Sheffield hydrogen specialist opens 'world's largest' electrolyser factory

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A Sheffield hydrogen equipment company has launched what it says is the biggest electrolyser factory in the world.

ITM Power has started manufacturing at its ‘Gigafactory’ at Bessemer Park, off Shepcote Lane, near Meadowhall.

Bosses say it will make enough equipment to produce one billion watts of energy every year - a gigawatt – enough to power several hundred thousand homes.

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The firm makes electrolysers which split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen can be used to fuel cars, power factories or pumped into the national gas grid.

ITM Power's new electrolyser factory near Meadowhall.ITM Power's new electrolyser factory near Meadowhall.
ITM Power's new electrolyser factory near Meadowhall.

The AIM-listed firm has raised £231m in the last two years. Its share price has leapt from less than 30p in January 2019 to more than 510p today.

Graham Cooley, CEO, said: “We have made solid progress over the last few months in operations as we gear up for the step change in manufacturing volumes enabled by our move into the world’s largest electrolyser production facility.

“Designing the factory and the manufacturing processes, followed by the fit-out, has been a two-and-half-year journey, which has produced a blueprint for additional Gigafactories when justified by order volumes. We are pleased and proud to be in our new home.”

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The company has moved its registered office to the site and will base all 221 UK employees there. The factory also has a testing bay, remote monitoring centre, marketing department and stores. And it will have a conference room and Hydrogen Academy to train apprentices, engineers and customers.

Dr Graham Cooley, chief executive at ITM Power.Dr Graham Cooley, chief executive at ITM Power.
Dr Graham Cooley, chief executive at ITM Power.

The hydrogen sector is riding high after the Government said it would boost hi-tech green sectors post-Brexit, it has also signed the UK up to a legally-binding to commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050.

In April last year ITM Power won a contract to work out how to deliver green power to one of the biggest emissions producing areas in the country. The aim of ‘Green Hydrogen for Humberside’ is to use electricity from offshore windfarms to produce hydrogen in a process that creates no emissions.

ITM is also working with wind farm company Orsted to produce ‘green’ hydrogen for the Phillips 66 oil refinery nearby.

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The firm’s half-year results will be published on January 28. It posted a £29m loss in the year to the end of April.

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