Norwegian firm picks Plymouth Twp. for electrolyzer factory

PLYMOUTH TWP.–Oslo, Norway-based Nel ASA said it had selected Plymouth Charter Township as the site of its next “gigafactory,” a plant capable of producing four gigawatts of electrolyzers to use electricity to turn water into hydrogen fuel.

The plant is planned to be more than 500,000 square feet in size, and employ more than 500 people. If fully developed, it will represent an investment of more than $400 million.

“Plymouth Charter Township is an ideal location for Nel,” said the company’s CEO, Håkon Volldal. “Here, we have access to a highly educated workforce, universities and research institutions, and we are close to our collaborating partner, General Motors. In addition, the government and the authorities of Michigan have provided a very attractive financial support package for us.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund will support the project with a $10 million Michigan Business Development Program grant. The MSF board also approved a 15-year, 100 percent State Essential Services Assessment Exemption Request, valued at up to $6.25 million. to support the project. Nel has so far secured more than $50 million in support for its Michigan site. Pending approval of additional state and federal applications, this amount could increase to around $150 million.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said of the plant: “This investment will bring good-paying jobs to the region and build on our leadership in cars, chips, and clean energy. We know the best manufacturing in the world happens right here in our state, and we were proud to share our vision for a clean energy future during our economic mission to Europe earlier this year. We will continue to let the world know about our state’s attractive business climate, talented workforce, and commitment to clean hydrogen development as we work to bring these transformational investments home to Michigan.”

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Nel specializes in electrolyser technology for production of renewable hydrogen, and hydrogen fueling equipment for road-going vehicles. Nel’s product offerings are key enablers for a green hydrogen economy, making it possible to decarbonize various industries such as transportation, refining, steel, and ammonia.

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