John Cockerill completes groundbreaking of new US gigafactory in Houston

December 09th 2023

Continuing our progress in the clean energy sector, John Cockerill is proud to announce our entry into the North American market with our new gigafactory in Baytown, TX, where we will operate the first alkaline electrolyzer gigafactory in the US. The formal groundbreaking of our new gigafactory was celebrated on Saturday, December 9, at an event attended by the Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo, Francois Michel, CEO of the John Cockerill Group, and Nicolas de Coignac (John Cockerill President Americas). Also in attendance were numerous journalists, representatives from Chambers County, and local stakeholders such as the Greater Houston Partnership.

After the event, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stated, “Today’s ribbon cutting at John Cockerill’s Houston manufacturing facility is the first step into deepening the supply chain between Belgium companies and the Texas Gulf Coast.

Several recent events led John Cockerill to advance our US expansion of its hydrogen business. First, over the past few years, the US government has shown a commitment to supporting the hydrogen sector through various initiatives and policies, implementing funding programs, tax incentives, and research investments to stimulate the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies. This has created an incredibly promising environment for green hydrogen and has driven us to act quickly to bring our solutions to US customers as soon as possible. In particular, the Inflation Reduction Act —which further incentivizes hydrogen investment— played a pivotal role in John Cockerill’s decision to enter the US.

For our first US location, John Cockerill selected the Baytown area outside of Houston. With a long history as an energy hub, Houston has the skilled workforce, infrastructure, and local support necessary to expand further and establish the region as a clean energy hub as well. Nicolas de Coignac said, “The hydrogen economic fabric is particularly rich in Texas which, we hope, will spur even more local collaboration on projects.

From here, we will turn our attention to refurbishing the facility and installing state-of-the-art machines, developed thanks to expertise gained from John Cockerill’s other hydrogen factories. We expect the first electrolyzer produced at the facility to be ready before the end of 2024, with full ramp up achieved in 2026. The facility is expected to produce 1 GW per year of electrolyzers, creating 200 jobs and bolstering Houston’s position as a hydrogen hub.