Umoe Advanced Composites AS (UAC), a Norway-based supplier of fibreglass pressure vessels and transportation modules for hydrogen, biogas and CNG, today (3rd May) announced that it has entered a joint venture (JV) with a Chinese investment fund, Yield Capital to build up a large-scale production facility in China.
The joint venture aims to develop a production plant in China with an annual capacity of 12,000 pressure vessels. The plant would supply the pressure vessels not just to the Chinese market but other parts of Asia to benefit from the growing hydrogen market.
Yield Capital is the investment fund of Beijing Tsinghua Industrial R&D Institute, a part of China’s leading technology university, Tsinghua University. The investment amount has remained undisclosed and earmarked for establishing the joint venture company in China. The other owners are Yield Capital’s renminbi-fund in cooperation with the Chinese industrial group Befar Group. UAC will hold the majority stack of 50.001%.
The Chinese companies Hypower and Binhua Hydrogen Energy, a subsidiary of Befar Group, have already placed a US$ 60 million order for hydrogen pressure tanks conditioned to the establishment of the joint venture company and the production facility, as well as product approval in China.
Oyvind Hamre, CEO of UAC, said, “The hydrogen market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and we are well-positioned to become a major player in important markets.”
UAC specialises in developing and manufacturing pressure tanks using fibreglass materials, which is substantially economical than carbon fibre. Fibreglass based tanks also save on transport when compared to hydrogen tanks made from steel. UAC also operate a production plant in Kristiansand, Norway, where it plans to ramp up the production capacity from 1,000 to 4,000 pressure tanks annually.