Cummins to form joint venture with hydrogen storage company

Columbus-based engine-maker Cummins Inc. plans to form a joint venture with Netherlands-based hydrogen storage and transportation company Nproxx, Cummins announced Tuesday.

Cummins and Nproxx will each own 50% of the joint venture, which will focus on providing customers with hydrogen and compressed natural gas storage products. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

The move represents another step toward diversification for Cummins, which was founded in 1919 as a diesel engine maker. In June 2017, the company announced plans to launch its first all-electric powertrains in response to industry trends. The first of those products hit the market in 2019.

“In order to move toward a decarbonized future, the world will require multiple power solutions including advanced diesel, natural gas, electrified power, fuel cells, hybrids and other solutions and Cummins is committed to leading the way and being the provider of choice,” Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said in a media statement Tuesday.

“The addition of hydrogen storage to our existing capabilities in hydrogen production and fuel cells enables us to accelerate the viability and adoption of these technologies in commercial markets,” Linebarger said.

While diesel engines are still a major part of the company, Cummins has taken numerous steps over the past few years to accelerate its drive into the non-diesel market.

Since 2017, Cummins has acquired Oregon-based electric motor and battery maker Brammo Inc.; England-based Johnson Matthey Battery Systems; California-based Efficient Drivetrains Inc., a maker of electric and hybrid powertrains, prototyping and services; and Toronto-based hydrogen fuel cell maker Hydrogenics Corp.

In May 2019, the company announced plans to invest $33 million at its Columbus Engine Plant, primarily to ramp up production of electric powertrains.

In 2019, Cummins reported revenue of $23.6 billion. Of that, $10 billion, or 43%, came from the company’s engine division, while $38 million, or less than 1%, came from the company’s new power division, which includes electric, hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The rest of the company’s revenue came from its distribution, components and power systems divisions.

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