Fortescue opens Gladstone electrolyser facility

Monday, 08 April, 2024

Fortescue opens Gladstone electrolyser facility

Fortescue has announced today that it has officially opened its electrolyser manufacturing facility in Gladstone — one of the first globally to house an automated assembly line.

The company says the 15,000 m2 advanced manufacturing facility will have capacity to produce over 2 GW of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser stacks annually.

Fortescue Executive Chair and Founder Dr Andrew Forrest AO said Fortescue was proud to be a first mover.

“We are grateful for the Queensland and Federal Government’s vision and early support to help get us started,” he said. “Together we have laid the cornerstone for what will be a massive new manufacturing industry in Australia creating the potential for thousands of new green energy jobs.”

Fortescue Energy CEO Mark Hutchinson said the Gladstone facility, which produces electrolysers designed in-house by Fortescue teams in Australia and the United States, establishes the company as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

“The process of splitting hydrogen and oxygen isn’t new — but the innovative ways the world is looking to use green hydrogen to decarbonise are, and that means demand for green hydrogen and for the electrolysers to produce it is growing rapidly,” Hutchinson said. “This facility positions Fortescue and Gladstone as a large-scale producer of what will be an increasingly sought-after commodity in the global shift to green energy.

“We’re strategically focused on building out our energy business. Not only are we developing a pipeline of green energy projects, we’re also now designing and manufacturing the specialised equipment and technology that will underpin our green hydrogen projects and that of others.”

The development of the site was enabled by support from the Queensland Government, including the provision of an electrical substation, road network, communications and local water connection, as well as the allocation of land. The Australian Government also contributed $44 million from the Collaboration Stream of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

Electrolysers split hydrogen and oxygen by passing an electrical current through water, which is made up of both molecules.

“We know that technology in this space moves very quickly so as well as producing electrolysers today, this facility also provides an amazing environment for our team to learn and then leverage that experience to drive innovation and develop the solutions of tomorrow,” Hutchinson said. “We will continue to research, manufacture, source and invest in new electrolyser technologies across the world to give us the best possible competitive position.”

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