Private infrastructure fund for clean hydrogen projects launched

This week, Plug Power, Chart Industries, and Baker Hughes announced their intention to become cornerstone investors in the formation of the  FiveT Hydrogen Fund, a new clean-hydrogen-only private infrastructure fund dedicated to delivering clean hydrogen infrastructure projects at scale.

Plug Power intends to commit €160 million ($200 million), and Chart Industries and Baker Hughes each intend to commit €50 million respectively ($60 million), recognizing the unique value proposition that FiveT will bring to the hydrogen sector. The investments should enable FiveT to help advance a broader global mission to address climate change and accelerate the energy transition. This Euro-denominated fund, offered only to qualified and verified investors, has a goal of raising a total of €1 billion from both financial and industrial investors.

The energy industry and many corporations believe the hydrogen economy needs to build scale at speed to become a key part of the net-zero global economy. Investors have an important role to play, and smart collaboration between financial and strategic stakeholders in hydrogen infrastructure can unlock the potential of the broader hydrogen economy.

The Fund will exclusively finance projects in the production, storage and distribution of clean hydrogen. Projects will aim to achieve strong infrastructure returns and deliver true sustainability for a lasting impact on environment, society and businesses. The Fund will continually seek alliances with industrial companies looking to build the hydrogen energy supply chain and form alliances to grow projects at scale.

By combining deep financial strength and investment rigor with unparalleled knowledge of and access to the hydrogen market and its technology, the Fund is expected to be a catalyst for both the financing and building of hydrogen infrastructure projects. The Fund is led by Pierre Etienne Franc, who was, up to the 31st of March, the vice president of Hydrogen Energy for Air Liquide and co-secretary of the Hydrogen Council.

“Plug Power established the first commercial market for fuel cells and is now building the first green hydrogen generation network across the United States,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “We believe this fund will help accelerate the construction of hydrogen infrastructure globally which will support rapid deployment of fuel cell applications,” he added.

“We are thrilled to see the traction that hydrogen is getting as a key power source in the clean energy transition,” stated Jill Evanko, Chart’s CEO and President. “We believe this fund will be an important step in the acceleration of the buildout of the global hydrogen infrastructure. Why FiveT Hydrogen? We believe the coupling of Pierre-Etienne Franc’s extensive experience in building the hydrogen marketplace with other key players in the industry is a recipe for success.”

“To drive the energy transition forward requires innovative models for collaboration and investment, and new energy frontiers like hydrogen will progress faster when key players come together,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes. “As an energy technology company with almost 60 years’ experience in the hydrogen space, Baker Hughes is pleased to continue our commitment to a net-zero future with our intended investment in FiveT,” he added.

“We are very pleased to receive such interest from these highly respected firms. This confirms that this is absolutely the right time to unlock the hydrogen economy potential for society, investors, policy makers and corporates, alike,” said Pierre Etienne Franc, CEO of FiveT Hydrogen Fund. “We all know that this moment in the hydrogen journey requires a very innovative approach to infrastructure investment. FiveT ambition is indeed to put forward a distinctive fund value proposition for financial and industrial LPs wishing to be the hydrogen infrastructure key players,” he added.

The Fund is expected to close in the third quarter 2021, with first cash contributed by investors by early 2022 and drawn as required for investment over several years.

Source: Renewable Energy