First Hydrogen hires Schipstra to strengthen its green hydrogen production team

Afkenel Schipstra
Afkenel Schipstra

First Hydrogen Corp. is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, First Hydrogen Limited, has appointed Afkenel Schipstra as Chief Operational Officer to expand its energy business.

Ms. Schipstra joins First Hydrogen from multinational utility ENGIE, where she served as Senior Vice President of Hydrogen Business Development. She was responsible for major hydrogen projects in the Netherlands, including HyNetherlands, a 1.85 GW green hydrogen value chain that includes the production, transport and use of green hydrogen. She is also a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of HydrogenOne Capital Growth plc, the first hydrogen fund listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Prior to joining ENGIE, Afkenel was Hydrogen Program Manager at TSO Gasunie N.V., where she developed a roadmap for the company’s hydrogen activities. In her previous role as Senior Business Development Manager, she worked on Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) and district heating projects. She is passionate about bringing more women into the industry and is an active member of Women in Hydrogen as well as a founding member of VIEN, a community of energy sector leaders committed to bridging the gender gap to create a sustainable and inclusive future for the sector.

Afkenel holds a master’s degree from the Rotterdam School of Management, is a registered controller and has more than 15 years of experience in corporate governance and financial management in the energy sector. At First Hydrogen, she will help the company establish environmentally sustainable green hydrogen production facilities and develop refueling solutions for them – an important part of First Hydrogen’s efforts to secure green hydrogen supplies for its customers.

First Hydrogen Chairman Nick Wrigley says, “Afkenel brings both passion and extensive expertise in hydrogen project management and financing to our team. She joins us at a pivotal time in the development of our hydrogen infrastructure; planning is underway for our first green hydrogen production facilities in the UK, and we are working with FEV Consulting to develop our refueling technology. Leading this work, she will build our Hydrogen-as-a-Solution model, which will address the chicken-and-egg problem that hinders the adoption of hydrogen vehicles and help create a zero-emissions future. We also look forward to it helping us drive diversity in the energy and automotive industries as this important step helps accelerate innovation and change.

Afkenel Schipstra, Chief Operational Officer of First Hydrogen Energy, notes: Profound changes are underway in the global energy system. Governments, industry and consumers are shaping a net-zero economy in which clean hydrogen will play a critical role as a feedstock, energy source and fuel. This is a unique opportunity to become part of a forward-thinking and pioneering company with a truly talented international team fully committed to developing a more sustainable future. By growing this emerging industry, we can also motivate more people to pursue rewarding careers in this rapidly evolving sector. I look forward to embarking on this new journey and working across the value chain to help First Hydrogen move toward a emissions-free future.

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