Fortescue plans mega electrolyser production plant for Queensland

Click to learn more. Fortescue Chairman Andrew Forrest at the project launch.

As part of a new partnership with the Queensland state government, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) announced plans for the world’s largest electrolyser, renewable industry and equipment factory in Gladstone. Final approvals pending, construction will begin in 2022, with the first electrolysers scheduled for production in early 2023.

Stage one of the six-stage project will establish Australia’s first multi-gigawatt-scale electrolyser factory, with an initial capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) per annum – more than doubling current global production. Stage one will also deliver hundreds of jobs in both construction and over its project lifetime. Fortescue plans to establish its first Vocational Training and Employment centre (VTEC) in Queensland at GEM, in addition to Trade Up and Leadership and Excellence programs, with a strong focus on giving a hand up to Traditional Custodians.

Official press release, 10 October 2021

15 million tonnes green hydrogen by 2030

FFI’s own requirement for electrolsyer equipment will underwrite the initial growth of the Global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (GEM) project, and by all indications those requirements will be significant. Earlier this year Fortescue Chairman Andrew Forrest set a goal for his organisation to supply 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen onto global markets by 2030. In the same announcement he also flagged his intention for Fortescue to install enough renewable energy generation to produce that volume: 150 GW by 2030.

Big week for electrolyser production announcements

Already reported at Ammonia Energy is thyssenkrupp’s announcement that they will expand their electrolyser production to 5 GW annually by the middle of the decade. In other electrolyser manufacturing news:

  • an existing player in Germany – Sunfire – announced a new 500 MW/year manufacturing facility would be ready by 2023, with plans to extend beyond 1 GW/year. With an existing production capacity of 40 MW/year, Sunfire CEO Nils Aldag declared his organisation is already able to fill client orders for hydrogen projects in the 100 MW scale.
  • and a new, ultra-low-cost electrolyser developed by wind turbine pioneer Henrik Stiesdal (the 3MW HydroGen model) will enter mass production in 2023 after a new deal was signed with Reliance Industries. A new giga-scale electrolyser factory in Gujarat state, India will be constructed. India is aiming to install multiple GW of electrolysers by 2030 for the production of green hydrogen and green ammonia.
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