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Plug Power scraps electrolyser plant partnership with Fortescue

Kitco News

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Plug Power has walked away from building an electrolyser manufacturing plant in Australia with Fortescue Metals Group as the economics did not work, Plug Chief Executive Officer Andrew Marsh said on Thursday.

The project, announced in October 2021, was to be a key plank in Fortescue's transition toward becoming a major green energy company through its Fortescue Future Industries arm.

Fortescue announced plans with Plug Power in October 2021 to build the world's biggest factory to make electrolysers and held a sod-turning at the site in Gladstone in Australia's northeast last February aiming to produce their first electrolyser in 2023.

In a business update on Thursday, Plug Power CEO Marsh said the plant deal with Fortescue was off. "One, we decided that we didn't want to build a factory with them because we saw the economics, we could do better," Marsh said, according to a transcript of the conference call with analysts. "So we really didn't think that was worthwhile to move ahead that we're still working with them on electrolyzers."

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) CEO Mark Hutchinson said the company is going ahead with building the electrolyser plant with its own technology. "We're going to do it on time. It's going to be our own technology," Hutchinson said on a quarterly call with analysts. Fortescue did not mention the collapsed partnership in its quarterly report on Friday, where it said it had made "strong progress" on the plant, but when asked about it on a conference call, said that it no longer planned to use Plug Power's technology.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; editing by Diane Craft)

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