Johnson Matthey to build £80 million 'gigafactory' in Royston

Johnson Matthey in Royston

Johnson Matthey in Royston - Credit: Archant

Johnson Matthey has announced that it is building a £80 million 'gigafactory' at its existing site in Royston, to manufacture hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles.

The site, which is expected to be in operation in the first half of 2024, will use state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to meet customer demand.

The gigafactory will initially be capable of manufacturing 3GW of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components annually for hydrogen vehicles and is supported by the UK Government through the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF).

In future the site could be expanded, almost tripling potential capacity to produce both fuel cell and green hydrogen components.

The gigafactory is part of Johnson Matthey's refreshed strategy, announced earlier this year, to be the “market leader in performance components for fuel cells and electrolysers”, targeting more than £200 million sales in Hydrogen Technologies by end of 2024/25.

Liam Condon, chief executive of Johnson Matthey said: “Decarbonising freight transportation is critical to help societies and industries meet their ambitious net zero emission targets – fuel cells will be a crucial part of the energy transition.

"For more than two decades, JM has been at the forefront of fuel cell innovation. The fuel cell market has now reached a pivotal moment with the increasing urgency to decarbonise transportation and today marks the next step of the journey to a low-carbon future in the UK.

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"We’re delighted to be playing a key role in driving it forward.”

The UK government announced its support for the gigafactory. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This investment, backed by Government, is a major vote of confidence from Johnson Matthey in the UK.

"Their new facility will not only add to our growing electric vehicle supply chain, but it will also help secure hundreds of highly skilled jobs.

“We are working hard to ensure the UK reaps the benefits of the green industrial revolution, and [last week's] announcement reaffirms UK’s reputation as one of the best locations in the world for high quality auto manufacturing.”