Saerbeck in the western German state of North-Rhine Westphalia is a modest-sized town of 7200 inhabitants, but it’s about to become a very big address in the hydrogen sector. That’s after Italian-Thai company Enapter announced it will begin mass production of its modular Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) electrolyzers there.
Construction on the facility, which will cost up to EUR 100 million, will begin in early 2021. Enapter says that its modular systems are capable of producing green hydrogen at prices competitive with or even lower than fossil fuels. Electrolyzer modules currently cost EUR 9000 per unit, but the company predicts that prices will decrease in future. When fully operational, the Saerback plant is projected to produce 100,000 units a year and create as many as 300 jobs for highly qualified employees.
The German government recently announced its National Hydrogen Strategy, which will see the country invest at least EUR nine billion in the environmentally friendly technology and aims to make Germany a world-leader in the sector. That commitment was one major factor that led Enapter to seek assistance from Germany Trade & Invest to expand to the country.
“Starting in mid-2019, GTAI helped us solicit offers from more than 130 locations around Germany and systematically compare them,” says Enapter Head of Strategy Thomas Chrometzka. “Other regions were also very interested and engages, so our decision was extremely difficult. We were very enthusiastic about the opportunities and resources on offer in Germany.”
“The National Hydrogen Strategy was only announced this year, but we can already see the first innovative industry players entering Germany as a manufacturing base and a huge potential market,” says GTAI energy industry expert Tobias Rothacher, who has supported the project from the very beginning. “Germany’s record achievements in and further strengthened commitment to renewable energies and green infrastructure are the cornerstones for a prospective hydrogen market environment over the next decades.”