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26 May, 2022 - 15:47 By Tony Quested

Johnson Matthey fortifies green hydrogen play with €20m German deal

Johnson Matthey has expanded its presence in the green hydrogen marketplace as it optimises its sustainable technologies credentials.

JM has taken a stake in German AEM electrolyser pioneer Enapter and will invest  €20 m illion (representing 4.31 per cent) in the business.

AEM is a next generation electrolyser technology that promises to drive down the cost of green hydrogen towards a point where it becomes competitive with fossil fuels.

The partnership will include collaborating on the joint development of advanced components for Enapter's AEM stacks. Specialised catalysts will also be supplied, recognising Johnson Matthey's undisputed expertise in catalysis.

Both companies are committed to supporting the transition to net zero. Enapter's highly efficient standardised and modular AEM electrolysers allow green hydrogen production from kW to MW scale at lower associated costs for various applications, including electricity storage (residential and industrial), production of synthetic gas or methane (power-to-gas), mobility (hydrogen refuelling and e-fuels) and industrial use.

Johnson Matthey and Enapter will jointly investigate opportunities for the recycling of production scraps and components from end-of-life products, recognising Johnson Matthey's competitive advantage in offering closed loop solutions.

Liam Condon, CEO of Johnson Matthey, said: “Our ambition is to become the global leader in green hydrogen technologies and to diversify our technology base in this booming market, both in the electrolyser and fuel cell markets. 

“This partnership is at the heart of our strategy as we focus our resources on growth areas targeted at climate change solutions. Working with Enapter is a great opportunity for us to accelerate and further expand in green hydrogen and deliver on our vision for a cleaner, healthier world.”

The deal came as JM entered into an agreement for the sale of part of its Battery Materials business to Australia’s EV Metals Group, a global battery chemicals and technology business anchored in Perth.

The sale includes Johnson Matthey's assets at the Battery Technology Centre in Oxford & Battery Technology Centre and pilot plant in Billingham, a research centre in Moosburg, Germany and the partly constructed site in Konin, Poland. 

The sale does not include Johnson Matthey's LFP facility in Canada, which will be acquired by Nano One®, a Canadian CleanTech innovator in battery materials.

The Battery Materials business will be sold for a total consideration of £50 million in cash and Johnson Matthey will receive a minority equity stake in EV Metals.

JM sales were five per cent up to £3.8 billion for the year to March 31 – driven by a partial recovery in Clean Air and good performance in Efficient Natural Resources. Underlying operating profit of £553m was up 21 per cent.

Chief executive Liam Condon said a new transformation programme would deliver £150 million annualised cost savings by 2024/25, enhance decision-making pace and exploit synergy potential between sectors.

• Photograph courtesy of Johnson Matthey.

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