Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) shares soared 10.17% to $1.95 in pre-market trading Tuesday after the fuel cell company announced that it had secured GenDrive fuel cell orders from the French retail behemoth The Carrefour Group. The world’s second largest retailer has more than 12,300 stores across 30 countries. Carrefour will be buying at least 150 GenDrive units for deployment in its STILL-brand class-2 and class-3 electric lift trucks at its new distribution center in Vendin-lès-Béthune, France.
A significant milestone for Plug Power
Securing the Carrefour deal marks a significant milestone for the Latham, New York-based company that is expanding in Europe. Many European companies are seeking new technologies to improve productivity and better environmental sustainability. Carrefour aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and energy consumption by 30% by 2025.
Plug Power said Carrefour’s project will be commissioned in late 2016. The use of hydrogen allows firms to avoid the higher costs of building a battery room and other infrastructure. Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said in a statement that it’s clear that Carrefour is committed to operating responsibly and improving the working conditions for its employees and stakeholders.
Plug Power expanding aggressively in Europe
Earlier this month, the fuel cell company received a purchase order from the French logistics firm FM Logistic. The French company would deploy GenDrive fuel cell units in its Toyota Material Handling and Crown pallet jacks and reach trucks at its facility in Neuville-aux-Bois, France. Plug Power has been aggressively expanding its presence in European markets.
Last month, Plug Power closed a $40 million long-term loan facility with Hercules Capital. It will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes and working capital. The three-year loan facility with an annual interest rate of 10.45% is secured by a first-priority, all-asset lien. Oppenheimer and Canaccord Genuity acted as advisers on the debt financing. Plug Power has also converted a previous $25 million short-term borrowing to a long-term project financing.