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John Cockerill to raise 230m€ of equity from strategic partner SLB and several investors to accelerate the deployment of its electrolyzers strategy

John Cockerill and its subsidiary John Cockerill Hydrogen, announced the signing of binding commitments by SLB, a global energy technology company.

John Cockerill and its subsidiary John Cockerill Hydrogen announced the signing of binding commitments by SLB, a global energy technology company, SFPIM and Wallonie Entreprendre, two leading Belgian public investment institutions, and international industrial-oriented family offices to participate in a €230m capital increase of John Cockerill Hydrogen. SLB is acting as lead investor in John Cockerill Hydrogen's capital funding round, targeted for completion by the end of June 2024.

Green hydrogen, a low-carbon energy carrier, offers a viable pathway for advancing decarbonization by replacing traditional fossil fuel-based grey hydrogen for various industrial sectors, including chemicals, heavy transport, and hard-to-abate industries, such as steel. Pressurized alkaline electrolyzers are a proven technology to economically produce green hydrogen at scale.

This fundraising is a major step to support John Cockerill Hydrogen’s strategy including the rolling out of gigafactories in key locations. The company is investing in expanding its global presence through a multi-local strategy by establishing electrolyzer production and service hubs in the USA, India, and the UAE. Similar investments are being considered in collaboration with major partners, in Morocco and Vietnam.

SLB’s investment will enable the creation of a strategic partnership between John Cockerill and SLB aimed at accelerating the global development and manufacturing of John Cockerill Hydrogen’s next generation pressurized alkaline electrolyzers. In conjunction with the creation of Rely, a joint venture between John Cockerill and Technip Energies announced in November 2023, these strategic partnerships are designed to reinforce John Cockerill’s technological leadership in pressurized alkaline technology which is crucial given the scale of the challenges.

François Michel, CEO of John Cockerill said:

“We are thrilled to join forces with SLB in this groundbreaking partnership and to be backed by leading investors with a strong complementarity,”

“Combining our expertise in electrolyzer technology with SLB’s global reach and manufacturing and service know-how will further accelerate the adoption of our solutions to produce green hydrogen at scale. Our companies are remarkably complementary and share a strong commitment to technology and to delivering tangible solutions for decarbonization. Getting the support of the Belgian institutions such as SFPIM and WE as well as established industrial players demonstrates the commitment and potential of our project.”

Gavin Rennick, President of SLB’s New Energy business said:

“Access to proven low-carbon hydrogen production technologies is vital for industrials to decarbonize their operations and for our world to meet crucial net-zero targets,”

“Through this collaboration, we will combine John Cockerill Hydrogen’s proven track record in alkaline electrolyzer technology with SLB’s research and development, technology industrialization, global market presence and manufacturing capabilities to accelerate deployment of innovative low-carbon hydrogen production technologies worldwide.”

Koen Van Loo, CEO of SFPIM said:

“At SFPIM, we are committed to support innovative and sustainable technologies that drive the energy transition. Our investment in John Cockerill Hydrogen underscores that goal. This strategic investment not only enhances Belgium's position in the global hydrogen economy but also supports industrial decarbonization worldwide. It also aligns with our mission to foster economic growth and environmental sustainability through impactful investments,”

“We are delighted to convert our bridge in John Cockerill Hydrogen with this major fundraising,”

Olivier Bouchat, member of the Board of Directors of Wallonie Entreprendre said:

“This investment fits in perfectly with our mission to promote innovation and sustainable growth in Wallonia. By supporting a world leader in green hydrogen technology, we are not only contributing to the decarbonization of key industrial sectors, we are also strengthening our region's position around a new structuring industrial sector that creates value, while giving it significant international scope.”

Following this capital raise, John Cockerill will keep a large majority in John Cockerill Hydrogen.

Lazard served as financial advisor and Linklaters as legal counsel to John Cockerill in relation to the transaction.

Source:  John Cockerill

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