With over 26 years of experience in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, Logan Energy offers integrated engineering solutions incorporating hydrogen technologies, spanning production, refuelling, storage, distribution, and fuel cells. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, the company has designed, built, and installed hydrogen production and refuelling stations across the UK and the European markets. The company has been working on a range of projects in Europe, Singapore, and China, with an eye on further global expansions.

Early this year, Logan raised £5 million ($6.3m) from Lanxing New Energy and Scottish Enterprise to develop its hydrogen technology base and facilities. In the UK, the company has full manufacturing capabilities in Wallyford, near Edinburgh, and a research office based at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. With multiple projects in its pipeline, Logan is currently installing a hydrogen electrolyser at Arbikie Distillery in Scotland, to help the distillery use green hydrogen to partly power its operations.

Kallanish spoke with Logan Energy chief executive, Bill Ireland, to learn more about the company and its future plans.


➡️ Logan Energy has a diverse product line-up. Please tell us about the company and which technology is considered a flagship product.

One of the key things we do is the integration of all the systems. So, one of our flagship products is our performance in delivering optimised systems. We're manufacturer and technology-agnostic, so we have the choice of what we’re proposing to customers to meet what they need. But from a product point of view, hydrogen refuelling stations are one of our core products. We’ve delivered the largest hydrogen fueling station in the world doing about 4 tonnes/day in Northern Ireland. But we provide solutions for pretty much everything – the core technologies and processes can be applied in lots of different areas and processes. So it’s very flexible in what we do.


➡️ The company recently raised £5m. Can you tell us how the funds will be used and how it will help in the company’s future growth plans?

We’ve gone through a process of developing what the market has been asking for, which is varied, and what we want to do now is standardise our offering. So we’ve developed modular components that we want to refine, which takes engineering input and also production. So we’re using the funds to standardise our products, to strengthen the core engineering team and delivery teams, but also looking to expand as well. A part of it is also helping with cash flow.


➡️ Do you have any plans to raise additional funds in the near future?

Yeah, absolutely. We’re always looking to expand and also looking for additional funding. As part of the round we have at the moment, there’s a facility for an additional $2m of funding that can be added in. Then, to expand geographically, we’ll need additional funding as well. We’ll probably be looking for something in the next 18 months.


➡️ What are the key challenges the company is facing in scaling up hydrogen technologies, and how do you plan to address them?

I think the market is challenged from a point of view of supply chain and skills. We’re not looking at industrial-scale hydrogen generation but at anything from a quarter of a megawatt to up to a 100-megawatt scale. And the part of the challenge there is policy and consistency of policy. There are various carrots and sticks that are around. You look at the US and what may happen with the Inflation Reduction Act and whether that funding continues after the next election. All of those things create instability; investors don’t like instability, they want something as a guaranteed return. At the end of the day, to actually deploy hydrogen systems, we need the funding from somewhere. That needs to come from funders who need some level of reduced risk. And one of the big areas holding up hydrogen is policy and what is actually happening. When you get things like the abolition of combustion engines in the UK being pushed back five years and you get other statements from various politicians around giving a little bit of instability and consistent policy, that’s very difficult to operate under.


➡️ Logan Energy has a strong presence in Scotland. How do you see the company’s operations evolving globally?

We’ve set up our subsidiary, H2Tec in the Netherlands – that’s our European base. We are looking potentially to expand our operations in Europe, which is working out where the best place to do that is. Lanxing invested in us about five years ago and part of that was setting up a joint venture in China. We see that very much as a two-way opportunity, from a point of view of exporting our know-how – and to a degree, some of our products. But also China as a supply chain support because the manufacturing that we have in Europe isn’t able to deliver what Europe is looking to deploy… We need large industrial producers to supply Europe to deliver and the market in China is for stuff delivered in China for China. They’re doing a lot on renewables, but they don’t necessarily have the integration expertise that we can help with.


➡️ Where do you manufacture your fuel cells and systems?

They’ve literally come from all over the world. Quite a lot of our valves, for example, come from China. Some of the specialist valves come from Japan. Fuel cells come from Canada and Europe. Steel cylinders are coming from China or India. Then, they are being assembled in Europe, potentially. Some of the other types of cylinders are made in either the US or Europe. But again, you need to hunt for the right sort of equipment, because it’s not like going out and buying a car or getting a tyre for your car. There aren’t a multitude of suppliers for the same product. Sometimes we’re limited to one or two suppliers, and that’s where we’ve actually developed our own hardware and software to fill the supply chain gap.


➡️ Going forward, where does the company plan to focus its efforts – expanding into new industries or enhancing its existing offerings to better meet market demand?

Our focus at the moment is to standardise our products to create more revenue for the business. We’ve always been a revenue-based business since our start. We’ve had a relatively small amount of investment over the years. We’ve kept ourselves going and developed our skillsets and our offerings by profit made and a little bit of extra investment.

Because the market is changing and it’s still finding its feet, we have to be relatively nimble ourselves. If you look at it 12 years ago, we were installing stationary fuel cells running off fossil fuels to help carbon reduction. Now we’re doing renewable electricity generation, energy management, hydrogen generation and storage, and use of hydrogen as an energy vector. So in 12 years, we’ve not completely changed, but we’ve had to adapt to what is required. Hydrogen refuelling stations and hydrogen production is always going to be needed going forward. So that will be a core element for us.


➡️ In your view, in which sector does hydrogen have the most potential?

I think it depends on the scale. From an industrial point of view, it’s very much about decarbonising the high-energy usage industry, and that is probably most likely to be done with blue hydrogen. Then, the transport market, because we’re offsetting high-value fuels like petrol and diesel and also the requirement for pollution reduction, and going zero emission as well. And if we’re going away from combustion engines on fossil fuels, we need a combination of battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles and potentially hydrogen combustion engine electric vehicles.


➡️ Looking ahead, what is your outlook on green hydrogen demand in the UK? Do you see Scotland becoming a leading hydrogen exporter to Europe?

To start with, there is very little green hydrogen being produced at the moment. We’re working on a number of projects that will hopefully turn that around. But those are relatively small scale, under 5 MW at the moment. They are distributed generation and I think that’s where somewhere like the UK will actually focus: local production for local usage.

In Scotland, there is discussion about using the massive wind resource Scotland has offshore and onshore to generate hydrogen. And there are the end users – Germany has pretty much gone to anybody that is producing hydrogen, to say ‘Give us your hydrogen.’ So, that is an opportunity for Scotland. I think the other opportunity for Scotland is encouraging high-energy businesses to Scotland. So using hydrogen directly, but then also storing it, so you have to generate less hydrogen and use more energy directly.

There’s a massive opportunity for hydrogen and other associated technologies, whether it’d be green ammonia, green methanol, or liquid green hydrogen. It’s a great opportunity for us.