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Fortescue opens major Gladstone electrolyser manufacturing facility

Fortescue’s Gladstone electrolyser facility is not only a Queensland first, but also an Australian first.

Fortescue’s Gladstone electrolyser facility is not only a Queensland first, but also an Australian first.

8th April 2024

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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Mining and green energy company Fortescue on Monday opened the first manufacturing facility in Australia to build hydrogen electrolysers at commercial scale.

The 15 000 m2 advanced manufacturing facility, in Gladstone, Queensland, has an initial capacity to produce 2 GW/y of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser stacks.

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

“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.”

The electrolyser facility, said to be the first globally to integrate an automated assembly line, is the first stage of a wider Green Energy Manufacturing Centre being developed by Fortescue on the 100 ha Gladstone site.

The  next phases will also include a hydrogen system testing facility and Fortescue’s PEM50 green hydrogen project.

Queensland’s Coordinator General on Monday approved the PEM50 project – a 50 MW green hydrogen production facility – paving the way for construction to begin.

PEM50 will use the locally made PEM electrolysers with approval to produce green hydrogen for local and export markets. Once operational it will be the first commercial scale green hydrogen facility for Fortescue.

Collectively, the two Fortescue projects will generate 240 jobs during construction and 93 ongoing local operational jobs. Fortescue estimates that as the energy precinct continues to develop, more than 300 indirect local jobs will also be supported.

“Fortescue’s Gladstone electrolyser facility is not only a Queensland first, but also an Australian first – right here in our backyard.

“It will be by far Australia’s largest manufacturer of hydrogen electrolysers and one of the largest in the world,” said Premier Steven Miles.

Fortescue executive chairperson and founder Andrew Forrest expressed pride in the company’s role as a trailblazer in the green energy sector and acknowledged the support of the Queensland and federal governments in facilitating the establishment of the facility.

“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,” Forrest said.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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