Thyssenkrupp Nucera sees 69% increase in hydrogen electrolyser sales 'despite difficult market conditions'



German manufacturer Thyssenkrupp Nucera saw sales of its alkaline electrolysers increase by 69% in the first half of its 2023-24 financial year (which started in September), compared to the same period a year earlier, but low margins and a fall in sales of chlor-alkali electrolysers contributed to a half-year net loss of €4.4m.



The company recorded first-half alkaline-electrolyser sales worth €215.8m, compared to €128m in the first half of 2022-23, but sales of chlor-alkali electrolysers — which convert salt water into caustic soda, chlorine and hydrogen (and have higher profit margins) — fell from €178m to €160.5m.


However, the company’s order intake of alkaline electrolysers slumped by 86% in the second quarter — from €82m in Q2 2022-23 to just €11.6m — although this was somewhat offset by a better performance in Q1 2023-24, when €109.2m of alkaline orders were taken. But the €120.8m intake figure for the first half of 2023-24 was still 26% lower than the €163.4m taken in the same period a year earlier.


Thyssenkrupp Nucera cited “difficult conditions in the market for green hydrogen”, and pointed out that continuing uncertainty in the sector was delaying final investment decisions, which in turn was having a negative impact on new orders.


“We are currently seeing a discrepancy in Europe and North America between originally planned projects and final investment decisions on the necessary electrolysis capacities,” explained Thyssenkrupp Nucera’s head of green hydrogen, Christoph Noeres.


“Although the necessary progress on the regulatory side is evident, many investors are waiting for the regulatory framework to be finalized. This situation is causing a level of uncertainty in the market and is therefore dampening investment momentum.”


The company said that H2 Green Steel’s postponement of the “full notice to proceed” until the third quarter “also had a negative impact on the order intake trend”.


However, Thyssenkrupp Nucera had recently seen new alkaline-electrolyser orders from Cepsa in Spain (300MW), Abel Energy in Australia (260MW) and an unnamed company in Europe (more than 100MW).


Three green hydrogen projects — the 2.2GW under-construction Neom facility in Saudi Arabia, Unigel’s 60MW project in Brazil, and H2 Green Steel's 700MW project in Sweden.


“The market for green hydrogen continues to have very high growth potential,” said Thyssenkrupp Nucera chief financial officer Arno Pfannschmidt.


“With our strong financial position and our highly efficient electrolysis technology, we at Thyssenkrupp Nucera are very well positioned to exploit this potential. We therefore expect incoming orders to grow more strongly again.”


The company is still expecting alkaline electrolyser sales in the range of €500m-550m for the full 2023-24 financial year, which would be a major increase from the €323m of sales recorded in the previous financial year.


However, Thyssenkrupp Nucera adds: “The necessary start-up costs for the implementation of the growth strategy and the scaling of the AWE [alkaline water electrolyser] business for the long-term and sustainable improvement of competitiveness and profitability will probably necessitate a negative Ebit in the mid-double-digit-million-Euro range in the 2023/24 financial year.”


Source: HydrogenInsight


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