Obayashi Corporation Invests in AFCryo Global Limited, a New Zealand Venture Developing Hydrogen Equipment Using Cryogenic Separation Technology

Overseas Construction

Obayashi Corporation has made a joint investment in AFCryo Global Limited (AFGL), the holding company of Fabrum Solutions Limited (Fabrum) which develops hydrogen-related equipment in New Zealand, along with AP Ventures(*1), a UK venture capital firm, and Fortescue Future Industries(*2), a global green energy and green technology company, among other companies.

Membrane-Free Electrolyzer

The New Zealand government has announced a policy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and is actively advocating for the use of hydrogen as part of it. Exploring the potential of green energy in New Zealand since around 2014, Obayashi began production and test marketing of green hydrogen generated from geothermal power in 2021. The project is being carried out in partnership with Tuaropaki Trust(*3), the owner of one of the geothermal power plants in the Taupo area in the central North Island. The produced green hydrogen is currently utilized as a fuel source for public buses, long-haul trucks, and other vehicles in Taupo. The green hydrogen will also be supplied to hydrogen refueling stations in Auckland.

Established in 2004, being the core of the AFGL Group, Fabrum is equipped with advanced technology in cryogenic separation that leverages the disparity in boiling points between hydrogen and oxygen. In collaboration with UK-based CPH2, Fabrum is marketing Membrane-Free Electrolyzers that do not require membrane replacement, resulting in reduced maintenance effort and costs in hydrogen production.

Fabrum's technological advancements and achievements over the past years are held in high regard in New Zealand, where the company has been involved in various hydrogen projects since the planning phase. Fabrum is New Zealand's sole manufacturer of hydrogen production equipment, and Obayashi expects that the investment in the company will make a significant contribution to the promotion of Obayashi's hydrogen business which includes building a supply chain in the country. Fabrum is also producing storage tanks and filling facilities for liquid hydrogen which is expected to power aircraft, etc., and Obayashi is looking at the possibility that it could source equipment from Fabrum for its supply chain, covering small to medium-scale liquefied hydrogen production, storage, transportation, and filling.

The synergy between Fabrum's technological expertise and extensive sales network, alongside Obayashi's proven track record, is expected to foster the growth and advancement of the hydrogen business in New Zealand in the years to come.

Obayashi has been promoting ESG management, adhering to the Obayashi Sustainability Vision 2050 announced in June 2019. By seizing this investment opportunity, we aim to reinforce our commitment to our goal of providing people with valuable spaces and services and contributing to the creation of a society that embodies the well-being of all.

  • *1 AP Ventures
    AP Ventures is headquartered in London and manages venture capital funds with a global mandate to invest in pioneering new technologies and businesses which aim to solve global challenges such as renewable energy integration and resource scarcity. AP Ventures has been investing in the hydrogen industry since 2013 and is recognised as a leading venture capital fund across this value chain. AP Ventures manages USD 395m of assets on behalf of 12 LPs and has invested in more than 20 technology companies across the hydrogen value chain.
  • *2 Fortescue Future Industries
    Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) is a global green energy company committed to producing green hydrogen, containing zero carbon, from 100 per cent renewable sources. FFI is leading the green industrial revolution, developing technology solutions for hard-to-decarbonise industries, while building a global portfolio of renewable green hydrogen and green ammonia projects. FFI is also leading the global effort to help decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors and is developing and acquiring the technology and energy supply to help decarbonise the iron operations of one of the world's largest producers of iron ore by 2030 (Scope 1 and 2 terrestrial emissions) - our parent company Fortescue Metals Group (ASX FMG).
  • *3 Tuaropaki Trust
    Tuaropaki Trust is a common land trust company owned by indigenous Maori landowners in New Zealand. With a focus on sustainable resource usage, the trust has built one of the largest geothermal power plants in the country, which has been in operation for the past 20 years. The geothermal power generated by the plant, along with steam and waste heat, is utilized for local agribusinesses such as dairy processing and greenhouse production.