22.04.2021 | Hydrogen future: Axpo Italia and RINA to promote innovative projects

Sharing key technologies

Hydrogen generated from climate-friendly sources will play an important role in the reduction of CO2 emissions from industry and transport. Axpo is focusing on innovative partnerships in this field, the latest being a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by its subsidiary Axpo Italia with the RINA group.

At its Baden headquarters, Axpo’s newly formed hydrogen business under the experienced management of Guy Bühler recently announced its first project for a hydrogen plant at the site of the historic Eglisau hydroelectric plant. 

Axpo is also targeting promising energy sources outside Switzerland. Axpo Italia recently signed an MOU with the Italian services and consulting company RINA, which specialises in energy, infrastructure, mobility and industry.

Joining forces

Working together, Axpo Italia and RINA want to contribute to the development of the hydrogen industry in Italy with new projects, research and technology. The partnership between the two companies also includes the exploration of commercial opportunities.

Simone Demarchi, CEO of Axpo Italia, commented: "The continuous expansion of renewable energies must keep pace with solutions to further reduce CO2 emissions. As a developer of solar plants and wind farms, and the leading European marketer of renewable energies, Axpo has made a substantial contribution to the transition to renewable energies in recent years. Hydrogen is one of the key elements of the energy transition and will play an increasingly important role in our energy future – in Italy, Europe and across the world."

Simone Demarchi, CEO of Axpo Italia
Building a supply chain

Green hydrogen, which is produced with power from renewable energy sources, is considered a key technology for the energy turnaround and de-carbonisation. Axpo and RINA are cooperating to develop a robust hydrogen supply chain that will bring together a number of key stakeholders in Italy.

Activities planned under the agreement include the development of green hydrogen initiatives in various industry sectors, a commitment to coordinate technological research studies of the hydrogen supply chain, the preparation of analyses and simulations, and specifications for a pilot green hydrogen production programme using renewable sources.

Axpo Italia and RINA will also participate in EU-supported research and development projects and green finance and eco investment initiatives.

Pioneering work continues

Demarchi added: "The partnership with RINA will make it possible for Axpo Italia to continue investing in technological innovations. In addition, we want to strengthen our position as one of the important Italian players in the green economy, and create a good basis for future revenues in the growing hydrogen market."

RINA’s contribution to the partnership includes its expertise in research and certification of hydrogen-compatible materials, as well as its strong analytical, research and testing capabilities. The company also has specific engineering expertise to support industry in the broader use of hydrogen. For example, at the University of Calabria, RINA operates the first laboratory in Italy and one of the very few worldwide capable of carrying out tests at very high pressures of up to 1000 bar for the storage of gases, including hydrogen.

Right vision is key

Demarchi concluded: "To successfully shape the energy future, the right timing, the right resources, and the technological capabilities of leading companies will play a key role. With RINA, we have found a partner with the right vision. This agreement will enable our two companies to further refine our respective skills and make them available for the future growth of the hydrogen sector."

Ugo Salerno, Chairman and CEO of RINA, added: "As a leading player in de-carbonisation, we are developing a series of hydrogen projects and activities in various areas, from the shipping and steel industries to storage and transport technologies. We are confident that this partnership with Axpo Italia is a further step to achieving our ambitious goals."

Ugo Salerno, Chairman and CEO of RINA

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