Australia-based green hydrogen research and development company has chosen New Mexico as the location for its first North American operation.
Star Scientific formalized the announcement by signing a Letter of Intent with Gov. Lujan Grisham at the Sustainable Energy Council’s Asia-Pacific Hydrogen Summit and Exhibition in Sydney 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. “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.”
So far this year, Gov. Lujan Grisham has announced the recruitment to New Mexico of companies from Singapore, Taiwan, Germany and now Australia.
“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,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “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 an intensive process of planning and negation of a site for a joint research and mass manufacturing facility in the Mesa del Sol district of Albuquerque. The company is looking to acquire up to 50 acres and invest $100 million into New Mexico, constructing 7 to 10 buildings for administration, design, testing, manufacturing as well as laboratory research.
The company plans to hire up to 200 employees in New Mexico and is currently in negotiations with the state Economic Development Department for an incentive package that would include assistance from the Job-Creation Fund under the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) as well as assistance for job training. Once operating, Star Scientific would also qualify for manufacturing tax credits and for hiring high-wage workers.
“Core to the promise of Albuquerque is our development of the modern clean energy economy, and global companies are taking notice,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. “Star Scientific is a powerful complement to MTex and Maxeon’s recent New Mexico investments that are bringing high-paying and diverse jobs that are defining career opportunities for the next generation.”
With locations in Australia and Switzerland, Star Scientific is responsible for developing the award-winning and globally patented HERO® catalyst. HERO® chemically catalyses hydrogen and oxygen to rapidly create industrial-scale heat without burning the gases or generating greenhouse gases. The only other output is pure water.
The technology will be used for off-grid power, desalination, and heavy industrial production where high temperatures are needed.
“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,” said Horvath.
Horvath credited New Mexico’s state agencies for their commitment to the project, thanking Environment Secretary James Kenney for his leadership in bringing Star Scientific to New Mexico.
“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,” said Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “Star Scientific’s investment in New Mexico is a welcome addition to our state and I welcome their clean hydrogen manufacturing and research campus to our state.”
EDD’s mission is to improve the lives of New Mexico families by increasing economic opportunities and providing a place for businesses to thrive. EDD’s programs contribute directly to this mission by training our workforce, providing infrastructure that supports business growth, and helping every community create a thriving economy. For more information about the New Mexico Economic Development Department EDD.NewMexico.gov.
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