Plug Power Posts $156 Million Loss in Q1 2022, Pins it on Rising Natural Gas Prices

Plug Power, a U.S.-based hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) turnkey solutions company, recorded a revenue of $140.8 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, a 96% year-over-year (YoY) growth compared to $72 million in Q1 2021.

The revenue, however, decreased by 13% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) compared to $162 million registered in Q4, 2021.

The company also saw its net loss increase to $156 million in Q1 2022 from $61 million during the same period last year. The net loss decreased by 19% QoQ, compared to $193 million in the previous quarter.

Plug Power attributed these losses to the increased hydrogen molecule cost associated with higher natural gas prices. The company expects the margins to be under pressure going into Q2 2022 by the continued increase in these prices.

Out of the total reported, material handling represented approximately $96 million in revenue in the quarter, with other product offerings representing approximately $44.8 million in Q1  2022, including electrolyzer solutions and recent acquisitions.

In January 2022, Plug acquired Joule Processing, now called Plug Process Systems, a process solution and engineered equipment provider with a strong track record of execution among the largest EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) and oil and gas midstream companies.

Plug Power had also announced a collaboration agreement with Atlas Copco MafiTrench Company, the turboexpander technology center within the Gas and Process division of Atlas Copco, and Fives, a global leader in brazed heat exchangers and cryogenic cold boxes, to develop hydrogen liquefaction plants jointly.

The company had previously announced the world’s first and largest fuel cell and electrolyzer manufacturing gigafactory in Rochester, New York. The facility will have an annual run rate of 2.5 GW for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) stacks for fuel cells and electrolyzers by the second half of 2022.

Andy Marsh, Chief Executive Officer, Plug Power, said, “Our GenDrive product gross margins are over 30%. The cost of our new products will continue to come down as we experience our traditional 25% learning curve for fuel cells and electrolyzers. All our present proxy at today’s volumes will have a minimum of 30% gross margins. Our service and learnings are being implemented and demonstrated now and will cut our service costs ultimately by 45%. With the deployment of our green hydrogen network, 70 tons which will be available by year’s end, our cost will be one-third today’s cost. And our power purchase agreement (PPA), which includes assets we can ultimately own, will be a net positive. These numbers align with our 2025 goal of $3 billion in revenue, 20% EBITDA, and 17% operating income.”

In April, Plug Power announced an agreement with Walmart for an option to deliver up to 20 tons per day of liquid green hydrogen to power material handling lift trucks across Walmart distribution and fulfillment centers in the U.S. The liquid green hydrogen produced will fuel up to 9,500 lift trucks and support the retailer’s goal of a zero-emissions future by 2040.

Previously, MOL Group, an integrated oil, gas, petrochemicals, and consumer retail company, partnered with Plug Power to build one of Europe’s largest-capacity green hydrogen production facilities at MOL’s Danube Refinery in Százhalombatta, Hungary. Utilizing a 10 MW electrolysis unit from Plug Power, MOL’s €22 million (~$22.95 million) facility would produce approximately 1,600 tons of clean, carbon-neutral, green hydrogen annually.