Hydrogen Utopia Intl - Renewable energy, hydrogen strategy & loan update
RNS Number : 6349C
Hydrogen Utopia International PLC
24 February 2022
 

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 24 February 2022

Hydrogen Utopia International PLC

 (the 'Company' or 'HUI')

 

European renewable energy developments, Poland's hydrogen strategy and HUI loan applications for plants in Poland

 

Hydrogen Utopia International PLC (AQSE:HUI), a company pioneering non-recyclable waste plastics to hydrogen technology, is pleased to update the market on anticipated developments in the European renewable energy legislative framework, Poland's national hydrogen strategy and the interaction with national and local loan and grant funding and the EU's "Just Transition Fund", which was set up to help fossil fuel dependent communities transition towards climate neutrality.

 

Following the European Commission's amendment to its renewable energy directive issued on 14th July 2021, there has been a growing recognition of the need to transition towards a "net zero" economy across Europe rather than seeking zero emission solutions to the exclusion of all else. Among other developments, this is expected to lead to certification schemes that help achieve both energy and climate targets, one of which is a low carbon hydrogen standard that will apply across the EU.

 

The Polish Hydrogen Strategy was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 2nd November 2021 and reflects this move toward acceptance of "low carbon" hydrogen as a valid pathway to "net zero". This gives recognition to alternative means of producing hydrogen alongside conventionally produced hydrogen ("high emission" hydrogen) and "renewable" hydrogen (defined as hydrogen produced from electrolysis powered by renewable electricity or the steam-methane reforming of biogas). The HUI Board considers that this development provides HUI with a significant opportunity as it substantially increases the market potential for the Company's products.

 

In its AQSE Admission Document of 29th December 2021, HUI announced that it had, through its Polish subsidiary, applied for a PLN88m (approximately €19.4m) loan from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in Poland and had reached the second stage of a two-stage application process (the "NFEP Loan"). The programme under which the NFEP Loan was sought was stated to be targeted at "non-emissive" technologies, but HUI was strongly encouraged by the administering authorities to apply for and proceed with the NFEP Loan application and was moved to the second stage of the process after full disclosure of the nature of its plant process.

 

Following the second stage of the NFEP Loan application, HUI has had a number of further discussions with the administering authorities for the NFEP Loan. Given the anticipated moves in Europe towards a low carbon hydrogen standard, HUI has been advised to apply instead in the second quarter of 2022 for a loan under a new loan programme administered by the same authorities aimed at both non-emissive and low emission technologies and to withdraw the current NFEP Loan application.

 

A new loan application has the added advantage that it should not preclude HUI taking advantage of other substantial grant sources, such as the EU's Just Transition Fund, whereas it has become apparent that the NFEP Loan would have been categorised as a "State Aid" grant and therefore would have precluded any further national or EU funding for HUI projects in Poland. HUI has been assured that a new loan application would not be regarded as State Aid and therefore would not prejudice any EU or national government level funding.

 

Aleksandra Binkowska, CEO of HUI, commented:

"Poland's embracing of the concept of low carbon emission hydrogen recognises the reality of climate neutrality transition and the definitional and real-world challenges of achieving true zero emissions."

 

"There is no doubt that our technology is carbon negative compared to incinerating waste plastic and accelerates the transition to a circular economy and consequently is of significant importance in helping transition Europe towards net zero."

 

For more information about the Company, please refer to our website: www.hydrogenutopia.eu

For further information please contact:

Hydrogen Utopia International PLC

Aleksandra Binkowska/Guy Peters                

+44 20 3811 8770     

Alfred Henry Corporate Finance Limited (AQSE Corporate Adviser)

Jon Isaacs                                                       

+44 20 3772 0021                                                                                                                            

Novum Securities Limited (Broker)                                                                    

Jon Belliss/Colin Rowbury                              

+44 20 7399 9400                                                                                                

About Hydrogen Utopia International PLC

 

HUI aims to become one of the leading new European companies specialising in turning non-recyclable mixed waste plastic into carbon-free fuels, new materials or distributed renewable heat.

 

A HUI facility uses non-recyclable mixed waste plastic as feedstock and turns it into syngas from which new products and energy can be produced. HUI anticipates that its revenues will be derived from a variety of sources, dependent upon location and configuration of the HUI facilities, including the sale of syngas, hydrogen and other gases, electricity and heat sales, and the payment to it of fees for a given quantity of non-recyclable mixed waste plastic received at a HUI facility.

 

HUI will target areas where there is significant private sector interest or potential, financial backing is accessible and or where substantial EU and/or government funded sources of grants and loans are or may be available. The global increase in fossil fuel-based energy prices reinforces the need for alternative, price competitive energy sources, which HUI's business model can provide.

 

HUI's initial strategic focus is to work closely with Powerhouse Energy Group plc to create a project pipeline of HUI facilities.

 

The pressing need to deal with growing amounts of waste plastic combined with a real momentum in the use of hydrogen from renewable sources may pave the way for a rapid deployment of and investment in HUI facilities.

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