Topsoe, ABB, Fluor to build joint electrolyzer facility in Virginia

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Dive Brief:

  • Automation machinery maker ABB and construction company Fluor are teaming up with Topsoe to build a $400-plus million electrolyzer factory in Chesterfield County, Virginia, the companies announced in a June 19 joint press release.
  • The Topsoe factory will manufacture solid oxide electrolysis cells, or e-fuels, which are utilized to produce clean hydrogen. It will also create 150 jobs. 
  • Together, the three companies will design a concept for building the factory as well as creating processes to cut costs and improve safety. Operations are expected to begin by 2028.

Dive Insight:

Topsoe is currently in the middle of building its first e-fuels facility near its headquarters in Herning, Denmark, which will open later this year. The experience informed Topsoe’s decision to partner with ABB and Fluor, in hopes of building the Virginia plant more effectively, according to the press release.

“Progressing the energy transition at any acceptable pace and scale will require collaboration and balance between existing and new technologies, driven by formal partnerships that span the entire energy value chain,” ABB Energy Industries President Brandon Spencer said in a June 16 statement.

The joint agreement is just one of the ways chemical maker Topsoe has worked to secure its new electrolyzer factory. In March, the Department of Energy awarded Topsoe $135.9 million in 48C tax credits. 

The DOE also requires manufacturing awardees to participate in workforce development and apprenticeship programs. Last month, Denmark-based Topsoe announced plans to award five $10,000 scholarships to high school seniors in Chesterfield County, Virginia who are pursuing a STEM-related major.

Across the country, green hydrogen projects are rapidly expanding. If the current projects announced are completed, annual production of low-emission hydrogen could reach 38 metric tons by 2030, up 50% than the projected number in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency. Other projects announced include a green hydrogen factory by Verdagy, which is building a facility in Silicon Valley.

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