May 12, 2023

LBBW finances Leipzig based hydrogen trader HINT.CO

Press Release

The Saxon Ministry of Economics is pushing ahead with the development of a hydrogen economy along the entire value chain. The next major step has now been taken on the path towards the international market ramp-up of green hydrogen: The Free State of Saxony is providing funding to support the continued operations of HINT.CO GmbH, a hydrogen trader founded in Leipzig in 2021 and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hamburg-based H2Global Foundation, to help implement the innovative H2Global funding instrument.

Bürgschaftsbank Sachsen GmbH (BBS) guarantees a loan of two million euros from Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) to HINT.CO GmbH with more than 1.6 million euros. The Free State of Saxony and the Federal Republic of Germany have granted a state counter-guarantee for this purpose. In addition, a state-backed silent partnership of Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen mbH (MBG) in HINT.CO in the amount of one million euros was agreed.

The partners involved signed the financing agreements today in Leipzig. Saxony's Economics Minister Martin Dulig said: "The effective market ramp-up for green hydrogen can only succeed with partners from the private sector. Accordingly, the public-private partnership in the realization of the H2Global market mechanism is a prerequisite for the provision of federal funding of up to €4.4 billion. Therefore, it is important that the development of the auction platforms is in the hands of a company selected for this purpose, HINT.CO GmbH. The fact that seven German states have expressed their support for Leipzig as an energy and innovation hub for HINT.CO’s headquarter speaks for itself and makes me particularly happy. This strengthens the city, the state and the federal government - and that's why it's right that the Free State of Saxony secures the loan from LBBW and the silent participation of MBG for the realization of the project with a counter-guarantee and a counter-guarantee."

The Free State of Saxony - in particular Leipzig as one of the first hydrogen regions in Europe, hosting the European Energy Exchange AG and HINT.CO GmbH - offers a globally unique environment for establishing hydrogen trading. The two additional financing pillars enable HINT.CO GmbH to move Germany's currently largest funding program for the market ramp-up of green hydrogen into new dimensions. The funds will be used for further structural expansion of the company. The goal of H2Global is to accelerate the international market ramp-up for sustainable hydrogen products via an innovative and efficient funding instrument. "We are pleased to have the LBBW and BBS / MBG as reliable and dedicated financing partners by our side. With their support, we can fully focus on the implementation of the bidding process", says Timo Bollerhey, Managing Director of HINT.CO GmbH.

Sustainability has been one of LBBW's strategic priorities for many years. "In addition to sustainability in the narrower sense, we also focus on future industries and technologies that support the transformation of our economy in line with the 'turn of the times'. We are all the more pleased to be able to support such a pioneering project in our core market of Saxony - and to do so together with the state and Bürgschaftsbank Sachsen," says LBBW Regional Board Member Oliver Fern, who sees a key role for banks in the transformation of the economy - especially in the important goal of decarbonization. "Achieving net zero emissions is one of the crucial challenges of our time. As a strong, regionally rooted universal bank, LBBW its mission to assume precisely this role and actively shape the transformation of companies, the economy and society towards climate neutrality, with green hydrogen technology playing an important role in this", says Regional Board Member Oliver Fern. The Bürgschaftsbank paved the way for the LBBW loan with its deficiency guarantee.

Markus H. Michalow, Managing Director of BBS, says: "The funding provided to HINT.CO benefits both the supply and demand side, thereby driving the development of an international hydrogen market forward. In order for the public funds to realize their incentivizing effect, the work of HINT.CO is essential. For us at Bürgschaftsbank Sachsen, it was an extremely appealing task to financially support Timo Bollerhey's team in the expansion of the operational business." With its commitment, BBS once again fulfills its claim of enabling promising investment projects in Saxony or by Saxon companies. It also takes the long-standing collaboration with LBBW to a new level.

In addition to the loan guaranteed by BBS, HINT.CO receives a dormant equity holding from Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen (MBG). In his function as managing director of MBG, Markus H. Michalow adds: "The financing of HINT.CO marks a milestone on the way to a market for hydrogen where supply and demand prices meet. We at Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen are very proud to make a capital contribution to this process of economic evolution and to be able to actively shape the global energy transition from Saxony."

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Tobias Schwerdtfeger

Tobias Schwerdtfeger

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