JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Leading Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company Sumitomo Corporation, which has a strong focus on the hydrogen economy, has become the latest investor in partnership with venture capital company AP Ventures Fund II.
Sumitomo joins cornerstone investors such as South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation and Anglo American Platinum in the investment strategy of AP Ventures, which is focused on companies developing technologies that are capable of sustainably solving global challenges such as renewable energy integration and resource scarcity. Other investors include the Toyota-linked Mirai Creation Fund, Mitsubishi Corporation and Plastic Omnium,
AP Ventures’ key area of focus is the decarbonisation of transport as a leading backer of green hydrogen and platinum-catalysed fuel cells, which facilitate zero emission mobility, and in heavy industry, where the use of hydrogen for heat can enable the decarbonisation of industries such as the steel and cement industries currently reliant on hydrocarbon fuels.
In welcoming Sumitomo Corporation as its sixth limited partner, AP Ventures managing partner Andrew Hinkly spoke of the development of the hydrogen economy gaining momentum.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to work in partnership with a team that has a strong focus on this area,” Hinkly, who is partnered by Kevin Eggers, said.
Commenting on the announcement, Sumitomo Corporation executive officer and energy division GM Hajime Mori said: “As a member of the Hydrogen Council, Sumitomo Corporation has given a priority to contributing to build a sustainable hydrogen ecosystem. On 1 October, with the establishment of Hydrogen Business Department, we are entering into a new phase to accelerate hydrogen related business activities.
“AP Ventures has proven its ability to identify hydrogen technology start-ups and create value while facilitating collaborations between strategic corporate partners and its portfolio companies.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with AP Ventures and its portfolio companies which bring innovation to our hydrogen business in the critical decades to come for climate change,” Mori said in the release to Mining Weekly.
AP Ventures, which is headquartered in London, has opened an office in South Africa. It 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, resource scarcity and a growing population.
The existing portfolio is focused on the hydrogen value chain and includes investments in Altergy Systems, ERGOSUP, Greyrock Energy, HyET, Hydrogenious Technologies, Plug Power and ZEG Power.
All these companies either utilise or enable the use of platinum group metals.
Sumitomo Corporation has 132 locations, 22 in Japan and 110 in locations outside of Japan, spanning 66 countries and regions. The entire Sumitomo Corporation Group consists of more than 900 companies, which conduct commodity transactions in all industries utilising worldwide networks, providing customers with financing, coordinating various projects, and investing in companies to promote greater growth potential. The group’s core business areas include metal products, transportation and construction systems, infrastructure, mineral resources and energy.