Hexagon acquires 40% stake in Cryoshelter

Two companies within the renewable energy provider Hexagon Group acquired a 40% stake in Cryoshelter GmbH, an Austrian company specializing in cryogenic tank technology development for liquid (and renewable) natural gas (LNG/RLNG) and liquid hydrogen (LH2). Hexagon Purus acquired a 40% stake in Cryoshelter's LH2 business, and Hexagon Composites now owns 40% of Cryoshelter's LNG/RLNG business, with options to buy remaining interests over the next 3-10 years, according to a Hexagon press release. The Hexagon Group today provides compressed natural gas (CNG), including renewable natural gas (RNG), compressed hydrogen, and battery-electric systems.

See also: Hexagon expands clean-fuel options for commercial trucks

Commercializing and Industrializing Cryoshelter Tanks 

The Hexagon and Cryoshelter partnership aims to accelerate Cryoshelter's existing LNG/RLNG technology and production capability and use the LNG technology platform to further develop LH2 solutions for the heavy-duty transportation sector. "Cryoshelter's disruptive technology will further strengthen our efforts to drive decarbonization of heavy-duty vehicles, with a special emphasis on the European market where clean, energy-efficient cryogenic LNG/RLNG fuels are needed due to limited space on trucks," says Seung Baik, president of Hexagon Agility. "We are excited to be working together with Cryoshelter to further develop the technology and scale up the business over the coming years." Cryoshelter is split into separate legal entities for the LNG/RLNG and LH2 businesses.

Hexagon Agility and Hexagon Purus will take two seats each on the respective boards of Cryoshelter's two businesses. See also: Charging ahead on infrastructure

Expanding clean fuel options for commercial trucks

In contrast with North America, where compressed (renewable) natural gas (RNG/CNG) is the primary natural gas technology for long-haul trucking, LNG/RLNG has emerged as the leading natural gas alternative in Europe due to a significant infrastructure network, favorable cost position, and preferred truck configuration. Over the last several years, the number of new LNG truck registrations and fueling stations has increased significantly, and higher growth is expected over the next decade as fleet operators are opting for fuels such as biomethane (or RNG).

In liquid form, natural gas has a higher energy density. Cryoshelter's technology will leverage this energy density to better utilize vehicle frame rail space and provide a driving range comparable to diesel. Supported by European legislation, Hexagon expects that renewable natural gas, alongside battery-electric and fuel cell-electric technologies, will play a key role in the efforts to decarbonize the commercial transportation sector in Europe.

Hydrogen is gathering momentum, Hexagon said, underpinned by a global shift of regulators, investors, and consumers increasingly focused on decarbonization.

Liquid hydrogen storage technology can offer higher energy density compared to compressed hydrogen storage and in space- or payload-constrained applications, such as certain heavy-duty trucking applications, shipping, commercial aviation, and aerospace.