Denmark-based Fidelis Energy to invest $2 billion for creation of ‘hydrogen production facility’ in Mason County

By Matthew Young, RealWV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice, on Monday, announced that Denmark-based Fidelis New Energy, LLC. will be investing approximately $2 billion over the next five years for the creation of a “lifecycle carbon neutral hydrogen production facility” in Mason County. 

The facility, known as the Mountaineer GigaSystem and the Monarch Cloud Campus, will enable “production of hydrogen with zero lifecycle carbon emissions from a combination of natural gas, carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS), and renewable energy.”

Justice made the announcement during a press conference at Charleston’s Culture Center. Joining Justice for the announcement were Fidelis Senior Vice President and Global Head of CCUS Pete Hollis, and Fidelis Co-founder and CEO Dan Shapiro.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, Fidelis Senior Vice President and Global Head of CCUS Pete Hollis, and Fidelis Co-founder and CEO Dan Shapiro on stage at the Culture Center Theatre on Aug. 15. Photo by Matthew Young, RealWV.

“We’ve worked really hard in this state, and we have created a situation now to where we’ve got dollars to go out and genuinely make a real life effort to compete to bring goodness to West Virginia,” Justice began. “This thing we’re talking about today is cutting edge – an opportunity beyond belief. If we were a state today that didn’t have a pot to pee in, if we were that and we had five Taco Bells that we wanted to open, and they’re gonna bring the potential of this level of opportunity to us and that’s all we had, well we’d take that wouldn’t we?”

“But we’re a state today that’s on the move,” Justice continued. “We’re a state today that’s looking for opportunities. I can’t promise you that every single button we push will be the absolute key to the Emerald City. But I can promise you this: we’re gonna be wise in what we do.”

The project is scheduled to be completed in four phases, each at a cost of $2 billion. Each phase is expected to produce “over 500 metric tons per day of net-zero carbon hydrogen.” The hydrogen will then be used for a variety of applications, including hyperscale data centers, transportation, greenhouses, and the production of steel.

The project is estimated to require a total labor force of 4,200 workers. Once completed, the production facility is expected to create 800 full-time jobs, and generate $100 million in annual revenue for the state.

“We are not going to endanger our environment,” Justice said. “We are not going to endanger our way of life. Absolutely with all in us we want more and more goodness and opportunity to come to us. It won’t always be perfect. But with this, there is opportunity here like nobody’s business.”

Fidelis’ Pete Hollis expressed his gratitude to both Justice, as well as the state legislature, noting, “Very few states have put forth such a forward-thinking business mindset that allows us to develop these types of projects.”

“Now we move from project development into the exciting part of detailed engineering on the facility, and the subsurface exploration that really allows to underpin the carbon capture and sequestration that’s critical for this project,” Hollis added.

CEO Dan Shapiro echoed Hollis’ sentiments, adding additional praise for retired Maj. Gen James Hoyer.

“He (Hoyer) passionately advocated for Fidelis to place and implement our hydrogen technology in West Virginia, and introduced us to many of the people who have collaborated with us to make this announcement possible,” Shapiro said.

According to information released by Justice’s office, “The incentive package from the State of West Virginia will enable Mountaineer to conduct additional geologic evaluation for CCUS required for the permits needed to conduct CCUS activities.”

No start date has yet been announced for the hydrogen facility. RealWV will provide updates regarding the status of the project as additional information is made available. 

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