US fuel cell specialist Plug Power and UK chemicals group Johnson Matthey have entered into a strategic partnership that will result in supplier contracts and the construction of a joint US plant for catalyst-coated membranes.
Both parties announce that as part of the collaboration with Plug Power, Johnson Matthey will become a major supplier of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) components and will supply a significant portion of Plug Power’s needs for catalysts, membranes and catalyst coated membranes (CCM). These products are core elements for the production of fuel cells. The MEAs are considered the heart of every polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell, where the conversion from chemical to electrical energy takes place.
Also part of the British-American cooperation in the future will be a “secure supply of precious metals and recycling services” provided by Johnson Matthey. The central pillar of the long-term partnership is likely to be the planned joint construction of a CCM production plant. This is to be built in the USA with a capacity of 5 GWh and an expansion option of up to 10 GWh and is to start operations in 2025. The duo refers to it as “expected to be the largest CCM manufacturing facility in the world”.
Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh sees the new partnership strengthening his company’s supply chain. Johnson Matthey will help “strengthen our supply chain and underpin our ability to deliver on the growing demand for our fuel cells and electrolyzers. With a partner like JM, Plug is in a strong position to be the global leader of the green hydrogen economy.”
Johnson Matthey CEO Liam Condon says the agreed collaboration is a game changer for the rapidly developing hydrogen economy. “By bringing together one of the world’s largest green hydrogen and fuel cell companies with JM’s technology and production capabilities, we are creating a volume and scale for green hydrogen that has not been seen before. This partnership confirms JM’s world-class position in catalyst-coated membranes, the performance-determining components of electrolysers and fuel cells.”