen station network, it said in the press release.
California already has a significant number of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) on the road and is expected to reach 40,000 by 2022.
Back in November 2018, the French industrial gases group agreed to supply renewable hydrogen to FEF. At the time it also “signaled its intent” to make an equity investment in the US firm and also said it would be investing USD 150 million to build a liquid hydrogen production plant in the Western US.
Air Liquide aims to be a leader in the energy transition and especially in the development of hydrogen for mobility throughout the entire supply chain. Earlier this year it took a stake in Canadian hydrogen-based fuel cell modules maker Hydrogenics Corporation (NASDAQ:HYGS) and broke ground on a production facility for carbon-free hydrogen in Canada.
The company is also involved in the creation of the CertifHy Guarantees of Origin as part of a project initiated by the European Commission and financed by the FCH JU (Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking). Two types of hydrogen labels have been presented. The "CertifHy Green Hydrogen" label is for low-carbon hydrogen produced from biomass, wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. The "CertifHy Low-Carbon Hydrogen" is for hydrogen from sources that have a low-carbon impact, but not renewable.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.89)