Fortescue’s green energy project in Gladstone reaches new stage

Australia-based green energy, technology and metals company Fortescue has officially opened its electrolyzer manufacturing facility in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia, reaching a milestone in its wider green energy project.

Courtesy of Fortescue

According to Fortescue, the manufacturing facility was constructed and fully commissioned in just over two years and will have the capacity to produce over 2 GW of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer stacks annually.

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 scheme water connection, as well as the allocation of land, Fortescue revealed, noting that the Australian government also contributed AU$44 million ($28.98 million) from the Collaboration Stream of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

The electrolyser facility is the first stage of a wider Green Energy Manufacturing Centre being developed by Fortescue on the 100-hectare Gladstone site. The next phases will include a hydrogen system testing facility and Fortescue’s PEM50 green hydrogen project.

Fortescue Executive Chair and Founder Andrew Forrest AO said: “We are grateful for the Queensland and Federal Government’s vision and early support to help get us started. 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 stated that the Gladstone facility establishes the company as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), adding: “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.”

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

Hutchinson further 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.”

“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. 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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