"We are both proud and incredibly humbled to have secured what will be one of the largest capital investments in an early-stage Norwegian tech company in recent years”, says Thomas Reinertsen, CEO of Hydrogen Mem-Tech.
The company has developed a technology where clean hydrogen is produced from bio and natural gas, while CO2 and other residual gases are captured and can then be utilized or sequestered. Palladium is a hydrogen selective metal, and the HMT membrane technology builds on more than 20 years of research SINTEF research and has been extensively tested and piloted in the field over several years.
Just one year into its commercial phase, the Trondheim based company has gained both attention and fresh capital from major Norwegian and international players.
A unique combination of investors
“We are very pleased to have secured investors with a strong mix of industrial and financial expertise. I´m certain that our new investors will help deploy our technology out into the world. I´m also extra proud that so many of those who invested in the technology in our early days still are with us. This is an important milestone for the company and the team is ready to live up to the expectations.” said Thor Egil Five, Chairman of the board at Hydrogen Mem-Tech.
“We are delighted to have led the investment round for Hydrogen Mem-Tech with a strong group of co-investors. As an established investor in the hydrogen value chain, we understand the exciting potential of this technology to unlock decarbonization opportunities across hard to abate industry and mobility.” said Andrew Hinkly, Managing Partner at AP Ventures.
Yara´s investment company for start-ups, ‘Yara Growth Ventures’, are among the new investors.
“We believe that this promising technology developed in Norway will contribute to trigger new Norwegian industry and help increase the use of hydrogen and ammonia. This is one of several investments we plan to make in Norway”, says Stian Nygaard, Investment Director at Yara Growth Ventures.
“As a company, we have an ambition to accelerate the hydrogen economy. HMT’s technology enables the adoption of hydrogen and ammonia and fuels the progress society needs for a cleaner energy future. We are excited to help them take the next steps and explore the many potential applications across industries”, said Bilal Ahmad, Venture Principal at Shell Ventures.
“For Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures this investment into HMT is very strategic. Hydrogen and carbon capture technologies are of the highest importance to Aramco, and we look forward to working with HMT to use their unique gas separation membranes and realizing the benefits they bring”, says Richard Riggs, Investment Director at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures.
“We are very happy to be able to partner with this highly respected and professional venture investor group to bring HMT one step closer to commercial success. The technology behind the technology is licensed from SINTEF and our investment in HMT supports our key mandate - Technology for a better society, where we invest in companies with SINTEF based technology.” says Asle Jostein Hovda, Investment Director at SINTEF Venture.
Important investment in emission-free energy sources
Hydrogen Mem-Tech's unique technology can be used on both large and small installations and has the advantage of being space efficient with low operating costs. In a world where the need for rapid conversion to emission-free energy sources is enormous, the company's technology can represent a very important contribution. The new investors make it possible for the company to realize what was previously a five-year plan over the next two years.
"Our ambition is to spearhead the green shift. With a solid capital base and several of the world's leading players behind us, we want to contribute to position Trondheim as a force to be reckoned with in the field of green technology. We are now ramping up our operations and are currently recruiting to create a strong and competent team within hydrogen technology", says Reinertsen.
Public funding a key enabler
HMT has been a beneficiary of Norwegian public funding agencies who have supported the company´s growth and thanks their ongoing support.
“Hydrogen Mem-Tech has received support from Gassnova, Innovation Norway and the Research Council of Norway in the development of the technology. Through public funding we have secured important support in commercializing our technology. Now we are currently conducting research into whether the technology can transform ammonia to hydrogen, and thereby help solve a challenge associated with transporting hydrogen. If we succeed, this will represent a solid break through, which can really accelerate the green shift”, says Reinertsen.
Through the CLIMIT-program (a program supporting development of CCS-technology) Gassnova has supported the development of the palladium silver membrane technology from lab to piloting in several projects.
“To see the development of the technology’s maturity throughout the years has been both interesting and exciting. Hydrogen Mem-Tech is a prime example on how focused collaboration between industry and research can secure rapid commercialization. In the next leg of the journey, it is important to show how the technology can be utilized in several ways to advance the green shift”, says Jørild Svalestuen, from the CLIMIT program.
About AP Ventures
AP Ventures is headquartered in London and manages venture capital funds with a global mandate to invest in pioneering new technologies and businesses which aim to solve global challenges such as renewable energy integration, resource scarcity and a growing population. AP Ventures has been investing in the hydrogen industry since 2013 and is recognized as a leading venture capital fund across this value chain. AP Ventures manages $395 million of assets on behalf of 12 LPs and presently has a portfolio of 19 technology companies across the hydrogen value chain. AP Ventures is led by Andrew Hinkly (Managing Partner) and Kevin Eggers (Partner). More info at AP Ventures website
About Yara Growth Ventures
Yara Growth Ventures is the corporate venture capital team for Yara International ASA, a world leading crop nutrition and agriculture company headquartered in Norway. The team invests in startups and in venture capital funds which sit at the intersection of science and technology in the food and agriculture industry.
About Shell Ventures
Shell Ventures helps companies reach the next level. With major offices in Europe, the USA, India and China, Shell Ventures invests in innovative companies from seed- to late-stage to further the development of solutions and technologies that have the potential to accelerate the energy and mobility transformation.
About Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) is the corporate venturing program of Aramco Ventures a subsidiary of Aramco, the world’s leading fully integrated energy and chemicals enterprise. Headquartered in Dhahran with offices in North America, Europe and Asia, SAEV’s mission is to invest globally in start-up and high growth companies with technologies of strategic importance to its parent company Aramco. For more information, visit SAEV's website.
About SINTEF Venture V
SINTEF is one of Europe's largest research institutes with multidisciplinary expertise in science and technology. SINTEF Venture V is an early-stage investment fund focused on the commercialization of research results. The fund has a capital base of NOK 500 million provided by SINTEF, the European Investment Fund and a number of private institutional Norwegian investors. The European Investment Fund (EIF) is the EU's instrument for investing in equity funds in the EEA area. The investment in SINTEF Venture V, which is EIF's largest investment in Norway, has been made possible through funds from InnovFin Equity and financial instruments under the EU's Horizon 2020.