Indian firm purchases American hydrogen cylinder maker Catalina Composites


New Delhi-headquartered Uttam Group of Companies, a global manufacturer of ultra-lightweight composite cylinders and systems for compressed natural gas and hydrogen, has closed on the purchase of US-based Catalina Composites. The new entity, based in California, will now be known as Uttam Composites.

The strategic move comes as the Indian multinational sees demand skyrocketing for clean energy solutions, particularly in compressed natural gas and hydrogen, and believes the expansion will help it grow.

The acquisition will allow Uttam to expand to the U.S. and Europe, in addition to dominating the Asian market. Their business in India, Uttam Cylinders, has had a compounded annual growth rate of more than 60% in the last three years.

Speaking to pv magazine, Uttam chief executive officer Karan Bhatia said, “Hydrogen infrastructure is the key [to clean energy transition]. As refueling stations become accessible and widespread, the adoption of hydrogen vehicles will skyrocket. Uttam’s advantage is that our cylinders are not only the lightest but the most durable on the market because of our proprietary manufacturing process.”

“India is an emerging market for hydrogen and will continue to grow under the Indian Government’s ambition to invest in hydrogen infrastructure. Uttam is the market leader in ultra-lightweight, high-pressure cylinders for both CNG and hydrogen, and with this acquisition, we will be able to meet our overwhelming demand,” Bhatia added.

Uttam will be investing at least $20 million to expand staff, purchase new machinery and invest in research and development of new product lines.

The 107,000-square-foot facility, which produces thousands of cylinders a year, has already doubled its staff from 11 to 22 employees and will grow to around 50 people in the next two years

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Catalina Composites said the company is in good hands. “The long-term prospects of the composites business under the ownership of the acquiring company are significantly more favorable than other available alternatives,’’ Catalina wrote to its employees in announcing the sale.

Uttam Group of Companies is a family-owned conglomerate established in 1900 that serves a wide array of customers and locations — from the Indian Army at the Siachen Glacier, the highest battleground on earth, to the Indian Space Research Organization’s mission to Mars.


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