The IPO of the Thyssenkrupp hydrogen subsidiary Nucera, which has been announced for a long time, is getting closer. The placement of the shares is planned before the summer break, provided that the market environment plays along, Nucera announced in Dortmund. According to the information, Thyssenkrupp intends to hold a majority stake in its subsidiary in the long term. The company currently holds 66 percent.
The previous minority shareholder Industrie De Nora (34 percent) wants to continue its long-standing partnership with the company. De Nora is an Italian manufacturer of electrochemical technology. The IPO was already planned for 2022, but was postponed due to uncertain market conditions.
Alkaline water electrolysis is to be expanded
With the IPO, Thyssenkrupp Nucera intends to offer primarily newly issued common shares from a capital increase. The proceeds - around 500 million to 600 million euros are expected - are to be used to expand the business with so-called alkaline water electrolysis (AWE) for the climate-neutral production of hydrogen. The company sees great potential for growth there. In water electrolysis, water is split into its components, hydrogen and oxygen, with the help of electricity. If the electricity was previously generated in a climate-neutral manner, for example with wind turbines or solar cells, the hydrogen is called "green". Nucera also builds chlor-alkali electrolysis plants.
"Water electrolysis connects renewable energy sources with a wide range of industries that would be difficult or impossible to decarbonize without green hydrogen," Nucera CEO Werner Ponikwar told journalists. Green hydrogen is a key energy carrier for a CO2-neutral energy system and a sustainable industry. Hydrogen has been produced and consumed in large quantities for many decades, but is produced almost entirely as so-called gray hydrogen, primarily from natural gas. Hydrogen is referred to as "grey" when its production produces carbon dioxide, which escapes into the atmosphere.
Hydrogen demand is expected to increase sevenfold
According to estimates, the annual global demand for hydrogen will increase sevenfold from the current 95 to 100 million tons by 2050, Ponikwar said. In addition, the previously almost entirely fossil-based production of gray hydrogen is to be largely converted to the production of green hydrogen by then.
The additional demand will come from many different sectors. Ponikwar cited industrial sectors such as steel production, refineries and ammonia synthesis as examples, but also energy sectors such as power generation, power storage, heat generation and heavy-duty mobility. Nucera initially wants to sell the plants for the production of green hydrogen, primarily in Europe and the USA. According to Ponikwar, Nucera is also considering building production capacities in the USA.
According to preliminary figures, in the first six months of the 2022/23 financial year Nucera increased its sales by around 74 percent to EUR 306 million compared to the same period last year. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in this period up to the end of March 2023 were a good 13 million euros. The company intends to expand its alkaline water electrolysis business by the 2023/2024 financial year and achieve sales of EUR 600 to 700 million in this business area. At the end of March, Nucera said it was sitting on orders worth around one billion euros from the AWE business alone. The order backlog totaled 1.4 billion euros. Nucera currently employs more than 600 people.