Dutch gas generation company HyGear has completed a deal to provide Colombian margarine maker CI SIGRA S.A. with hydrogen and the technology to facilitate the hydrogenation of edible oil and fats. According to HyGear, this contract marks its entry into the food industry. Terms of the deal were not released.
The Hy.GEN system is expected to be put into use at the margarine producer’s facilities in the third quarter of 2017. SIGRA currently uses an electrolyser system, but it has opted to adopt the lower-cost “steam reforming” technology offered by the Arnhem, Netherlands-based gas provider.
The hydrogenation process — which prevents oxidation and stabilizes the oil by using hydrogen molecules to “saturate organic compounds in the presence of a catalyst,” according to HyGear — is essential for SIGRA to convert liquid oil into margarine.
“For HyGear this is an important first step into the food industry, and we are happy with the expansion of our markets in this direction,” said Niels Lanser, director of sales and marketing at HyGear.
To fulfill the order, HyGear will partner with a new provider in the Americas. “This is the first project we will install through our new partner P-Hydrogen from North America,” said Lanser. “A knowledgeable partner like P-Hydrogen will help us drive our global expansion as they can support our products locally, which further improves our service level.”