Thyssenkrupp touts hidden hydrogen gem in revival of former conglomerate’s fortunes

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A small subsidiary of the sick German group ThyssenKrupp has benefited from a 10-fold increase in orders for green hydrogen technology, the company said, estimated to be worth up to € 6 billion. Confirmed the plan to float the unit.

Uhde Chlorine Engineers, a joint venture with an Italian family-owned company in which ThyssenKrupp owns a majority stake, is one of several businesses initially reserved for sale as the previous conglomerate continues. was. Shrink Great loss over the years.

However, the surge in demand for green solutions has led to a surge in orders for the company’s water electrolyzers, which can use renewable energy to produce hydrogen.

Previously a small niche in a 99-year-old business specializing in the production of chlorine gas and caustic soda, the hydrogen electrolyzer was added to the company’s lineup in 2010 and is worth € 377 million. It accounted for only 89 million euros of the order. Last fiscal year.

By the end of 2021, ThyssenKrupp said the technology had an backlog of around € 900 million, thanks in part to Shell’s planned contract with the big city of Neom in Saudi Arabia. The group said it would rename the unit to Nucera.

“A few years ago, no one was investing in green hydrogen. We were investing only in renewable energy,” Denis Krude, CEO of the unit, told the Financial Times. But, for example, the renewable energy stored in batteries is “limited reach,” he says, and hydrogen can be transported.

The recent surge in green hydrogen was driven by “low prices for renewable energy not necessarily in Europe, but in other parts of the world,” he added, adding that the high prices of carbon dioxide emissions produced by fossil fuel energy. I emphasized. Expensive hydrogen technology will be needed to make it widely available in Nusera’s domestic market.

Crude told investors Thursday that Nusera is also aiming for a break-even point on a pre-tax earnings basis for fiscal year 2023/4.

After hitting a record low in 2020, ThyssenKrupp’s share price has risen steadily, following a sharp decline for several years, almost one-fifth of the same period last year.

Since then sale With a € 17 billion lift and escalator business to the Private Equity Consortium in 2020, the company is having a hard time finding a buyer for its deficit steel business, which operates Europe’s largest steel plant in Duisburg, Germany. A Proposed transaction Britain’s tycoon Sanjeve Gupta collapsed in February last year after failing to raise money.

However, last year it generated a pre-tax profit of € 116 million after falling to a loss of € 820 million in the last 12 months, supported by rising demand for steel as China’s cheap imports declined. It was recorded.

Activist investor Cevian lineFirst revealed its investment in ThyssenKrupp in 2013 and promoted the dissolution of the conglomerate, but in November, [was] It bears fruit. ”

The emergence of hidden value in Nucera’s hydrogen business has raised expectations for similar discoveries at Essen-based companies.

“Nucera is a truly unique asset in our portfolio,” said Volkmer Dinstur, who oversees the sale of lifts and is currently responsible for the sale of many small ThyssenKrupp businesses. ..

“But if you look at the ThyssenKrupp portfolio business by business, you’re sure you’ll find other businesses that are probably undervalued within that group.”

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