Production of PEM electrolysis stacks in Hamburg Interview with Jessica Kuska, H-TEC Systems

The MAN subsidiary, H-TEC SYSTEMS, is currently constructing its Stack Manufacturing & Development Centre in Hamburg-Rahlstedt, where it intends to build stacks for PEM electrolysers. The ground-breaking ceremony took place in late April 2023 and production is expected to commence next year.

Production of PEM electrolysis stacks in Hamburg
Planned H-Tec Systems Stack Manufacturing & Development Centre in Victoria Park Hamburg (Image: Garbe Industrial Real Estate)

REH: Why did you choose Hamburg as the location for the H-TEC SYSTEMS Stack Manufacturing & Development Centre?

"We chose Hamburg as the location for a number of reasons. The availability of highly qualified specialists in this region is crucial for us. Hamburg is also extremely attractive for our team and our customers, due to its excellent public transport links. The highly supportive and collaborative role of the local authorities was also decisive. Hamburg’s reputation plays a vital role in our planned globalisation. We’re also proud that the business park where we operate has received the coveted DGNB gold certificate and our own commercial building has even been awarded platinum. This highlights our commitment to sustainability and environmental protection."

REH: Can you reveal any details of the production process? How does the automation work? What will the stack output be?

"Our production process is highly automated, based on an automated stacking process. This enables us to efficiently manufacture several thousand stacks per year, with a total potential output of more than 5GW. Automation not only guarantees excellent production capacity, but also the consistent quality and efficiency of our production process."

REH: When will production commence?

"Start of production is scheduled for the first half of 2024."

REH: How many people do you plan to employ? Which job profiles are required?

"We plan to create several hundred jobs at this site. The required job profiles include production specialists, mechatronics engineers, automation technicians and engineers with various specialisms, such as construction, electrochemistry, materials sciences, mechanical engineering and project management."

REH: Which customer base and markets are you targeting for your PEM electrolysers?

"Our PEM electrolysis has huge application potential and is of particular interest for sectors that are difficult to electrify. Hydrogen can be used directly in fuel cell vehicles for climate-neutral transport solutions, which is especially suitable for heavy-duty traffic. Green hydrogen can also be used as synthetic fuel in rail, air and maritime transport or help to decarbonise energy-intensive sectors such as the chemical, glass and steel industries. The technology can also be used in decarbonisation projects across sectors and acts as efficient interim storage for surplus energy from renewable sources."

REH: Do you have space to potentially expand and/or scale production?

"We have already made preparations for the potential expansion and scaling of our production and have reserved space for an automated production line of the next stack generation. We also regard the growth potential in the immediate vicinity of the site as extremely desirable and will carefully examine and evaluate this as and when required."

REH: Would you like to enter into research & development partnerships in Hamburg?

"We are extremely interested in establishing research and development partnerships in Hamburg. Universities, research and education establishments are important partners for us, in order to further develop innovations and technologies, as well as to train future specialists and promote the development of new talent."

About Oliver Schenk

Profilbild zu: Oliver Schenk

I’m responsible for hydrogen marketing and therefore ensure that local projects and events are recognised in the Hamburg metropolitan area and beyond. To help this promising energy source achieve a breakthrough, I support the hydrogen economy with editorial articles, network events, video productions and much more.