The company selected the Baytown area outside of Houston for its proximity to transport routes, skilled workforce, infrastructure, and local support necessary to expand further and establish the region as a clean energy.
Nicolas de Coignac, President of the Americas for John Cockerill, said: “The building of our new gigafactory was pre-owned. This is part of our strategy to hit the ground running and move quickly in the North American market, where the hydrogen sector is developing at an incredibly rapid pace. First, by purchasing an existing building, we’re able to expedite or eliminate much of the permitting and construction that can cause projects to stagnate, and instead move straight into getting this facility up and running. From here, the interior will be cleaned and refurbished, and state-of-the-art machines, developed thanks to expertise gained from John Cockerill’s other hydrogen factories, will be installed. For this new chapter, we’re focusing on sourcing much of the components of our equipment right here in the US, as we create a robust supply chain base that we will be building out in Houston and the surrounding region. With this complete, we’ll be able to produce our first electrolyzers out of the factory before the end of next year.”
François Michel, CEO of John Cockerill added: “We at John Cockerill look forward to growing our presence in the hydrogen sector in North America, following in the footsteps of many other large-scale activities that we have established in the US in the energy, heavy industry, and defense sectors since 2004. We have a long history of pushing industrial innovation all around the world. We see Belgium, as both one of the most solid gateways to Europe and one of the most vibrant innovation hubs of the continent. And we believe that there are many good reasons for Houston to play a similar role in North America. North America, and the US in particular, has clearly long been a major development focus for John Cockerill, and I am excited to take our vision to the next level by building out capacity to create green hydrogen solutions. And it’s thanks to our market diversity, expertise, and strong financial footing that John Cockerill can confidently stand behind the long-term performance guarantees that are needed to de risk and make real large-scale green hydrogen projects. By efficiently producing green hydrogen, this system will play an essential role in decarbonizing sectors such as transportation, chemicals, energy, and heavy industry, getting the US and individual businesses much closer to their emission reduction goals.”