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Johnson Matthey to build a new production plant in China for catalyst-coated membranes

| By Mary Bailey

Johnson Matthey plc (JM; London), a global leader in sustainable technologies, has signed an investment agreement with the Jiading District in Shanghai to help accelerate the hydrogen economy in China.

At a signing ceremony in Sonning, UK today, JM and the Shanghai Jiading District announced plans to build a new catalyst coated membrane (CCM) production facility, providing CCM production capability for multiple proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications and PEM electrolyzers.

The facility which will have an initial capacity of up to 5GW, will occupy 22,000m2 in the Jiading district of Shanghai, in a designated Hydrogen industrial zone and is due to be operational in 2025. It will have potential to expand further in line with customer demand.  

The investment, which is backed by customer demand, is part of JM’s £1.1 billion global stated capital expernditure for the three years to 2024/25 and will include government support and incentives. 

Dr Mark Su, President of Greater China at Johnson Matthey, said: “This is a landmark investment for our business as we build our footprint in the US, Europe and now China, cementing our presence in all three major hydrogen markets. We are excited to expand our businesses whilst creating and scaling the low carbon solutions that will help China achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.”

The new production facility will enable Johnson Matthey to supply existing Chinese and international customers with locally produced CCMs, and in addition there is a strong pipeline of further customer interest across both fuel cell and renewable (green) hydrogen technologies.

Ms. Gao Xiang, Mayor of Jiading District, said: “Jiading District is a famous international automobile city and one of the earliest areas in China to develop a hydrogen industry. With the help of companies like Johnson Matthey, we are able to actively build a hydrogen technologies innovation hub and a national fuel cell vehicle demonstration city. This investment agreement plays to both parties’ strengths and is a win-win cooperation.”

CCMs are key performance defining components in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). China has said it aims to have 1 million hydrogen-powered vehicles on its road by 2030.

Johnson Matthey has a long heritage in China with six state-of-the art manufacturing facilities.  JM is one of China’s leading auto catalyst producers and platinum group metals traders and refiners, and a leading player across syngas and hydrogen fuel cells.  JM was the first commercial scale membrane electrode assembly (MEA) producer in China, producing the MEAs for hydrogen fuel cell shuttle buses showcased in the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.