German electrolyser maker bags more than €500m in equity, loans, and government grants




Sunfire claims to be one of the ‘best capitalised’ manufacturers in the green hydrogen industry


Germany’s Sunfire has announced €215m ($233m) in its equity fundraising round, along with a €100m loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and €200m in previously announced but untapped grant funding.


The manufacturer had last August secured €169m from the federal government via the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI), as well as €60m in 2022 to build out automated manufacturing for its solid-oxide and pressurised alkaline electrolysers as part of the H2Giga consortium.


Sunfire boasts that the combination of the equity, loan and grants it has now secured make it one of the best-capitalised electrolyser makers in the industry today. For comparison, fellow European manufacturer Nel had also claimed that title in a recent results call, citing cash reserves of NKr3.4bn ($322m), or €296.6m.


The German company had in March 2022 secured €195m in its previous financing round, with the capital raise before that closing at €109m. Reporting by local press suggested at the time that the firm’s valuation could exceed €1bn.


The latest €215m funding round — still subject to regulatory approvals — saw new investment from LGT Private Bank, GIC, Ahren Innovation Capital, and Carbon Equity, as well as increased investment from existing shareholders such as Lightrock, Planet First Partners, Carbon Direct Capital, the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, and Blue Earth Capital.


Meanwhile, the EIB loan comes amid an increasing political focus from the EU on bolstering its domestic electrolyser manufacturing sector, amid the threat that low-cost Chinese equipment will squeeze these firms out of the European market.


“The EU is rightly determined to future-proof its industry,” commented Sunfire CEO Nils Aldag. “This requires a two-pronged approach which helps energy-intensive industries decarbonise and improve the productivity and resilience of its operations, while supporting industrial clean-tech players like Sunfire to be competitive on the global stage.”


He added: “The EIB credit demonstrates that Sunfire can also successfully access the venture debt market. Alongside continued and growing investor backing, it is giving us the confidence to scale the production of the next generation of electrolysers. Investments like this help move ‘Made in Europe’ from an ambition to a reality, and I am delighted about this vote of confidence in our business.”


Sunfire aims to install “several gigawatts” of electrolysis capacity throughout Europe by 2030.


Last month, the manufacturer installed one of the largest electrolysers in Europe, a 20MW pressurised alkaline system, for a green hydrogen and synthetic methane project in Finland. And in August last year, the company announced it would supply 100MW of capacity to an unnamed European oil refinery by 2026.


While Sunfire currently only makes pressurised alkaline and solid-oxide electrolysers, in April 2023 it announced that it would explore the development of anion exchange membrane (AEM) equipment.


However, while the German company had announced last year plans to open a plant with 500MW of annual manufacturing capacity before the end of 2023, it has still not yet cut the ribbon on this facility.



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