20 Apr

East Midlands Gigafactory plan, put forward by Intelligent Energy

Hydrogen Fuel cell and chemical symbol

Loughborough-based Intelligent Energy plans to make a decision on a site for the hydrogen gigafactory by the end of June and secure planning consent by the end of 2022, with hopes to begin construction in early 2023.

The plant would directly employ up to 1,000 people, as well as an additional 2,000 in the supply chain.

Intelligent Energy, spun-out from Loughborough University more than 20 years ago, has 1,000 patents around the use of hydrogen fuel cells. It’s mission is to unlock the benefits of Hydrogen enabling customers to have class-leading, reliable and affordable zero-emission products. Intelligent Energy also seeks to make a positive impact on the local community it operates within.

Chief executive David Woolhouse said,

“We’re going to build a gigafactory somewhere. It’s a matter of where and when. Our factory will cost around £100m. That’s a lot to do without government support.”

“It would be nice to be in the UK, but the difference in land prices is huge between the UK and EU. What would cost us £20m here would be £2m in Germany.”

“We would also probably get more government support there, and that part of the world understands the hydrogen economy more than people do here.”

Potential locations for the gigafactory include Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, Loughborough University’s Science and Enterprise Park and a third Woolhouse would not name.

Chief executive David Woolhouse said,

“UK plc should make sure we stay here. If we leave, this know-how would be lost to this country.”

“The government needs to prioritise starting a fuel cell industry, which would not employ not thousands, but tens of thousands of people.”

To read more about the different sectors the LLEP have identified as being key to the local economy read more here.