Linde is to take a 20% share in UK clean energy firm ITM Power.

ITM Power today said its intention is to raise at least £52m ($63.9m) through a strategic investment of £38m ($46.7m) at 40 pence (49 cence) per share by Linde UK Holdings No. 2 Limited, a member of the Linde AG group, and a conditional placing of £14m ($17.2m) at 40 pence (49 cence) per share with certain existing and new institutional investors.

The UK company said it has also entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Linde to focus on delivering green hydrogen to large scale industrial projects, principally those with an installed electrolyser capacity of 10MW and above.

Following completion of the fundraising, Linde will appoint a Non-Executive Director to the Board of ITM Power.

ITM Power said the net proceeds of the fundraising will be used to facilitate its move to its new, larger Bessemer Park facility in Sheffield with an annual production capacity of over 1000MW per annum, fund and resource development of a 5MW electrolyser module, enhance product standardisation, meet initial funding requirements for the joint venture and to provide working capital to support (among other things) the delivery of the contract backlog and opportunity pipeline and to strengthen the group’s balance sheet.

Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, said, “The major strategic investment from Linde cements a five-year relationship between us and provides ITM Power with a world leading partner that brings deep expertise in engineering, procurement and construction and a global customer base.”

“The joint venture will enable us to focus on our core competency of the development and sale of electrolysers, and with Linde as our partner to deliver green hydrogen at scale.”

“The successful fundraising provides the financial resources to exploit this exciting opportunity to the full.

“We are seeing increasing global demand for hydrogen as a solution to renewable energy storage needs and the decarbonisation of major industrial processes.”

“The fundraising and our partnership with Linde will help us to meet this demand on a growing scale, deliver efficiencies throughout our supply chain and represents a significant step on our pathway to medium-term profitability.”

gasworld--Rob-Cockerill

A sign of the times

Analysis by Rob Cockerill, Global Managing Editor

This is a very interesting investment from Linde indeed. Not only is it a sign of the continued strength of ITM Power and a deepening of its five-year relationship with Linde, as its CEO refers to, it’s also another move into the hydrogen energy space by a Tier One industrial gases major.

In January (2019) we saw Air Liquide – via wholly-owned subsidiary the Hydrogen Company – acquire a stake in hydrogen generation technology specialist Hydrogenics Corporation on a private placement basis. Following completion, Air Liquide’s interest in Hydrogenics was expected to be approximately 18.6%.

It also saw the appointment of Air Liquide’s Pierre-Etienne Franc to the Hydrogenics Board of Directors, effective immediately.

We also saw Linde invest in Swiss green hydrogen producer and supplier Hydrospider in August, taking a 10% stake in the company and reaffirming its commitment to hydrogen mobility in the process. Owned equally by H2 Energy and Alpiq, now with a 40% share each to Linde’s 10%, Hydrospider is building Switzerland’s first commercial hydrogen production plant.

It’s all a sign of the times, and the increasing emphasis placed on hydrogen as part of the clean energies transition…

Read the full analysis from in Rob Cockerill’s column Hydrogen: Why investments are a sign of the times