Matthey is building a £80 million gigafactory at its existing
site in Royston, UK, to scale up the manufacture of hydrogen
fuel cell components. Earlier this year, JM announced a
refreshed strategy, with an ambition to be the “market leader in
performance components for fuel cells and electrolysers”,
targeting more than £200 million sales in Hydrogen Technologies
by end of 2024/25.
The gigafactory will initially be capable of manufacturing 3GW
of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components annually
for hydrogen vehicles and is supported by the UK Government
through the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF). The APC
forecasts that the UK will need 14GW of fuel cell stack
production and 400,000 high pressure carbon fibre tanks annually
to meet local vehicle production demands by 2035 whilst the
market expects that there could be as many as three million fuel
cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) on the road globally by 2030.
The investment will safeguard highly skilled manufacturing jobs
in the UK. The site is expected to be in operation by H1, 2024.
The new facility at Royston will deploy state-of-the-art
manufacturing processes to scale up production of fuel cell
components and to meet customer demand. The site could be
expanded in the future, almost tripling potential capacity by
using the decommissioned Clean Air production facility, to
produce both fuel cell and green hydrogen components.
Liam Condon, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey said:
“Decarbonising freight transportation is critical to help
societies and industries meet their ambitious net zero emission
targets – fuel cells will be a crucial part of the energy
transition. For more than two decades, JM has been at the
forefront of fuel cell innovation. The fuel cell market has now
reached a pivotal moment with the increasing urgency to
decarbonise transportation and today marks the next step of the
journey to a low-carbon future in the UK. We’re delighted to be
playing a key role in driving it forward.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng: “This investment, backed by
Government, is a major vote of confidence from Johnson Matthey
in the UK. Their new facility will not only add to our growing
electric vehicle supply chain, but it will also help secure
hundreds of highly skilled jobs.
“We are working hard to ensure the UK reaps the benefits of the
green industrial revolution, and today’s announcement reaffirms
UK’s reputation as one of the best locations in the world for
high quality auto manufacturing.”
Constance, Chief Executive of the APC, the organisation tasked
by the automotive industry and government to accelerate
development of green vehicle technology and responsible for
managing ATF, said: “This is incredibly significant and puts the
UK in an enviable position in the global fuel cell supply chain.
Our insight forecasts that the UK could dominate European fuel
cell production and be a centre of excellence globally and
today’s announcement is a huge step towards realising that
“We already have 15% of the fuel cell value chain radiating from
UK businesses but this could be as much as 65% just by expanding
on current strengths in electrochemistry and coatings or using
our automotive capability to volume manufacture components.
Johnson Matthey, a world-leader in hydrogen technology, have
seen this opportunity and I’m delighted they have chosen the UK
to grow this capability.”
Road freight accounts for about 9% of global CO2 emissions, with
62% arising from medium and heavy-duty trucking - the
hardest-to-abate transport segments. Hydrogen fuel cell electric
vehicles (FCEV) provide similar benefits to existing technology
such as fast refuelling and long range but emit zero kerbside
CO2 or other pollutants, so they are a popular option for
decarbonising heavy-duty commercial vehicles and are core to a
net zero future.