SK plans USD-500m investment in Bloom Energy, expands partnership

Bloom Energy Server. Source: Bloom Energy Corporation

October 26 (Renewables Now) - An affiliate of South Korean conglomerate SK Group has signed a contract to deploy at least 500 MW of power from Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) through 2024, representing an estimated USD 4.5 billion (EUR 3.87bn) in equipment and service revenues, it was announced on Monday.

The move comes as an expansion of the existing alliance between Bloom Energy and SK ecoplant, which, together, will now also seek to establish hydrogen innovation centres both in the US and South Korea. The new sites should speed up the global market expansion for Bloom Energy’s fuel cell and electrolyser products, and advance the commercialisation of green hydrogen as a whole.

Moreover, the Korean party is targeting a roughly USD-500-million equity investment in Bloom Energy. It is preparing to invest USD 255 million by acquiring 10 million shares of zero-coupon, non-voting redeemable convertible preferred stock at USD 25.50 apiece. The investor can also make use of an option to buy at least an additional 11 million shares of Class A common stock by November 30, 2023, at a 15% premium to the prevailing stock price at the time. This move is subject to maximum ownership of 15%.

The investment is pending regulatory clearance and is seen to wrap up within 45 days. Bloom Energy plans to use the proceeds for market growth, rapid commercialisation of hydrogen solutions and for general corporate purposes, it said.

The ongoing partnership between Bloom Energy and SK ecoplant was initiated three years ago and since then they have transacted close to 200 MW of projects together, exceeding USD 1.8 billion of equipment and expected service revenue. The additional 500 MW to which the SK Group unit has now committed, will be delivered in the period 2022-2025.

The announcement also mentions that Bloom Energy and SK ecoplant plan to further expand their business cooperation by agreeing on exclusive distribution rights in select new markets.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.860)

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