Shares of Plug Power (PLUG) has surged on news of it securing a deal with South Korea based SK Group for $1.5B. The investment will represent a roughly 10% stake in Plug Power, a hydrogen fuel cell maker. This has lead other stocks like Bloom Energy (BE) and FuelCell Energy (FCEL) soaring.
Through this partnership, Plug Power and SK Group intend to provide hydrogen fuel cell systems, hydrogen fueling stations, and electrolyzers to the Korean and broader Asian markets. In conjunction with this partnership, the companies have also entered into a definitive agreement for SK Group to make a $1.5 billion strategic investment in Plug Power and are announcing a plan to form a joint venture company in South Korea to support the rapidly growing Asian Market.
The combination of SK Group’s significant presence and leadership throughout Asia’s energy industry and its strategic direction on portfolio transformation to green via hydrogen economy with Plug Power’s leadership in hydrogen fuel cell systems, fueling stations and green hydrogen generation represents a powerful team to accelerate the growth of hydrogen economy in Asian markets.
In January 2019, the South Korea government announced the Hydrogen Economy Roadmap through 2040, with ambitious goals, including: over 5MM tons of hydrogen per year, over 6MM fuel cell EVs, 1,200 refilling stations and 15 GW of fuel cell power generation, and expects the cumulative economic value of its hydrogen economy to reach ~$40Bn by 2040.
Plug Power has proven its ability to scale a hydrogen business in North America as a global leader in the hydrogen economy. The opportunity to partner with SK presents an attractive and timely opportunity to establish a foothold in this market with one of South Korea’s leading industrial conglomerates, this investment represents the largest U.S. clean energy PIPE in the last 20 years (based on the PrivateRaise PIPE database for transactions that have closed and includes common stock, preferred stock, convertible preferred stock and convertible debt).