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Comment Sustainability

Plug Power and Fortescue to build 2-GW electrolyzer factory in Australia

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plug Power (Latham, N.Y.) and Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd (FFI) signed a letter of intent for a 50-50 joint venture to build a Gigafactory in Queensland, Australia.

As part of the agreement, the two organizations intend to build a two gigawatt factory to produce large-scale proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers, with the ability to expand into fuel cell systems and other hydrogen-related refueling and storage infrastructure in the future. Plug Power will supply the electrolyzer and fuel cell technology and FFI will contribute advanced manufacturing capabilities. FFI will be the primary customer of the products manufactured by the joint venture, enabling its ambitions in decarbonizing its operations with stationary power and mobility applications running on green hydrogen.

“We need solar panels, wind towers, and electrolyzers in such scale that we need to produce them where we use them – including in Australia. We have enough solar and wind in Australia to power many countries of the world. Working together with Plug Power, we can create this future,” said Julie Shuttleworth, CEO of Fortescue Future Industries.

Under the agreement, FFI will also purchase 250 megawatts of Plug Power’s electrolyzer solutions, used to create hydrogen and oxygen from water, for its Australian projects. Plug Power will supply these from its Gigafactory in Rochester, N.Y., . Delivery is planned for the second half of 2022.

“Australia and New Zealand will be a big market opportunity for our green hydrogen ecosystem of electrolyzers, fuel cells, and green hydrogen,” said Plug Power President and CEO Andy Marsh. “This year, we will do megawatts of deployment in these markets, and gigawatts in the coming years.”

“Hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers have a great future as the world reduces emissions. Green energy, green hydrogen, green ammonia and fuel cells powered by green hydrogen are all essential to support a planet with a high standard of living that will last forever,” added Shuttleworth.

Both companies will fund the joint venture equally and will have equal representation on the board of the joint venture. The above commitments are subject to the parties’ mutual agreement on the relevant terms and conditions.

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