California's FirstElement bags USD 105m to grow H2 refueling network

True Zero retail hydrogen station. Image by: FirstElement Fuel.

November 9 (Renewables Now) - FirstElement Fuel Inc (FEF), a California-based firm building a hydrogen refuelling network, has completed a Series D financing round, securing USD 105 million (EUR 90.5m) to scale up its expansion plans in its home state.

The fresh capital was provided by Japanese industrial gases supplier Air Water (TYO:4088), MUFG Bank Ltd (MUFG), pumping equipment maker Nikkiso (TYO:6376) and Japan Infrastructure Initiate (JII), FirstElement said on Monday.

The hydrogen retailer will use the raised funds to expand its refuelling network to 80 stations by 2024 from the current 31 facilities in California. Its plan is to have at least 12 stations for refuelling heavy-duty trucks, while the remaining 68 will be for light-duty vehicles.

Additionally, FristElement said it has obtained USD 125 million in public funding from the California Energy Commission and air pollution agencies the South Coast AQMD and the Bay Area AQMD.

Among FirstElement’s existing investors are Mitsui, Japan Bank for International Cooperation and French industrial gases company Air Liquide SA.

FirstElement’s first hydrogen station was opened in December 2015. The company’s retail chain operates under the True Zero brand, which it says is the largest hydrogen network globally.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.862)

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