Fortescue opens doors on 2 GW electrolyser factory


Fortescue has launched a hydrogen electrolyser factory near Gladstone that will have capacity to produce more than 2 GW of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser stacks annually, helping to support the mining and clean energy behemoth’s plans to ramp up green hydrogen production in the decade ahead.

Fortescue Energy Chief Executive Mark Hutchinson said the 15,000 square-metre facility at Aldoga, about 25 kilometres west of Gladstone, is one the first in the world to house a fully automated production line and 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,” he 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 focussed 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 Gladstone factory, which will use PEM technology developed in-house by Fortescue teams in Australia and the United States, is central to the company’s plans to be a global leader in the production of green hydrogen, having regularly affirmed its goal to produce 15 million tonnes a year by 2030.

Hutchinson said the Gladstone facility provides an environment for Fortescue to keep pace with the rapidly changing technologies in the green hydrogen space and then leverage that experience.

“We will continue to research, manufacture, source and invest in new electrolyser technologies across the world to give us the best possible competitive position,” he said.

Fortescue used the official opening of the electrolyser manufacturing factory to announce it is progressing plans to establish a 50 MW green hydrogen production plant adjacent to the facility that will produce up to 8,200 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per annum from 2025.

Construction of the first stage, which will include the installation of 30 MW production capacity, is scheduled to commence later this year.  The installation of an additional 20 MW as part of the plant’s second stage is expected to be commissioned in 2028.

Fortescue said the PEM50 project “sends a clear signal to the offtake market that industrial production in Australia is possible.”

“The project also allows Fortescue to demonstrate the quality of its electrolyser systems, positioning Fortescue as one of only a handful of global manufacturers of the technology for industrial-scale application,” the company said.

The announcements come just days after Fortescue delayed, for the third time, a final investment decision on its proposed Gibson Island green hydrogen and ammonia project near Brisbane.


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