Aerospace company picks Albuquerque for major hydrogen manufacturing hub

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On Thursday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Universal Hydrogen, a company working to decarbonize aviation, will build a facility near the Sunport.

The city and state are both providing the incentive with the hope of getting a massive economic return. The expected impact is $700 million in the next 10 years.

The state is giving Universal Hydrogen $10 million in economic development funds. The city is also pitching in for this company to set up shop and create jobs for New Mexicans.

This manufacturing/distribution center will be used for their hydrogen storage modules, to assemble airplane retrofit kits, and perform maintenance. Universal Hydrogen has chosen a 50-acre piece of land next to the Sunport.

The construction is expected to create around 1,200 jobs, while the actual manufacturing hub aims to hire 500 people over the next seven years. Now, these are highly skilled engineering jobs. KOB 4 asked them about the workforce here:

“We’re here for the quality of workforce, and the quality of the education system, that was priority number one in selecting a location. I think that the applicants are there now. But we are going to do aggressive training,” said Jon Gordon, co-founder of Universal Hydrogen.

“An area that demands attention is in aviation, where we have a terrible carbon footprint is in the plan jet fuels space. This is a company that’s going to deliver through, New Mexico, our innovators, our employees, our leaderships, our investments, our partnerships a net-zero footprint in aviation,” said Lujan Grisham.

Universal Hydrogen signed a letter of intent with the City of Albuquerque and are hoping to get this going by 2024. Universal Hydrogen has facilities in California, Washington and France.

In addition to the announcement Thursday, Lujan Grisham signed an executive order directing some of her cabinet secretaries and lawmakers to work together to find new opportunities in the clean energy economy and hydrogen space.