Energy-transition focused investment firms bp Ventures and Templewater have led a $US111.3 million ($168.1) Series B investment round in Wollongong-based green hydrogen electrolyser company Hysata.

This is Australia’s largest Series B cleantech raising to date.

bp Ventures is the UK-based corporate venture arm of global oil company bp. Templewater is a Hong Kong-based responsible investment firm spun off from Investec Group’s Asia principal investments division in 2018.  

bp Ventures and Templewater each contributed $US10 million to the round which also attracted strong support from other overseas investors and local clean tech investors.

Other investors are IP Group Australia, Kiko Ventures (IP Group plc’s cleantech platform), Virescent Ventures (on behalf of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation), super fund Hostplus, Vestas Ventures (the corporate venture arm of Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer) and BlueScopeX (the corporate venture arm of the Australian steel-maker).

Other major new strategic and financial investors include entities of the Korean steel-maker POSCO Holdings and POSCO E&C, IMM Investment Hong Kong (the overseas investment arm of Korea’s IMM Investment), Shinhan Financial Group Co. (Korea), Twin Towers Ventures (the venture capital arm of Malyasian energy company Petronas), IDO (the Oman Investment Authority’s venture arm) and TelstraSuper.

Hysata will use the funding to expand its manufacturing facility in Port Kembla, Wollongong, and further develop its technology as it focuses on reaching gigawatt scale manufacturing.

Chief executive Paul Barrett said Hysata’s technology was a breakthrough innovation because of its high-efficiency and low installed costs.

“Our mission at Hysata is to accelerate the deep decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors such as steel, chemical manufacture, and heavy transport, by delivering the world’s most efficient, simple and reliable electrolysers,” he said. “With high-efficiency, intrinsically low capex and a mass-manufacturable design, Hysata aims to drive down the levelised cost of hydrogen.

“This funding round, backed by a world-class syndicate of investors, demonstrates the game-changing impact Hysata is having on the green hydrogen landscape. It will strengthen our team and enhance our capabilities, as we propel towards widespread commercial availability.”

The International Energy Agency has said that to meet climate ambitions there is an urgent need to switch to low carbon production for current hydrogen use and expand the use of hydrogen to new applications in heavy industry and long-distance transport.

Hysata says that, used at scale, its electrolysers could achieve energy efficiency well above the International Renewable Energy Agency’s 2050 efficiency target.

bp Ventures vice president Gareth Burns, said: “We know that green hydrogen can play a big role in decarbonisation. This is the first advanced alkaline electrolyser technology that bp Ventures has invested in; it could provide optionality for our hydrogen business as bp aims to become a global leader in low-carbon hydrogen production. Hysata’s technology could help save energy and reduce production costs, addressing two challenges of the green hydrogen market.”  

Templewater partner Alfred Wong said: “The high efficiency of Hysata’s electrolyser technology holds the potential to be a cornerstone in the worldwide shift to sustainable energy sources.”

bp is developing regional hydrogen energy hubs around the world including in Western Australia at H2 Kwinana near Perth and the Australian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) in the Pilbara region.

Image: Hysata chief executive Paul Barrett at the company’s manufacturing facility.