PHOENIX, AZ – Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has made its first major move in the US following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, investing US$24 million to acquire a 100% stake in Phoenix Hydrogen Hub, LLC (PHH).
According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, PHH is developing a green hydrogen project located near Phoenix in the city of Buckeye.
The first phase of the PHH project is planned to consist of an 80 MW liquefaction and electrolyser facility capable of producing up to 12,000 tonnes per year of liquefied green hydrogen, which can displace the equivalent of 10 million gallons of diesel consumption per year. The plan has additional capacity to expand production to meet future demand.
The announcement of the investment comes as Fortescue Metals Group and FFI unite under a single “Fortescue” brand to represent a unified global metals and green energy company.
Mark Hutchinson, CEO of FFI, said the investment in PHH has the potential to create hundreds of jobs. The first green hydrogen production from the PHH project is planned for the middle of this decade.
“FFI is actively expanding its presence in the US and strengthening its position as a world leader in green energy technology development and production,” Hutchinson said.
He said FFI’s investment will greatly strengthen one of the country’s first and most important hydrogen ecosystems and is a significant milestone in creating the local plug-in infrastructure to accelerate the use of green hydrogen.
FFI acquired PHH from a subsidiary of Nikola Corporation. Nikola is a global leader in zero-emission transport and energy supply and infrastructure solutions.
Nikola, whose trucks are manufactured in Coolidge, Arizona, will be a potential customer for the centre’s liquefied green hydrogen to support the deployment of its zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell electric heavy-duty vehicles and hydrogen refuelling stations in California and the southwestern United States.
Large-scale deployment of hydrogen as a zero-emission fuel in the transportation sector is expected to benefit not only from the hydrogen tax relief provided by the Inflation Reduction Act, but also from state-level incentives such as California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
The PHH project is currently in the final stages of the permitting process, and procurement of long-life equipment is well underway. The project is expected to undergo a final investment decision by the Fortescue Board of Directors this year.