Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), a green energy and metals company will acquire the Nikola Corporation’s Phoenix Hydrogen Hub (PHH) project, located in Arizona, USA. Following the acquisition, FFI will invest money and resources to fully develop the site, while both companies continue to work towards a hydrogen supply agreement to support Nikola’s Class 8 zero-emission trucks.
The PHH is described as a “fast-to-market” green hydrogen project that will be built in stages depending on demand. It is anticipated that the site will begin hydrogen production by approximately 2025.
“Nikola’s priority is to see more zero-emission trucks on the road and this acquisition by FFI will greatly strengthen one of the country’s first and most important hydrogen hubs,” said Michael Lohscheller, president and CEO, Nikola Corporation. “FFI’s acquisition of this project is a significant milestone as we work to create an all-important local connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of hydrogen to fuel zero-emission vehicles.”
The acquisition announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the pair – in January 2023 – to jointly evaluate and co-develop large-scale USA-based green hydrogen production sites.
“FFI is actively expanding its US presence and strengthening its position as a leading global developer of green energy production and technology. We are committed to helping turn North America into a world-leading global green energy producer,” said Mark Hutchinson, CEO, FFI. “This is an exciting opportunity to work towards a fast-moving project that will lead the way in the U.S., creating new green industrial jobs for Americans, while also helping to reduce emissions once production begins.”
Once a supply agreement is signed and the site is operational, hydrogen produced at the site will be used to support Nikola’s hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The duo expects that the large-scale deployment of hydrogen in the region’s transportation sector will benefit from both the hydrogen tax credit in the federal Inflation Reduction Act and state level incentives including the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in California, USA.
“This investment by FFI will greatly strengthen one of the country’s first and most important hydrogen ecosystems and it is a significant milestone in creating the all-important local connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of green hydrogen,” added Hutchinson. “This demonstrates FFI’s commitment to decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors like transport and moving the world beyond fossil fuels.”
At present, the PHH project is in the final stages of a permitting process.