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John Cockerill advances US expansion of hydrogen with launch of gigafactory in Baytown

October 25, 2023

John Cockerill Hydrogen, a world leading electrolyzer manufacturer announced its US entry with the acquisition of manufacturing space in Baytown for a new gigafactory. The facility is expected to create 200 new jobs and produce 1GW per year of electrolyzers.

John Cockerill Hydrogen will serve the North American market from Houston and provide a domestic supply chain, local customer support, and green hydrogen production equipment.

Using existing buildings retrofitted with new equipment and leveraging on John Cockerill Hydrogen's extensive experience through its other plants around the world (Europe and China), production is expected to begin as early as Q3 2024 and will be among the first operational alkaline manufacturing facilities of this size in the US.

“We are excited for the US launch, the first step in our partnership journey with North American businesses and stakeholders who seek to decarbonize and advance the energy transition,” said François Michel, CEO of John Cockerill Group.

US executives chose Houston and specifically the Baytown – Chambers County site for its proximity to transport routes including a rail spur on site, major highways, nearby barge access which are key to facilitating inbound and outbound logistics, and for its significant base of hydrogen use including refining and petrochemicals and existing infrastructure such as export terminals, gas storage capacities and hydrogen pipelines. Additionally, Houston recently secured its place as one of seven regional hydrogen hubs in the US as designated by the Department of Energy, providing a network of energy transition partners and a favorable environment for innovation.

“With an existing energy ecosystem comprised of competitive natural resources, a highly skilled talent base, and existing infrastructure, Houston was the natural choice for our entry to North America,” said Nicolas de Coignac, President of the Americas for John Cockerill. “We look forward to partnering with local and state officials, business organizations, academic institutions and other Houston-area stakeholders playing a part in meeting the ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gases emissions and ensuring energy security and resilience.”

In addition to the Baytown facility, John Cockerill Hydrogen also has a local head office with support functions and operations located in Houston.

John Cockerill Hydrogen has been involved in building and advancing the hydrogen ecosystem in Houston through its leadership position as a steering committee member of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI). Among other initiatives, HETI aims to develop an electrolyzer manufacturing cluster. John Cockerill executives also had a leadership role in the recent Hydrogen Hubs Conference in August which convened energy industry leaders, lawyers, financial services companies, elected officials and others to move hydrogen hubs forward.

“We are pleased to welcome John Cockerill Hydrogen’s highly anticipated U.S. launch to Houston,” said Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. “This momentous announcement — closely following the U.S. Energy Department’s selection of HyVelocity to develop a Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub – serves as a resounding testament to our city’s unrivaled status as the energy — and energy transition — capital of the world. With our exceptional infrastructure and top-tier talent, Houston is primed for exponential growth. John Cockerill Hydrogen’s partnership within our hydrogen ecosystem will be nothing short of transformative. Together, we will shape the future of energy and solidify Houston’s position in the clean hydrogen space.”

John Cockerill Hydrogen plans to host a groundbreaking event later this year, featuring company executives, local and state leaders, business organizations and other energy industry influencers.

About John Cockerill Hydrogen

With decades of experience in hydrogen technologies, John Cockerill Hydrogen, a fully owned subsidiary of John Cockerill, is a world leading electrolyzer manufacturer. The company designs, builds and maintains pressurized alkaline electrolyzers and has delivered the world's two largest projects (100+ MW) in operation today. Through its existing manufacturing footprint and its planned global capacity ramp-up, John Cockerill Hydrogen is uniquely positioned to lead the fast-growing green hydrogen production market with specific focus on industrial-scale and utility-scale projects. John Cockerill Hydrogen North America was established in 2022 to serve the North American market with domestic electrolyzer production and local customer services.

John Cockerill, enabler of opportunities

Driven since 1817 by the entrepreneurial spirit and thirst for innovation of its founder, the John Cockerill Group develops large-scale technological solutions to meet the needs of its time: facilitating access to fossil free energies, enabling sustainable industrial production, preserving natural resources, contributing to greener mobility, enhancing security, and installing critical infrastructures.

Its offer to companies, states and communities consists of services and associated equipment for the sectors of energy, defense, industry, the environment, transports, and infrastructures.

The John Cockerill Group, which is privately owned, has been present in the United States since 2005 with its Industry and Energy divisions and employs 6,000 people worldwide, including more than 100 in North America. John Cockerill achieved a turnover of $1.11 billion in 2022 in 24 countries, on 5 continents. •


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