Paul Wurth becomes investor and technology partner of Sunfire
by David Fleschen
Sunfire GmbH, developer and manufacturer of high efficient electrolysers and fuel cells, secured 25 million euros venture capital in a series C financing round. The Luxembourg-based technology company Paul Wurth S.A. joined as the new lead investor. The company is part of SMS group, the worldwide leading provider of equipment and plants for the metals industry.
Thanks to the injection of fresh capital and with the support of a renowned partner, Sunfire will implement as from 2019 commercial multi-megawatt projects applying high-temperature electrolysis and Power-to-Liquid technology. For Paul Wurth, this partnership means a significant step in view of new technological developments leading to green steelmaking as well as an opportunity to enter the growing e-Fuels market.
The technologies developed by Sunfire allow producing climate-neutral fuels and gases for sectors, which today can hardly do without fossil energy sources, such as heavy load transportation, aviation, steel industry or chemical industry. Green hydrogen is produced based on green electricity in an efficient high-temperature electrolyser, using waste heat generated for example by industrial processes.
In the latest product version, high-temperature electrolysis can not only reactivate water, but also CO2 and thus transform, in the most direct way, combustion off-gases into clean feedstock, replacing fossil oil or natural gas. The produced hydrogen can be used directly or can be transformed in further process steps into the CO2-neutral oil substitute e-Crude. In refineries, it can be further processed into e-gasoline, e-diesel and especially e-kerosene for aviation. Presently, Sunfire is building the first high-temperature electrolyser at megawatt scale.
„Thanks to our so far largest financing round we pave the way for the industrialisation of our technology validated in pilot plants. We experience daily how the interest for our solutions for energy transition is growing,” says Carl Berninghausen, CEO of Sunfire. For example, Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH is counting on green hydrogen in a successful pilot project. “Therewith we have already set a signal in the steel sector. With Paul Wurth joining the venture, we become a valuable partner for energy intensive industries. This milestone means for us an important step towards an industrial company, and we will now be able to expand our pure product business to service activities also in the field of projects.”