Airbus and Phillips 66 Partner With Plug Power on Green Hydrogen Projects

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(Bloomberg) -- Plug Power Inc. is partnering with Airbus SE and Phillips 66 to find ways to harness hydrogen to power airplanes, vehicles and industry without emitting planet-warming greenhouse gases.

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The partnerships, combined with an upgrade from Morgan Stanley, pushed Plug’s stock sharply higher Wednesday. Shares rose as much as 13%, their biggest jump since June, with the stock trading above $33 in early afternoon.

The agreement with Airbus will study how to bring so-called green hydrogen to air travel, with the world’s largest planemaker providing insight on hydrogen aircraft and Plug Power designing non-polluting hydrogen infrastructure at airports, the companies said Wednesday in a statement. Airbus has a goal of bringing zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035.

Phillips 66 is also teaming up with Plug Power to develop low-carbon hydrogen and deploy that technology within the U.S. oil refiner’s operations. Objectives include scaling low-carbon hydrogen in the industrial sector and increasing hydrogen fueling for transportation, the companies said Wednesday in a separate statement.

Green hydrogen is produced with renewable energy sources like solar or wind and can be used to power vehicles, ships or industry that traditionally burn fossil fuels. It’s seen as a potential source of energy that could help the U.S. and other nations reach their carbon-cutting goals and avoid the worst effects of global warming.

Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell technology, using it to power warehouse forklifts. But the Latham, New York company is now vying to become a major hydrogen producer, and it has formed partnerships aimed at increasing the use of the gas in multiple industries, including commercial vehicles and aircraft.

The company said Wednesday that it would invest in electric aviation startup Airflow and co-develop an airplane propulsion system powered by hydrogen fuel cells. It also has a joint venture with Renault SA to build fuel-cell vans in Europe.

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