Composite cylinder specialist Hexagon Composites will supply compressed hydrogen (H2) tanks for serial production of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) to be launched by an automotive OEM.

The Norweigian company is currently developing the tanks to support anticipated production activities as early as 2020. Production is planned to run for at least five years. Hexagon estimates the combined value for development and serial production to be in the range of $120-150m.

“This is a strategically important customer contract fulfilment for Hexagon and the growing FCEV industry,” said Rick Rashilla, Senior Vice-President of Hexagon Composites’ H2 Automotive business. “Hexagon Composites is committed to investing significant resources into the success of these projects and for the adoption of H2 in combination with fuel-cell technology as a low-carbon alternative fuel for mobility applications.”

“An award of this size signals the vast long-term potential of this market. Maintaining market leadership based on our integrity, attention to safety and delivering to customer specifications are key focal points for the Company. This selection confirms our leading position as a light-duty H2 tank developer for the FCEV industry. The project leverages Hexagon’s global footprint in Nebraska, Ohio and Kassel, Germany.”

Jack Schimenti, Executive Vice-President of Hexagon Composites ASA, added, “Hexagon has been actively supported in the process by Mitsui & Co. Ltd., our strategic alliance partner. This is a good example of the benefits of the alliance between the two companies in terms of increasing our global reach.”

Hexagon Composites explained H2 is a clean and safe energy carrier that can be used as fuel for power in a wide range of applications and can be easily stored on a large scale. The life cycling properties of all-composite pressure cylinders, with plastic liners and carbon fibre structure, make them more suitable for storage of H2 than metal lined alternatives.