Belgian electrolyser manufacturer John Cockerill has initiated construction on its groundbreaking 1GW factory in Baytown, Texas.
This ambitious project, unveiled less than two months after acquiring the site, is poised to be the first alkaline gigafactory in the US, marking a pivotal moment in the country’s hydrogen industry.
John Cockerill’s strategic decision to purchase an existing building expedites the facility’s development, eliminating potential permitting and construction delays. Nicolas de Coignac, Head of John Cockerill’s US division, emphasizes the company’s commitment to swiftly responding to the burgeoning hydrogen sector in North America, leveraging tax credits and subsidies for green hydrogen production.
With the target of completing the first electrolyser by the end of the next year, John Cockerill plans to utilize state-of-the-art machines developed from expertise gained in its other hydrogen factories. Notably, the company is focusing on sourcing components locally, fostering a robust supply chain base in Houston and the surrounding region. This move aligns with the broader strategy of contributing to the growth of the US hydrogen sector.
John Cockerill stands as one of several European electrolyser manufacturers eyeing expansion in the US, catalyzed by the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The largest electrolyser factory in the US currently belongs to Bloom Energy, but John Cockerill’s entry into the market signifies a pivotal moment in the race for hydrogen dominance. Other players, such as Nel and Topsoe, are also making strides with their own gigafactories, contributing to the transformation of the US hydrogen landscape.
The groundbreaking ceremony for John Cockerill’s Texas facility received attention from Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, highlighting the collaboration between Belgium and the Houston area. François Michel, CEO of John Cockerill, expressed confidence in the project, underlining Belgium’s role as a gateway to Europe and Houston’s potential as a vibrant innovation hub in North America.