ITM Power Sheffield: 300 hi-tech manufacturing jobs on way at new city factory
Three hundred hi-tech manufacturing jobs will be created in Sheffield under plans for a record-breaking new factory.
Hydrogen specialist ITM Power is set open ‘UK Gigafactory 2.0’ by the end of April 2023 as part of a £250m expansion drive.
The new facility will stand next to the firm’s existing factory on Bessemer Park in Tinsley - claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world.
Gigafactory 2.0 will be bigger still, with 50 per cent more production capacity.
ITM Power makes electrolysers that split water to create hydrogen, a carbon-free fuel that can be burned in cars, homes and in industry.
It employs 360 people, 95 per cent in Sheffield, and is valued at £2.38bn, although it has never made a profit. It aims to raise £250m by selling shares in the company.
A third factory will be built overseas in an as yet unnamed country.
A spokesman said £210m would be invested into the two new sites, with millions more on new jobs and training, including expansion of its Hydrogen Academy.
The hydrogen sector is riding high after the Government promised to boost hi-tech green sectors post-Brexit. It must also meet a legally-binding commitment for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The announcement has been welcomed in Sheffield.
Richard Cook, managing director at Castings Technology, said: “My greatest hope is that ITM will expand quickly enough to stop the spread of battery 'gigafactories' and largely fossil-fuel charged electric vehicles’s. The TRUE green energy revolution can't come soon enough…”
But Richard Sutton, head of delivery at Metropolitan Thames Valley, was somewhat sceptical.
He said: “A 'Jam Tomorrow' valuation clearly, let's hope they have all the ingredients and equipment to make lots of jam.”
Andy Nolan, development and sustainability director at The University of Nottingham, said: “This kind of investment, aligned to low carbon economy is precisely the kind of investment the UK needs and it’s a great opportunity for Sheffield.”
Sheffield business consultant Hayley Koseoglu said: “Looks like a really positive move for the region and another step to help achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions.