“We want to change the world and make renewable hydrogen (H2) mainstream, not a niche product like it is today,” said Nel ASA’s CEO as the Norwegian company announced today the construction of the world’s largest electrolyser manufacturing plant.

The total development will have a name plate capacity of 360MW/year, approximately ten times the current annual production capacity, and the new facility will accommodate the multi-billion NOK order from Nikola Motor Company.

The manufacturing plant will be constructed as an extension of the current facility at Notodden in Norway, with total planned investments of around NOK 150m ($18m).

“As a market leader, Nel is now stepping up to make available technology that can outcompete fossil alternatives like natural gas reforming,” CEO Jon André Løkke continued.

“This will be the world’s largest electrolyser manufacturing plant, fully automated and designed according to lean manufacturing principles, capable of making the most efficient electrolysers at a cost the world has never seen before.”

“This expansion will also fully support the ambitions of Nikola, as well as accommodate other customers wanting to make a significant change to their business model.”

During 2018, the Notodden facility was expanded from a production capacity of 25 to 40 MW/year, through debottlenecking and optimising the existing plant. After the first stage expansion, Nel has been awarded a contract for the delivery of 448 electrolysers to Nikola as part of Nikola’s development of a H2 station infrastructure in the US for trucks and passenger vehicles. Under the multi-billion NOK contract, Nel will deliver up to 1 GW of electrolysis plus fuelling equipment.

“We already have the largest and most sophisticated manufacturing plant for H2 fuelling equipment. Today, we confirm our leadership position also within electrolyser manufacturing, which will enable us to offer complete solutions at a benchmark price. The target is clear: customers should be able to switch from fossil to renewable solutions without compromising on cost,” Løkke added.

When fully expanded, optimized and ramped up, the total Notodden facility will be able to deliver up to 360 MW worth of electrolysers per year at a five-shift operation, representing more than 160 A485 units per year.

“The expansion is fully aligned with the Nikola roadmap and we will formally kick-off the project during the second half or 2018. The facility will be operational early 2020, and ramp-up will be aligned with customer requirements”, says Løkke. 

The expansion of the Notodden facility represents investments of approximately NOK 150m and will add 30 to 40 new employees.