New York-headquartered Plug Power said on May 30 it plans to develop three green hydrogen production plants in Finland, eyeing exports to strengthen Europe’s energy security, the company said.

A final investment decision is not expected until 2025-2026.

The company said it has started talks with financial investors, debt providers and industrial partners to seal offtake agreements. Like other renewable asset financing, Plug said it anticipates the capital structure will mostly comprise non-recourse debt that is secured by collateral.

“Already one of the largest players in the European hydrogen market, Plug is accelerating its commitment to Europe at an unprecedented scale with these three planned historic industrial sector projects collaborating with both financial and industrial partners,” Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said in a news release.

The plants will be located in Kokkola, Kristinestad and Porvoo, Finland, and are expected to produce 850 tons of green hydrogen per day using Plug Power’s PEM electrolyzer and liquefaction technology. The combined electrolyzer capacity for the three plants—2.2 gigawatts (GW) by the end of the decade—accounts for 5% of the RePower EU plan, Plug Power said.

Europe is counting on hydrogen to help it reduce greenhouse-gas emissions at least 55% by 2030, en route to net zero emissions by 2050. The EU aims to produce 10 million tons of clean hydrogen and import just as much by 2030 as it looks to decarbonize the steel, chemicals, cement, transport and power sectors.

The move toward hydrogen is also seen as a way to boost energy security in a region that has been reliant on imported oil and gas.

The Kokkola plant will utilize 1-GW electrolyzers to produce liquid hydrogen and ammonia for local use and export from the Port of Kokkola, Plug Power said. The plant in Kristinestad will produce green steel for export from the port of Kristinestad.

Up to 100 tons of hydrogen per day will also be produced in Porvoo, Finland, by 2030, the company added, noting it will be used for local mobility and exported via pipeline injection to Western Europe.

Partnerships have been lined up with hydrogen provider Hy2Gen for development of the ammonia plant and green iron and steel company GravitHy for development of a direct reduced iron/hot briquetted iron plant, Plug Power said. Working to ensure electric grid capacities and needed hydrogen infrastructure, the company has also signed memorandums of understanding with Fingrid, Finland’s electricity transmission system operator, and Gasgrid, Finland’s natural gas transmission system operator.

Considered a global leader in smart grid technology and bioenergy, Finland has been reducing its reliance on oil and gas. Fossil fuels accounted for 36% of its energy mix in 2021, data from the International Energy Agency show.

“These projects will support the development of green electricity and green hydrogen around the European backbone pipeline near the Bothnian Bay and contribute to Finland's efforts to become carbon neutral by 2035, a goal set by the Finnish government in the National Climate and Energy Strategy,” Plug said in the release.

The company said the production projects are expected to boost the local economy, creating about 1,000 direct jobs and more than 3,000 indirect jobs.

Last week, Plug Power said it landed three 5-megawatt electrolyzer deals in Europe with companies in glass manufacturing, aluminum recycling and steel manufacturing.