Business Finland: US-based Plug Power makes strategic move into Finland’s green hydrogen economy

Nasdaq listed company Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy, plans to develop three green hydrogen production plants in Finland, resulting in the production of 850 tons per day (TPD) of green hydrogen, or 2.2 gigawatts (GW) of electrolyzer capacity, by the end of the decade with final investment decision by 2025/2026. Using Plug’s PEM electrolyzer and liquefaction technology, the green hydrogen produced at these sites will support the production of ammonia and green steel (DRI), reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and materially support the decarbonization of Europe.

Today, at a signing ceremony at Business Finland’s headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, Plug’s CEO Andy Marsh secured the commitment of three Finnish municipalities to access land, kicking off these historical projects. 

“Already one of the largest players in the European hydrogen market, Plug is accelerating its commitment to Europe at an unprecedented scale with these three planned historic industrial sector projects collaborating with both financial and industrial partners. We are proud to commit our know-how and turnkey hydrogen solutions towards helping Finland deliver on its vision to become a European leader of the green hydrogen economy,” Andy Marsh stated.

These projects are expected to represent some of the largest investments in the European market.  Plug is collaborating with financial partners to secure optimal capital solutions, and industrial partners to secure offtake commitments from creditworthy counterparties before these projects get to FID by the 2025/2026 timeframe.

“This investment is significant for Europe, showcasing Finland’s international competitiveness and marking a remarkable achievement. With an innovative ecosystem and self-sufficient, carbon-free energy production, Finland has attracted green investments, like that from Plug, into the European value chain. Collaboration with our regions has been outstanding, demonstrating how small towns can lead industrial progress. This project will boost economic activity, create jobs, and foster well-being for years to come,” said Markku Kivistö, Head of Cleantech Industry at Invest in Finland, part of Business Finland.

The sites will be strategically located in Finland to take advantage of its abundant decarbonized and clean energy sources, such as nuclear, wind and hydro power. 

  • Kokkola, Finland: This site is expected to generate 85TPD of liquid green hydrogen, and up to 700 kt of green ammonia per year, using 1GW of electrolyzers. The liquid green hydrogen will be produced for local use and for export to western Europe from  the Port of Kokkola. Green ammonia will also be exported through the same port. 
  • Kristinestad, Finland: The 1GW electrolyzer plant located close to a former coal plant will export green hydrogen for green steel production (2.0 mt/y of DRI/HBI produced) from the port of Kristinestad.
  • Porvoo, Finland: This site will produce 20TPD of gaseous green hydrogen by 2027 ramping to 100TPD by 2030. The hydrogen will be used locally, for mobility and pipeline injection.

Benjamin Haycraft, EVP EMEA Region said, “By scaling up our top-tier manufacturing to continually lower costs, Plug aims to democratize access to green hydrogen in Europe with attractive economics. Finland’s abundant decarbonized and growing renewable energy sources makes it the most strategic location.”

This is a strategically important move for Plug and will enhance European energy security. This scale of electrolyzer capacity accounts for close to 5% of the RePower EU plan, which has targeted 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen produced in Europe by 2030. These projects will support the development of green electricity and green hydrogen around the European backbone pipeline near the Bothnian Bay and contribute to Finland’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2035, a goal set by the Finnish government in its Climate and Energy Strategy.  Plug’s planned green hydrogen production sites are expected to create around 1,000 direct jobs and over 3,000 indirect jobs, significantly boosting the local economy.

”I am very pleased to see Plug has identified Finland as the right place for their investments. We have ambitious goals in the hydrogen economy, so investments like this are exactly what we need. This is a big part of the future of Finnish industrial policy,” said Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

At the signing ceremony, Plug also executed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Fingrid, Finland’s transmission system operator, and Gasgrid, respectively for electricity and hydrogen. Plug is working closely with Fingrid and Gasgrid to ensure electric grid capacities and development of the infrastructures which will allow export of green hydrogen by pipes.

For the development of the ammonia plant, Plug is partnering with Hy2Gen, the global project developer of renewable hydrogen, ammonia and hydrogen-based e-fuels. For the development of the DRI/HBI plant, Plug is partnering with GravitHy, an industrial company developing an integrated DRI/HBI site which will produce 2 million tonnes of DRI/HBI in the south of France and in which Plug was a founding partner alongside other large corporations (EIT InnoEnergy, Engie, Forvia, IDEC, Primetals).

This article was first published on 30 May by Business Finland.