June 15, 2023 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2023 • Episode: 223
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In episode 223, The hydrogen industry continues to gain traction and heavy mining. And Sweden looks to Australia for fuel cell waste management transport. I'll go over all this and give my thoughts on today's hydrogen podcast.
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The hydrogen industry continues to gain traction and heavy mining. And Sweden looks to Australia for fuel cell waste management transport. I'll go over all this and give my thoughts on today's hydrogen podcast.
So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy an app. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.
In an article in biz journals.com, Rick Morgan writes, First Mode buys hydrogen fuel cells after major order from Anglo American clean energy company first mode is buying 60 hydrogen fuel cells from Ballard power systems, which is a fuel cell power company based near Vancouver, British Columbia. First mode, which moved its headquarters to London earlier this year, but still has a majority of its employees in Seattle is buying the fuel cells as it prepares to retrofit and decarbonize roughly 400 trucks for global mining company Anglo Saxon.
A first mode spokesperson said the company isn't disclosing the financials of the fuel cell purchase from Ballard, which was announced Thursday. According to the first mode spokesperson, first mode continues to make industry leading investments in their suppliers as they scale. Due to their unique application first mode is one of the few companies purchasing at these volumes, something they hope continues to be attractive to their supply chain. Now the 60 fuel cells are set for delivery next year. First mode has already ordered 35 modules so far this year. First mode, which focuses on clean energy for heavy industry merged in January with NewGen, the Clean Energy Division of Anglo American. The deal was valued at one and a half billion dollars, which included a $200 million investment from Anglo American into first mode. The company kept the first mode name but Anglo American took a majority stake in the company as part of the deal. First mode relocated to London as part of the merger. But roughly two thirds of its employees are still based in Seattle. The company has more than 30,000 square feet of office space in Pioneer Square near Lumen Field, and it has roughly another 60,000 square feet in Sodo. The company also has a presence in Perth, Australia. Chris Voorhees, first mode co founder and chief product and technology officer was previously the company's CEO Julian Soles. Previously Anglo Americans head of technology development took over as first mode CEO after the merger. Last year first mode launched a hydrogen powered haul truck for Anglo American at a South African mine as proof of concept.
First mode was founded in 2018, and initially focused on deep space exploration, but has also been working with Anglo American for more than four years. And lastly, in a quote from Voorhees, mine operations is the first industry that they believe is ready for that transformation. You have a material transport problem all the way along the supply chain. And for them, the natural progression is from mining into rail, rail into maritime, those are all huge users of fuel. All right then. So now we're seeing heavy mining operations, pulling the trigger on large scale hydrogen fuel cell purchases. In this case, first mode buying from Ballard now there are a handful of fuel cell manufacturers. But for this application, it seems like Ballard is a solid choice. They have established a reputation for reliability and have been able to deliver heavy orders in the past. Now while this release did not detail any cost figures, we can assume a very heavy price tag for the order. These fuel cells are on the pricey side of things.
And this application is going to need a ton of cell stacks because keep in mind these cells are being used on the massive off road industrial trucks for heavy mining applications. And something else to think about as this first mode and JCB are both buying or developing heavily into hydrogen. And of course that makes sense as battery Evie technology just isn't capable of playing this game. And I'm still keeping my eye on caterpillar to see if they enter this space. Now they've announced in the past hydrogen developments and those centered around generators for either stationary or rail applications, but they seem to be next in line to transition some
Their heavy fleet into utilizing fuel cells. And speaking of Caterpillar, they have also worked with Ballard in fuel cell application development, so I would not be surprised to see some sort of announcement between the two companies in the near future. Next in a press release on March 28, h2xglobal forges alliance with Swedish city Gothenburg, Australia's leading hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacturer H2xGlobal limited, announced on March 28, they had signed an agreement with one of Sweden's major municipal waste companies to provide hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks and light vehicles Renova which is owned by 10 municipalities across Gothenburg region in western Sweden, and H2xGlobal have signed a memorandum of understanding for H2xGlobal to provide Renova with five commercial vehicles from the h2 x range. 118 tonne back loader truck 128 ton demountable truck and three, three and a half ton tail lift vehicles.
The agreement opens the way to grow H2xGlobal operations in Scandinavia for the development and production of vehicles to the transport industry using hydrogen fuel cell electric propulsion. Sweden, renowned for its innovative strategies in industry and technology has stated their ambition to become the world's first hydrocarbon free welfare state. To get there, emissions from the transport sector must be reduced and therefore hydrogen will play a crucial role. The goal is for Sweden to reach net zero before 2045 And by 2030 emissions will be reduced by 70%. Compared with 2010, the city of Gothenburg has formulated its goals even more specifically, the city's own vehicle fleet will be hydrocarbon free as early as 2023 and by 2030, the carbon emissions will be reduced by 90% and the city's entire transport system with Gothenburg green cities zone the city is aiming at achieving emissions free transport by 2030 that is transport solely driven by electricity or hydrogen. Peter West H2xGlobal Head of northern Europe said we are proud to be chosen as Renova and the city of Gothenburg partner to develop the foundations to reduce further their carbon footprint with H2xGlobal would expand the vehicle options available to the city.
Gothenburg is the home to one of Europe's leading technology universities Chalmers University of Technology and site of ongoing research into renewable alternatives. This together with the leading hydrogen suppliers in Sweden and Northern Europe, H2xGlobal limited are pleased to announce that they will be setting up their European HQ in the region of Gothenburg where leading automotive companies are located and various innovation activities related to hydrogen are in place and ongoing. So more great news for the Australian hydrogen industry, this time revolving around heavy equipment getting shipped to Europe. Now H2xGlobal is not the only company manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell waste disposal trucks. But this is as far as I can tell the most successful sale to date for this fuel cell application. And it's no secret that Scandinavia is on the frontlines of the decarbonisation effort. And with Sweden being a welfare state, the government has fewer hurdles to clear in furthering that front, and specifically Gothenburg with a population of around 600,000 is a great region to leverage this technology as access to hydrogen should be plentiful. And I would love nothing more than to see something similar to this happen across the US.
But we're still lacking in infrastructure. Now what I can envision would be to see a company like Nikola, to develop a JV with a hydrogen developer and create local hubs and cities with populations between 500,000 to a million. Those regions are plentiful in North America, and are prime for a development like this to occur. And I know for a fact that there are several cities that are wanting to move into this space and simply don't know the first steps in achieving that goal. But with that said, I also know that there are companies and organizations currently working to address those needs, and build out a knowledge base to make that a reality.
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