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Hyperion’s nearly $300 million fuel cell project delayed, but expects to start next year

Hyperion supercar

Supply chain issues have delayed a planned local hydrogen fuel cell plant, but the manufacturer still expects Columbus to be an “epicenter” of production starting next year.

California-based Hyperion Co. announced a $297 million investment and plans to establish a manufacturing facility on the city’s southwest side in early 2022.

The company has planned to be producing by the end of this year, but it is behind that schedule.

“Hyperion’s production operations have been pushed forward (six) months due to supply chain delays that began in April 2022 and continue forward today,” Vice President Monique Loustaunau said in an email. “Hardware technology businesses are experiencing significant delays amidst uncertain geopolitical and economic climates.” 

That has meant delays on receiving some of the highly specialized equipment Hyperion needs.

Hyperion plans to build hydrogen fuel cells for both stationary and mobile uses and employ 700 in a 500,000-square-foot operation that would become its corporate headquarters while also housing everything from engineering to manufacturing to distribution.

That 65-acre property and building at 5300 Crosswinds Dr. previously was the site of The Columbus Dispatch’s printing plant.

Loustaunau said the facility has undergone significant renovations in the last 18 months. During that time, the company has been using key strategic partners for factory work.

“Mainline activities have continued to operate through the California campus, with a transition to Ohio occurring in 2024,” she said in her email.

More news is expected in the new year. Hyperion and its partners are planning an update in early 2024.

“This announcement will cover an exciting collaboration focused on ‘closing the gap’ in the hydrogen value-chain through strategic partnership—using Columbus as the epicenter,” Loustaunau said. “The Ohio campus will continue to undergo development and equipment deliveries in support of this exciting announcement in the interim.” 

The city is supporting the project with a Jobs Growth Incentive Agreement valued at between $2.6 million and $3.1 million over its six-year term. That’s a goal-based incentive so the company only receives the benefit when it hits the designated milestones.

The variance in possible value is due to where employees ultimately live; the company would get a 30% income tax rebate on each employee, but that rises to 35% if the employee lives in Columbus.

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