How Grenoble HRS benefits (already) from accelerating the hydrogen strategy

A year and a half after his explosive IPO that allowed him to cash out 97.3 million euros, the industrial pipe maker converted to a manufacturer of hydrogen stations HRS continues to change dimensions. After recording a turnover of 10.5 million euros for the financial year 2020/2021, the Isérois region marks a new growth of + 62% (to 17 million euros) during its new financial year 2021. 2022 .

Results that include a slightly positive Ebidta (at € 0.4 million) in a context of strong investments for growth, as well as a gross margin that went from 38.3% to 41.3% on charging stations, with a liquidity now set at 34.7 million euros.

From now on, the part destined to supply the hydrogen stations largely takes precedence over its historic industrial piping business, which represents only € 2 million in revenues. Still on the growth side, the turnover achieved in the station segment even brings growth of + 82% compared to the previous year.

And on this point the surge should not stop immediately: from an order book published last year to 43.1 million euros in anticipation of the next five years, the amount of committed orders reached 60 million euros in the same period. A figure to which we could still add all the files in which HRS would currently be “in the short list”, to reach a potential endowment of 105 million euros by 2026, and more generally of 750 million euros if it were extended to “commercial prospecting pipeline”, emphasizes the manufacturer.

These results testify to the strong acceleration of the hydrogen market, a sector whose development is still mainly driven by the large public investment plans announced in France and Europe. Because by now 5.3 billion aid has been disbursed, through a European Hy2Tech IPCEII for the sector, to support 41 projects carried out by 35 companies. With national versions, for example, Spain plans to develop 150 hydrogen charging stations over the next few years, compared to 40 in Italy, or even 10 in France.

“It should also be noted that in the last two years the supply of manufacturers has increased considerably. Now there are almost 80 companies offering hydrogen vehicles, all segments combined”, explains Adamo. Screnci, Deputy CEO of Hydrogen Refueling Solutionswhile promptly recognizing that the “weak link” in this sector remains the charging stations.

61 stations ordered, 5 delivered

Because the entire ecosystem knows this: for hydrogen mobility to develop, it will not only be necessary to reconcile the massive deployment of recharging infrastructures with the production of carbon-free hydrogen. All this by developing a forced march industrialization plan for the major producers in the H2 sector.

“In terms of stations, the plans undertaken by the States allow us to speak of hundreds or even thousands of stations to come”, adds Adamo Screnci.

HRS knows something about it since it has already started its industrialization in small steps: out of 61 stations ordered, the Isère department has delivered 5 to different customers (TotalEnergies, Plug Power, the union of energy from Vendée (SyDev), HyGo in Vannes and Hympulsion in Saint-Priest) and is confident about the goal of 100 stations signed by 2025.

A market in which HRS in Grenoble already holds a market share of 20% and which hopes to grow with the evolution of the market.

His strategy: multiply partnerships with various rings of the ecosystem (Gaussin, Hype taxi, etc.) as he prepares for the acceleration of his production through a unique tool, which will be embodied by his new plant in Champagnier, scheduled for come out of the ground in 2023.

A factory in Champagnier (Isère) for 2023

The declared objective of this new plant: to allow it to satisfy the volume requests, tripling the production capacity to reach the 180 stations produced per year.

A site that, according to its designer, will be “unique in Europe” in terms of production capacity, and will also have a 2,000 m2 test bench used to test new technical components in order to “to develop the components of tomorrow “.

Out of a total investment of 30 million euros expected by 2025, around 21 million euros will be allocated to the new building.

While the work is already well underway (with a ldelivery of the production center scheduled for early 2023 therefore offices at the end of the first half of 2023), the design of the project envisages an endowment of bank loans (4 million euros), equity (5 million) as well as a balance of 9 million euros which will have to be financed with aid and subsidies still in the educational phase.

But the Isérois region does not pretend to be worried: also in the next year the station builder aims at a + 50% growth in turnover by June 2023 (or 25 million euros) and confirms the goal of reaching 85 million. by June 2025 In the meantime, the workforce has already doubled to 78 employees and about thirty places still open.