Fortescue begins work on Queensland electrolyser plant

2 GW worth of electrolyser units per year out of Gladstone

Graphic visualisation of Plug Power’s modular 10 MW electrolyser unit, which will be manufactured in Queensland, Australia from next year. Source: Plug Power.
Click to learn more. Graphic visualisation of Plug Power’s modular 10 MW electrolyser unit, which will be manufactured in Queensland, Australia from next year. Source: Plug Power.

Fortescue Future Industries’ 2 GW per annum electrolyser manufacturing plant has officially broken ground in construction, and is on track to begin operations next year. The $80 million plant is the first stage of a larger complex planned in regional Queensland: the Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (or GEM for short). FFI and Plug Power are equal partners in the electrolyser plant, which will manufacture Plug Power’s electrolyser units.

Fortescue Future Industries is ahead of the curve. The electrolyser facility is set to be complete by early next year and will quickly scale up to meet the growing demand for electrolysers. We plan to manufacture other renewable energy components in future expansions

FFI CEO Julie Shuttleworth AM in the official press release, 27 Feb 2022

Gibson Island: deploying & plugging in

The first electrolyser units off the process line in 2023 have already been earmarked for installation at FFI’s planned green hydrogen production facility in Gibson Island, Brisbane, next door to Incitec Pivot Limited’s existing ammonia plant. Last November we reported that green hydrogen could supply a much-needed lifeline to Incitec Pivot’s conventional ammonia plant, which is due to shutter later this year. In December 2021, FFI green lit the results of a technical feasibility study for this green conversion, and discussions are ongoing to bring the project to life.

Join us later this month when we sit down with Incitec Pivot’s VP of Strategic Project Development Darren Jarvis to explore the pathway forward for green ammonia on Gibson Island. Register here for our conversation on Thursday 31 March, 2PM AEDT.

Also in the news this week, agreements were signed to plug Gibson Island electrolysers into Queensland’s power grid. FFI, along with state-owned bodies Powerlink & Economic Development Queensland, agreed to work together to build new transmission connections. Powerlink will construct a new high voltage switchyard at its existing Murarrie Substation, and two high voltage feeders to Gibson Island. The agreement also covers Gladstone, where Powerlink’s existing facilities will be upgraded to accommodate new connections.

Other FFI news

FFI has also been shortlisted as a potential partner in Meridian Energy’s Southland Green Hydrogen Project. Meridian is seeking to get a 600 MW green hydrogen production plant operational and exporting green ammonia from 2025, using hydropower from the Manapōuri power station. More on this development mid-year.

FFI has also secured a controlling stake in the Australian startup Sparc Hydrogen. Sparc – a spinout company based on technology developed at two South Australian universities – is commercialising photocatalytic water splitting: making hydrogen from just water and sunlight.

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David Johnson

A powerplant cannot put out 2 GW per annum. That’s like saying it will put out 10,000 hp per year. Or that your faucet flows 2 L/min per year. Makes no sense. A GW is a power value (i.e. RATE) not an amount of energy. You could say the plant can put out 2 GW, or you could say that it will put out 2 GW-hr/year, but it’s not a thing to say 2 GW per annum.

Joe Beach

Hi David,
The units for the electrolyzer plant were correct because it was referencing electrolyzer manufacturing plant capacity, not power plant output. Electrolyzers are often rated as having a certain maximum power input. For example, a 1 MW electrolyzer or a 10 MW electrolyzer. A 2 GW/year electrolyzer manufacturing plant capacity means that the manufacturing plant will make enough electrolyzers in the course of a year so that if they were all operated simultaneously, they could use a 2 GW electrical power input.