(Yicai Global) Sept. 7 -- Chinese coke processor Meijing Energy Group is teaming up with a Guangdong investment firm to create a venture capital company for the hydrogen energy sector as it looks to explore applications for the eco-friendly fuel source.
Shanxi-based Meijin and Guangdong Hongyun High-Tech Investment plan to set up the new firm and invest in both upstream and downstream companies to promote the autonomoy and industrialization of fuel cell technology, Meijin said in a statement yesterday. The coke maker will invest CNY67.5 million (USD10 million) for a 45 percent share of the venture, it added.
The Guangdong provincial government recently rolled out new policies to create a favorable environment for the agglomeration and development of the hydrogen energy industry, Meijin said. It believes this will help the new company garner influence in the Greater Bay Area, which includes Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
The move also follows Meijin’s acquisition of new-energy busmaker Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacturing, which is southern China’s largest production base for hydrogen-fuel cell buses.
The firm is a large-scale coke producer and generates hydrogen-rich coke oven gas during the production process. It once said that it and nearby coke makers generate enough low-cost hydrogen a year to power 10,000 hydrogen fuel cell trucks for 12 months.
Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have not quite garnered the same attention as electric plug-in and hybrid vehicles, which received massive government subsidies and turned China into the world’s largest new-energy vehicle market by a huge margin. But it may be too soon to write them off yet, as Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei believes they are an important part of NEV sales.
"We will motivate energy enterprises and carmakers to increase investment in the supply of hydrogen energy, fuel cell vehicles and other areas to drive the development of the entire industrial chain, and tackle common technology bottlenecks," state-run China Daily quoted Miao as saying in February at a conference that marked the formation of an industry innovation alliance for hydrogen energy and fuel cells.
Editor: James Boynton