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Online Feature: Exploring the collaborative goals and initiatives of H-TEC SYSTEMS and Bilfinger in Europe

H2Tech (H2T) sat down with Jakob Fenzl (JF), Senior Business Development Manager and Partnership Manager, H-TEC SYSTEMS to discuss their green H2 project with Bilfinger.

H2T: Can you elaborate on the goals of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between H-TEC SYSTEMS and Bilfinger for developing green H2 projects in Europe?

JF: We believe in the power of collaboration between relevant players to drive the H2 economy forward. One main goal of the collaborative efforts between H-TEC SYSTEMS and Bilfinger is to jointly develop standardized and optimized plant concepts, which help reduce overall complexity, risks and cost of projects and thus provide a core value proposition to joint customers. Our non-exclusive collaboration is focused on projects in Europe and allows flexibility with regards to project-specific contractual setups.

H2T: What are the core elements of the collaborative initiative between H-TEC SYSTEMS and Bilfinger, and how do they contribute to the development of large-scale electrolysis projects?

JF: We see that clients who intend to invest in green H2 plants are seeking reliable and trustworthy partners, who can offer pre-engineered, optimized and repeatable plant concepts. With H-TEC SYSTEMS as the proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis supplier (OEM) and Bilfinger as service provider for such industrial plants, we see strong complementary capabilities, which provide a meaningful value-add to our clients’ projects. 

H2T: How do both companies perceive the role of green H2 in transforming the energy market, and why do they believe collaborative approaches are essential in advancing the hydrogen economy?

JF: We are convinced of the pivotal role that green H2 will play in transforming the energy market. We also believe that collaborative approaches among relevant players will be key to advancing the H2 economy as this creates trust in the market, which is one of the key elements for positive investment decisions for projects. As the global demand for green H2 is expected to grow significantly in the coming years and decades, we see quite promising business potential in addressing this market.

H2T: Could you explain the significance of PEM electrolysis technology in decentralized and on-demand H2 production applications, and how it differs from other methods?

JF: Electrolysis is a technology that splits water into H2 and oxygen using an electrical current passed through a special membrane, where this electricity is ideally coming from renewable sources like wind, hydro or solar. We at H-TEC SYSTEMS are convinced of the advantages of PEM technology over other technologies. On the one hand, our PEM electrolyzers already offer one of the highest efficiencies today and there is potential for more in the future. On the other hand, the high operational flexibility and very good part load capabilities make PEM electrolyzers the preferred solution for the integration of intermittent renewable energies into our energy system. The comparably small footprint of PEM electrolyzers also make them very suitable for space-constraint decentralized applications.

H2T: How do clearly defined interfaces and standardized plant concepts benefit all parties involved in large-scale electrolysis projects, and what value do they add to project execution and efficiency?

JF: Large-scale electrolysis projects typically entail a core electrolysis scope, which is covered by an OEM like H-TEC SYSTEMS, and a balance-of-plant scope, for which clients normally engage an EPC/EPCM company or plant integrator. Whilst this seems to be a relatively simple scope split, there are a lot of interdependencies, complexities and interfaces that need to be properly aligned and optimized. By working out these details beforehand, we can create a competitive edge and add substantial value for clients as risks, costs and project timelines can be reduced.