A team of world class hydrogen and financial executives have launched the FiveT Hydrogen Fund, a private infrastructure fund that plans to be a pure-player in clean hydrogen infrastructure projects at scale, and will exclusively finance projects in the production, storage and distribution of clean hydrogen. Together with two other former Air Liquide executives, the team is headed by Pierre-Etienne Franc, its co-founder and CEO, who previously served as Vice President of Air Liquide’s Hydrogen Business Line, co-founded the Hydrogen Council, and chaired Hydrogen Europe and the EU’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) public-private partnership.
The new investment fund plans to serve as a catalyst for both the financing and building of global hydrogen infrastructure projects. The fund’s investment thesis is based on the growing focus from global policy makers on the urgent need to decarbonize. More than 30 governments around the world have already adopted national hydrogen strategies as part of their climate plans so the opportunity is huge. $70 billion of public funding has been pledged to accelerate hydrogen scale-up. Accelerating the build-out of hydrogen infrastructure will radically improve national and corporate abilities to meet net zero and decarbonization targets. These ambitions are also driving demand from institutional investors for exposure to cleaner energy sources in line with the Paris Agreement, which will have a lasting impact on environment, society and businesses, contributing to the ESG imperatives of their respective investment portfolios.
The fund is the first stage of FiveT Hydrogen’s broader ambition to establish an investment platform focused on accelerating the hydrogen economy. By serving as a catalyst to scale the hydrogen market, the fund’s initial priority is to develop infrastructure and then extend its investment strategy into hydrogen-related technologies and companies.
The Euro-denominated fund intends to raise a total of €1 billion from a combination of financial and industrial investors, and plans to make largely minority co-investments into greenfield projects with key industrial players. The fund expects to act as a catalyst by investing in upstream and downstream opportunities across the value chain, including green hydrogen production and use and downstream distribution assets to the transport segment and associated fleet development schemes.
The fund has already received combined commitment intentions of €260 million from Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG), Chart Industries, Inc. (NYSE: GTLS) and Baker Hughes (NYSE: BKR). In addition, Francisco Fernandez, an accomplished serial entrepreneur, founder and former CEO of Avaloq, and a shareholder and member of the Board of Directors of FiveT Capital, is committing €30 million.
Plug Power intends to commit €160 million ($200 million), and Chart Industries and Baker Hughes each intend to commit €50 million respectively ($60 million). These investments enable FiveT to establish itself at the heart of the hydrogen industry and help advance a broader global mission to address climate change and accelerate the energy transition. This Euro-denominated Fund, offered only to qualifying and verified investors, has the ambition to raise a total of €1 billion from both financial and industrial investors.