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AREVA H2Gen: Clean and safe production of hydrogen locally

Cologne, 27 May, 2015 // In early May the French technology supplier AREVA H2Gen, headquartered in the Paris region, founded a GmbH (limited liability company) in Germany, with its registered office in Cologne. AREVA H2Gen develops, manufactures and markets PEM electrolysers, standardized in the range from 25 to 600 kW and flexible/modular from one MW upwards. The PEM technology facilitates the reliable, clean and safe production of the energy carrier hydrogen. Two important site developers assisted with the settlement of the GmbH: Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) nationwide and NRW.INVEST GmbH for the location in North Rhine-Westphalia.

"There will not be a successful energy transition in Europe if we do not provide sufficient  storage facilities for volatile energy. I am convinced that hydrogen technology will play a key role here," emphasizes Carsten Krause, Managing Director of the newly established AREVA H2Gen GmbH. He explains further: "This is a rapidly growing market." The reliable, clean and safe production of hydrogen locally is therefore the top priority for AREVA H2Gen. "We are focusing on three market segments: energy, mobility and industry. Here we see Germany with a clear position as a pioneer in the energy transition – not only in Europe, but throughout the world."

AREVA H2Gen came about in 2014 through the merger of the electrolysis division of the French company AREVA Energy Storage and CETH2, as well as the third partner, the French State, represented by the French energy agency ADEME (Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Énergie). The young company is thus drawing on know-how, unique in Europe, from 25 years of research & development in the field of PEM technology.

Technology support at federal level

The French partners consciously selected Germany because they see great potential here. Two German site developers provided support with the foundation of the GmbH.

"The subject of hydrogen plays an important role in the future energy mix as it can form a bridge between the electricity, heat and transport sectors. As Germany Trade and Invest we therefore help companies from this sector to settle in Germany. In general, this technology is supported by subsidy programs such as NIP," explains Heiko Staubitz, Senior Manager Smart Grid & Energy Storage of Germany Trade and Invest – Gesellschaft für Außenwirtschaft und Standortmarketing mbH (GTAI). "GTAI has been in contact with AREVA H2Gen for quite some time. We have provided information about the situation in the German energy market, as well as subsidy programs in the energy sector, and established contacts with potential partners."

NRW offers important location factors for settlement

NRW.INVEST GmbH, the economic development agency of North Rhine-Westphalia, assists international investors and companies with their settlement in NRW. "With the successful settlement of AREVA H2Gen in Cologne we have succeeded in acquiring a leading-edge technology for the energy location North Rhine-Westphalia. North Rhine-Westphalia is the most important energy location in Germany and the leading energy region in Europe. Around 30 percent – more than in any other federal state – of Germany's electricity is generated here. And about 28 percent of German industrial electricity is consumed here," explains Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST, and adds: "North Rhine-Westphalia plays an important role for French companies. Here they find precisely the location factors that are crucial for a settlement: a large sales market, optimal transport connections and excellent infrastructure, a highly developed research landscape and a qualified workforce, and last but not least a unique quality of life. Around 780 French companies are already utilizing the benefits of North Rhine-Westphalia as an investment location."

Wassner confirms that, with regard to the challenges of the energy transition, climate protection and increasing energy efficiency, as well as the development of renewable energies, hydrogen technology is considered a key technology in all areas of the energy system: "Foreign technology companies play an important role in the sustainable development of the region and the state."

Economically viable and competitive

"By embedding AREVA H2Gen in the established structures of the Areva Group, the company offers far more possibilities than a pure electrolyser provider normally has in its portfolio. This is why we support our customers and partners from project planning and fundraising to evaluation," is how Krause, who has more than 12 years experience in the field of hydrogen technology, describes the company's services. "Our PEM technology – an all-in-one platform concept – should and must be economically viable and competitive. With our products and services we want to contribute to the energy turnaround and in Germany we find excellent conditions for this, and as the next step we are planning a site in Berlin."

 

Background: AREVA H2Gen /AREVA H2Gen GmbH, Cologne

AREVA H2Gen is a technology provider that develops, manufactures and markets PEM electrolysers, standardized in the range from 25 to 600 kW, as well as flexible and modular from 1MW upwards. AREVA H2Gen came about in 2014 through the merger of the electrolysis division of AREVA Energy Storage and CETH2, as well as a third partner, the French State, represented by the French energy agency ADEME (Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Énergie). The company draws on know-how from 25 years of research & development in the field of PEM technology. AREVA H2Gen GmbH, a 100 percent subsidiary of the French company AREVA H2Gen, has been based in Cologne since May 2015 and plans to establish a second site in Berlin in the near future.

Background: Germany Trade and Invest

Germany Trade & Invest is the agency of the Federal Republic of Germany for foreign trade and location marketing. The agency markets Germany as a business and technology location abroad, informs German companies about foreign markets and supports foreign companies settling in Germany.

Background: NRW.INVEST GmbH

NRW.INVEST GmbH serves as the central contact point for investments in North Rhine-Westphalia. It provides potential investors from Germany and abroad with a one-stop service ranging from locational information and business premises searches to arranging and guidance through negotiations and approval procedures. NRW.INVEST works closely with the state government and regional and local economic development organizations in North Rhine-Westphalia. Investors who have already set up business in North Rhine-Westphalia receive special support with regard to expansion, start-ups, and spin-offs. Parallel to this, NRW.INVEST conducts international marketing on behalf of North Rhine-Westphalia as a business location in Germany and abroad with the aim of acquiring investments.