Slovakian minister of economy visits Handtmann

Handtmann-e-solutions - Wirtschaftsminister der Slowakei besucht Handtmann

From left to right: Richard Sulík (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic), Hermann Hahn (Member of the Handtmann Executive Board), Hans Reichhardt (Managing Director Handtmann e-solutions), Peter Pacek (Director ZSE Energy), Prof. Juraj Sinay (Coordinator for Hydrogen Technologies in Slovakia), Wolfgang Schmidt (CEO Handtmann Light Metal Casting division), Ján Weiterschutz (National Hydrogen Association in Slovakia), Reinhold Herzog (New Technologies Handtmann e-solutions), Markus Ammann (Head of Research and Development Handtmann e-solutions), Heiko Pfeiffer (Managing Director Handtmann Light Metal Casting division), Christofer Leroi (Development Handtmann e-solutions), company director Thomas Handtmann.

The focus: Technologies for the production of hydrogen as a source of energy

Richard Sulík, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic, visited the Handtmann Group of Companies based in Biberach last week. Other members of the delegation: Prof. Juraj Sinay, Coordinator for Hydrogen Technologies in Slovakia, Ján Weiterschutz representing the National Hydrogen Association in Slovakia and Peter Pacek, Director of ZSE Energy, an energy company operating in Slovakia and based in Bratislava. The focus of interest for the delegation was the hydrogen electrolyser from the Handtmann e-solutions business division. “We are building a hydrogen station for fuel cell buses and need electrolysers to produce hydrogen from a photovoltaic system,” explains the Slovakian Minister of Economy.

Handtmann e-solutions GmbH & Co. KG, based in Ochsenhausen, develops and manufactures customised power electronics and control technology for industrial use. The core markets of Handtmann’s latest business division are agricultural and municipal technology, industrial applications and also water electrolysis. The team of Markus Ammann, Head of Research and Development, is currently developing a commercially deployable water electrolyser. “In times of climate change and increasing energy prices, alternative energy sources like hydrogen are indispensable,” says Managing Director Hans Reichhardt. “Generating green electricity from solar, wind and hydropower or biomass alone is not enough. Electricity also needs to be stored to compensate for the fluctuating availability of solar energy during the day and at night, the changing wind speeds and the seasonal differences.” One option for long-term storage is the conversion of electrical energy into hydrogen through the electrolysis of water. “Our technology offers maximum efficiency and is ideally suited for renewable energy sources. The application options are manifold. To this end, we provide extensive advice to our customers, offer comprehensive engineering and additional units such as buffer batteries to extend the operating time, pressure boosting stages or hydrogen storage units,” adds Markus Ammann. The Slovakian Minister of Economy was enthusiastic about the Handtmann water electrolyser: “The technological concept is convincing and we will include the other fields of application pointed out in our considerations, including the use of waste heat and the equally generated oxygen.”

At the end of the flying visit, Wolfgang Schmidt and Heiko Pfeiffer, Managing Directors of the Handtmann Light Metal Casting division, presented the range of products and services in their area of responsibility. Being a strategic system partner to the automotive industry, the family-owned company Handtmann operates light metal foundries at its main factory in Biberach, in Annaberg (Saxony, Germany), in Tianjin (China) and in the cities of Kechnec and Košice (Slovakia). Engine and drive components, transmission components, components for bodywork, chassis and steering as well as for electric vehicles are produced at all these locations. “When building our latest plant in Kechnec, Slovakia, we set new standards in terms of sustainability,” explains Wolfgang Schmidt. “Here we have achieved high energy efficiency, realised low gas consumption and low emissions, reduced the use of hazardous substances to a minimum and designed production to be completely free of process waste water,” adds Heiko Pfeiffer. In recognition of this, the most modern foundry in Europe was recently awarded the “Sustainability Award in Automotive”, jointly granted by the ATZ/MTZ Group and Roland Berger. Very pleased and impressed by this, Richard Sulík promised to pay a visit to the Handtmann plant in Kechnec at the next opportunity.