Australian co. will put hydrogen research, manufacturing plant in New Mexico

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(The Center Square) – New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Star Scientific Ltd. Global Group Chair Andrew Horvath announced that the Australia-based green hydrogen research and development company will do business in New Mexico.

The company signed a Letter of Intent with the governor at the Sustainable Energy Council’s Asia-Pacific Hydrogen Summit and Exhibition in Sydney, Australia on Thursday.

“From the very earliest conversations, the officials in New Mexico outlined their long-term commitment to hydrogen and the benefits of their state for a company such as Star Scientific,” Horvath said in a press release. “We were impressed by their whole-of-government approach to manufacturing, logistics, higher education, and research and their vision for the role that hydrogen will play in their future. We were equally impressed that they had holistically planned important human details such as housing for families that will work at our facility, education incentives for their children, and lifestyle and leisure infrastructure. There is also an infectious ‘can do’ attitude which appeals to we Australians very much.”

Lujan Grisham has worked to also recruit companies to New Mexico from Singapore, Taiwan and Germany this year.

“New Mexico is on the map for companies looking for the best place to invest in clean energy solutions that drive the global economy forward,” Lujan Grisham said. “Star Scientific’s arrival in New Mexico is a win for the next generation of job seekers looking to make a difference.”

The Letter of Intent commits Star Scientific to a process that will plan the creation of a joint research and mass manufacturing facility in the Mesa del Sol district of Albuquerque.

The company also wants to get up to 50 acres and invest $100 million in the state. It plans to construct seven to 10 buildings for administration, design, testing, manufacturing, plus laboratory research.

The company will hire up to 200 employees in New Mexico. It is negotiating with the state Economic Development Department for an incentive package that could include Job-Creation Fund assistance from the Local Economic Development Act, plus assistance for job training. The company would likely also qualify for manufacturing tax credits, and tax credits for hiring high-wage workers.

“When we set a high bar for climate goals and environmental protection, companies and investors from around the globe anchor their investments in New Mexico,” Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said. “Star Scientific’s investment in New Mexico is a welcome addition to our economy and I am looking forward to their clean hydrogen manufacturing and research campus locating to our state.”

Star Scientific has locations in Australia and Switzerland. It is known for developing its HERO® catalyst.

“HERO® chemically catalyzes hydrogen and oxygen to rapidly create industrial-scale heat without burning the gases and without generating greenhouse gases,” the release said. “The only other output is pure water.”

The technology is used for “off-grid power, desalination, and heavy industrial production where high temperatures are needed,” according to the release.

“The facility in New Mexico will mirror the facility we will build in Australia, and it will service customers in the United States, Canada, and, initially, South America. We will be developing GHG-free process-heat systems for industry and stand-alone power systems while continuing research on other projects,” Horvath said.

The state made the deal with Governor Lujan Grisham leading a trade mission at the Asia Pacific Hydrogen 2023 Summit in Australia. The governor and her team are meeting with manufacturing companies who want to expand to New Mexico at the event, as The Center Square previously reported.

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