MAN: Hydrogen will be a ‘primary energy source’ in 5-10 years

By Jack Burke02 March 2022

Also restructuring management of subsidiary

MAN Energy Solutions will invest up to €500 million in its subsidiary H-Tec Systems to spur the development of PEM electrolyzers used in the production of hydrogen.

“Our plan is clear,” said Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions. “We are transforming H-Tec Systems into one of the world’s leading players in the field of PEM electrolysis. Over the next five to 10 years, green hydrogen will become one of the most important primary energy sources for the global economy as it continues to decarbonize. With PEM electrolysis, H-Tec Systems has mastered one of the most important processes for industrially scaled hydrogen production from renewable energy sources. The technology is mature and has already been placed on the market successfully. The next step is therefore to scale and set up highly automated serial production – and we would like to make rapid progress with this.”

According to MAN, H-Tec Systems not only benefits from a global sales network and the experience that MAN Energy Solutions has in major projects, but also from direct access to the expertise and experience of the Volkswagen Group, especially in matters relating to production scaling and the supplier-based series production business.

Chairman of the Supervisory Board of MAN Energy Solutions and Member of the Board of Volkswagen AG, Gunnar Kilian, underlines that the Volkswagen Group supports these growth plans.

“On the path toward achieving climate neutrality, hydrogen plays a key role for sectors such as international shipping or industrial processes in which direct electrification is not possible,” Kilian said. “It is therefore essential for our subsidiary MAN Energy Solutions to continue to strengthen its strategic position in the future market for power-to-X technology and synthetic fuels with investment in hydrogen production. Only by coordinating our efforts will we achieve our shared objective of climate neutrality. MAN Energy Solutions is playing an important role in this regard.”

H-Tec Systems is already on the market with solutions for the electrolysis of hydrogen and offers its customers integrated container solutions in the MW range. The specialist is restructuring its management team to implement the growth strategy, which has now been approved: Robin von Plettenberg, previously head of the Turbomachinery Service Business at MAN Energy Solutions, is coming on board as chief executive officer (CEO) as well as chief sales officer (CSO). Frank Zimmermann will take on the role of chief financial officer (CFO). Marius Zasche, previously head of the Components Business at MAN, completes the Executive Board team as chief technology & operations officer (CTO/ COO).

Over the next few years, MAN Energy Solutions will invest up to €500 million in its subsidiary H-Tec Systems to transform the hydrogen specialist into a mass-producer of PEM electrolyzers as quickly as possible. (Image: MAN Power Systems)

“The market for hydrogen production from renewable energy sources is currently focused on decentralized production and local use,” von Plettenberg said. “Over the next few years, we will see increasingly larger projects, such as those for integrating entire wind farms. We are increasingly expecting projects on a scale of over 100 MW and, in the medium term, are also predicting structural changes in the market for multi-gigawatt large-scale plants, which are used in particular to export hydrogen and supply industrial sectors worldwide.”

There are also plans to significantly increase the staff of the company based in Augsburg and the Braak municipality in Schleswig-Holstein in future.

“Over the past few years, we have already greatly expanded our workforce and doubled the number of employees in 2021 alone,” Zimmermann said. “This growth will continue, and we are planning to hire several hundred highly qualified members of staff over the next few years, especially in development and production.”

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