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EDF and McPhy ink partnership deal to develop carbon-free hydrogen

France-headed hydrogen production, storage and distribution technology provider McPhy Energy S.A (McPhy) and compatriot power utility major EDF Group (EDF), have entered into an industrial and commercial partnership agreement to develop carbon-free hydrogen in France and around the world. Subject to McPhy shareholder- and French regulatory approval, the deal will see EDF Group subsidiary EDF Nouveaux Business Holding take a 21 percent stake in the company.

Founded in 2008 and listed on Euronext, McPhy Energy is a leading player in hydrogen. Its full range of solutions comprises electrolyzers, hydrogen refuelling stations and storage facilities (photo courtesy McPhy).

McPhy covers the entire value chain from R&D through to engineering, manufacturing, production, operations and maintenance. McPhy possesses a highly skilled team of over 80 staff located mainly in France, Italy and Germany that meets the needs of the fast-expanding markets of carbon-free hydrogen for industry and mobility.

We are delighted to announce this link-up with McPhy, a leading player in hydrogen and a group with which we have been working for several years. This partnership represents a first step that will enable EDF to speed up its expansion into this burgeoning new market that will create new jobs in France and around the world, said Cédric Lewandowski, EDF Group’s Senior Executive Vice President in charge of Innovation, Strategy and Planning.

By joining forces with EDF, which is set to become its core shareholder, McPhy is gaining additional resources that will help it finance its expansion. It will be able to leverage the benefits of EDF’s position in its strategic markets in Europe, the United States and China and count on its active support. The aim is for McPhy to ramp up its business development and win new customers in France and around the world.

We are very pleased to have sealed this partnership with EDF Group, a world leader in low-carbon energy. The deal represents a key new milestone in McPhy’s development. With the additional financial resources EDF Group is bringing and its support, we will be able to accelerate the pace of our expansion, ramp up our business development and move into new markets. We wish to thank EDF Group for the trust it has shown in our technology and our production infrastructure for hydrogen-based solutions. From a personal perspective, I am very proud to be leading this new stage in McPhy’s development, said Pascal Mauberger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McPhy.

According to a statement, EDF’s goals lie in the development of a carbon-free and competitive range of hydrogen solutions, primarily for industrial and mobility clients, by drawing on its industry partners and the momentum built up by specific regions. The Group has already been active on the R&D front for more than 15 years in hydrogen, including electrolyzers and vehicle refuelling stations, at its EIFER research center in Karlsruhe, Germany.

In the continuity of its involvement to reduce the economy’s carbon footprint and the Hydrogen plan announced by the French minister for the environmental transition on June 1, EDF group’s contribution to the energy transition has now gained a whole new dimension. By joining forces with McPhy, a leading player in hydrogen production, storage and distribution equipment, it will be able to play its part in developing carbon-free hydrogen.

In France, McPhy is actively involved in rolling out hydrogen-based solutions. These include industrial projects, such as a 1 MW unit for GRTgaz in Fos-sur-Mer, and also mobility projects. Out of the 20 or so hydrogen stations in France, it has supplied equipment for 13. The company has also achieved commercial success on a number of fronts outside France. For example, it won a contract in China to deliver hydrogen production equipment for Jiantou Yanshan Wind Energy’s 4 MW unit.

Financial terms

EDF’s investment will take place through a reserved capital increase by McPhy totalling around EUR 16 million representing around 21.7 percent of its share capital, and 20.4 percent of its voting rights. The capital increase remains contingent upon satisfaction of the conditions precedent, including shareholder approval at McPhy’s general meeting on June 26, 2018, and the approval of the French financial market authority (AMF) upon the prospectus related to the capital increase.

This is expected to be finalized within days of this approval being obtained. In addition, the appointments of two board members named by EDF Nouveaux Business will be proposed at McPhy’s general meeting on June 26.

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