Washington County will soon become home to an $83 million hydrogen plant by way of Linde, a global leader in industrial gas production.
According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, the new McIntosh plant will serve to support Linde’s supply network as the company seeks to meet growing customer demand in the fields of aerospace, electronics, manufacturing and mobility.
Todd Lawson, vice president of the East Region for Linde, said the plant “will allow us to capture growth opportunities” and increase “the reliability of our liquid hydrogen supply.”
The department advised that Linde would utilize domestically sourced and fabricated equipment to minimize cost and construction risk.
In a statement touting the company’s expansion plans, Gov. Kay Ivey said the investment was proof that Linde was “growing and thriving” in the Yellowhammer State.
“Linde’s new investment in rural Washington County is significant because it shows that the company is growing and thriving in Alabama,” proclaimed Ivey. “I am fully committed to helping rural communities across the state secure growth projects, and I know this project will have a positive economic impact on McIntosh.”
According to the department, Linde’s new Alabama plant is expected to begin operations in 2024. Upon completion, the project will create six operational jobs and 10 staff truck drivers.
Rosalyn Sales, executive director of economic development for Clarke and Washington counties, spoke to the economic activity that will occur as a result of the investment.
“Linde, in building the hydrogen plant, helps sustain the long-term viability of other chemical plants in our area,” said Sales. “A very special thank you to all the hard work and professionalism of our team consisting of the Alabama Department of Commerce, the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Economic Development Division, Alabama Power and CMC GAS.”
According to Washington County Commission chairman Allen Bailey, Linde’s expansion will spur economic growth throughout the entirety of the region.
“This project will bring in a number of high-quality jobs for the people of the county, and the economic impact of this expansion will be significant for our area,” advised Bailey. “Linde has proved to be a good corporate citizen in the past, and we look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship.”
The company’s industrial gases are utilized in numerous applications, ranging from life-saving oxygen for medical facilities to high-purity and specialty gases for electronics manufacturing, hydrogen for clean fuels, among other uses. The company recorded 2021 sales totaling $31 billion.
Brenda Tuck, rural development manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce, said Linde’s Washington County investment was an indication of the economic prowess of the state’s rural areas.
“Over the past two years, companies from around the world have launched projects involving $2.3 billion in new capital investment in our rural counties,” noted Tuck. “The secret is out — these rural locations are ripe for growth and offer high-performance companies a number of strategic advantages.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL