Israeli startup to supply hydrogen tech to Japan’s Sumitomo Corp
An Israeli company has signed a strategic agreement with a major Japanese conglomerate to supply its technology to produce hydrogen, a gas widely seen as the green power source of the future.
Caesarea-based company H2Pro will work with Tokyo-headquartered Sumitomo Corporation on an agreement worth $250 million by 2030, according to an announcement last week.
H2Pro has the sole license to produce an electrolyzer developed by the Grand Technion Energy Program at the Technion University in Haifa.
Hydrogen does not exist by itself in nature but is bound up with other molecules to form water (hydrogen and oxygen) or hydrocarbons (hydrogen and carbon) found in oil and natural gas.
Using an electrolyzer, hydrogen can be isolated from water. If the electricity used to do this comes from renewable sources such as the sun, the hydrogen is labeled green.
Storing and transporting hydrogen in gaseous form is a challenge, not least because it takes up a lot of space.
Therefore, it is often combined with nitrogen to form ammonia, which, as a liquid, is more condensed.
Again, if renewable sources are used to generate the relatively small amount of electricity used in the chemical process to create ammonia, it can also be labeled green.
Sumitomo Corporation is interested in producing and selling green ammonia, which has the potential not only as a carbon-free fertilizer in agriculture but also as a source of electricity and green fuel for hard-to-decarbonize industries such as shipping. The Japanese firm plans to integrate the electrolyzer technology in 2025.
H2Pro is currently building a 0.4-kilomegawatt pilot project capable of producing 200 kilograms of hydrogen per day.
Its factory in an industrial zone near Nazareth Israel will start producing the first commercially available electrolyzers in 2024.
According to H2Pro business development director Rotem Arad, Sumitomo will be involved in the pilot phase to learn the technology, providing engineering expertise and even raw materials such as nickel, which it has mined.
The conglomerate’s businesses cover a wide range of fields, including energy, chemicals, minerals, metal products and electronics.
“As H2Pro grows from a technology start-up to a commercial-scale manufacturer, a partnership like this with Sumitomo Corporation is invaluable,” said Talmon Marco, CEO of H2Pro.
Yoshihiko Ichikawa, general manager of Sumitomo Corporation’s hydrogen business division, said: “Green hydrogen will play a vital role in Japan’s decarbonisation strategy. At Sumitomo Corporation, we are preparing for this transition by working to use the most efficient methods of green hydrogen production in our clean energy. [project] pipeline. Our partnership with H2Pro furthers this vision.
In November, H2Pro signed a strategic agreement to supply green hydrogen with Moroccan renewable energy developer Gaia Energy
The company also has a 200-megawatt partnership with Doral Energy and a factory in the