The US company Plug Power has announced plans to build three green hydrogen production plants in Finland in a billion-euro investment.
In a press release, the firm said the plants would be located in the port cities of Kokkola and Kristinestad (Kristiinankaupunki in Finnish) on Finland's west coast as well as in Porvoo in the southeast.
"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," Plug's CEO Andy Marsh said at a signing ceremony at Business Finland's headquarters in Helsinki on Tuesday.
Finland's commitment to reducing carbon emissions and its well-functioning infrastructure were crucial factors in the decision to choose Finland as an investment location, Marsh said, adding that Nato membership was also a key consideration.
However, despite the fanfare, both Plug Power and Business Finland emphasised that the project is still in the planning stage, and a final investment decision will be taken between 2025 and 2026.
If the plans do go ahead, the firm predicts that it will lead to the creation of around 1,000 direct jobs and more than 3,000 indirect jobs.
The projects could represent some of the largest investments in the European market, Business Finland stated in its own press release on Tuesday. Although Plug Power has so far not provided an exact estimate of the value of the investment, Business Finland said it would be in the billion-euro range.
The firm has started discussions with financial investors and debt providers, Business Finland noted, and is "collaborating with financial partners to secure optimal capital solutions".
Investment shows "Finland's international competitiveness"
In its press release, Business Finland described Plug Power as "a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy listed on the New York Stock Exchange".
Markku Kivistö, Head of Cleantech Industry at Invest in Finland, which is part of Business Finland, noted that investment is being directed towards Finland because of the its high level of emission-free energy production and functioning industrial ecosystems.
"This investment is significant for Europe, showcasing Finland's international competitiveness and marking a remarkable achievement. Collaboration with our regions has been outstanding, demonstrating how small towns can lead industrial progress," Kivistö said.
The plants are expected to produce 850 tons per day (TPD) of green hydrogen, or 2.2 gigawatts (GW) of electrolyzer capacity, by the end of the decade.
Cities welcome investment plans
The Kokkola plant would produce emission-free hydrogen and emission-free ammonia, which are used as fuels and energy sources for the process manufacturing industry, while emission-free hydrogen is planned for the Kristinestad and Porvoo plants.
A 200 megawatt hydroelectric power plant is already planned for the city of Kristinestad, with Mayor Mila Segervall noting that the city has been working for a long time on developing green energy with wind power, solar power, and hydrogen.
"We are a European pioneer in the green transition. We are doing everything in our power to ensure the success of the project in Kristinestad. It will have positive impacts on the entire region's economy," Segervall said.
Kokkola has also long been developing an infrastructure aimed at attracting industrial projects.
"Kokkola is committed to support the installation of Plug's project in Kokkola South, and we are delighted about the estimated several hundreds of industrial jobs that will be created with Plug's establishment," Jonne Sandberg, the Development Director of Kokkola, said.
Porvoo Mayor Jukka-Pekka Ujula said the southern city is becoming a major cleantech hub.
"We are pleased to welcome international operators to the Kilpilahti area, which is a key location for the green transition in Finland and Northern Europe," he said.
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