Norwegian electrolyser manufacturer Nel has announced that it will build a long-planned 4GW gigafactory in the US state of Michigan, at a cost of up to $400m.

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The plant, which will be among the largest in the world, will produce both alkaline and PEM machines, using the automation technology Nel developed for its factory in Herøya, Norway, which is being expanded from 500MW to 1GW.

Nel also has an electrolyser plant in Wallingford, Connecticut, which is being expanded from 50MW to 500MW.

A boom in the production of green hydrogen — produced in electrolysers using renewable electricity to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen — is widely expected in the US due to the coming $3/kg hydrogen tax credits and the $8bn of subsidies set aside by the US government for hydrogen hubs.

The Michigan gigafactory will be “built in steps to match supply with demand”, the company said, adding that a final investment decision is yet to be made.

In February, Nel stated that it was in the “final phases” of deciding where to build the 4GW plant and had narrowed down the choices to three states.

“The choice of Michigan is based on an overall assessment of what the state can offer in terms of financial incentives, access to a highly skilled workforce, and cooperation with universities, research institutions, and strategic partners,” said Nel CEO Håkon Volldal.

He added that the proximity to the Detroit headquarters of General Motors — which is collaborating with Nel on improving its PEM electrolyser technology — played a decisive role in the decision.

Volldal also said that the “personal engagement from Governor [Gretchen] Whitmer and her competent and service-minded team” was also a factor in the decision.

Whitmer had flown to Norway in January as part of an investment mission, where she met with Nel executives.

“Earlier this year, I went on an economic mission to Europe to show the world what Michigan has to offer, and as a result of our efforts on the trip, we secured an investment from Nel to continue building on our leadership in cars, chips, and clean energy,” she said.

“As a major player in all three of these sectors, Michigan is serious about leading hydrogen development and winning today’s investment proves that the best manufacturing in the world happens right here in Michigan.”

Whitmer added that Nel’s investment would create “more than 500 good-paying, clean energy jobs right here in Michigan”.