FFI Ionix bringing hydrogen tech company to Dover

By Mike Finney
Posted 2/28/24

DOVER — FFI Ionix Inc., which focuses on hydrogen technologies, is bringing its’ slice of science to the capital city.

The company is planning to relocate from its approximately …

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FFI Ionix bringing hydrogen tech company to Dover


DOVER — FFI Ionix Inc., which focuses on hydrogen technologies, is bringing its slice of science to the capital city.

The company is planning to relocate from its approximately 15,000-square-foot site in Harrington to a $12 million facility at 60 Starlifter Ave. in the Kent County AeroPark, adjacent to FedEx.

Linda Parkowski, executive director of the Kent Economic Partnership, is thrilled that another business is coming to Central Delaware.

“We’re really excited, especially with the caliber of jobs that they’re bringing — technical scientists — I think it will be a big win for Kent County,” Ms. Parkowski said. “I think they’re bringing around 30 employees.”

She added that bringing the science sector to Dover will be a bonus. The company plans on retaining 22 of its current employees and adding 25 new members to its staff. An exact timetable is not clear. Ms. Parkowski said the move would be happening in the near future.

“We’ve been doing good for the last four or five years,” said Ms. Parkowski. “Kent County has attracted quite a few new companies, especially with our corrugated box plant.

“We’ve really done well in the small-to-medium manufacturing, and now that we’re going to get a scientific manufacturing company into the mix, it will be a real benefit to Kent.”

Over the last two years, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership — assisted by the Kent Economic Partnership and the city of Dover — helped FFI Ionix explore potential Delaware sites while the company also considered out-of-state options.

FFI Ionix Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue, a global green technology, energy and metals company.

The company chose Dover to base its operations to support global decarbonization and establishment of the hydrogen economy.

More than 22,000 square feet of the new facility’s almost 57,000 square feet will be utilized as lab space.

The physical expansion at the new location will also build capacity for future job expansion, with the potential for new professional and semi-skilled positions, including engineers, lab technicians, chemists, quality control personnel and production and warehouse associates.

The Delaware Prosperity Partnership supported FFI Ionix’s request to the Council on Development Finance for a Graduated Lab Space Grant of up to $1,604,960; a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $70,400; and a Jobs Retention Grant of up to $42,500 from the Delaware Strategic Fund.

Distribution of these grants is dependent upon the company meeting commitments as outlined to the Council on Development Finance, which reviewed and approved FFI Ionix’s request for up to $1,717,860 in total funding.

This marks the first time that a Graduated Lab Space Grant has been awarded for a site in Kent County since the program was piloted in 2021.

“FFI Ionix’s decision to stay and grow in our state is great news for Delaware and our leadership in the hydrogen economy,” Gov. John Carney said in a press release. “We recently announced investments in downtown Dover, and this expansion will bring even more activity to our state’s capital.

“This is what the Graduated Lab Space Grants and Strategic Fund are for — keeping and growing innovative companies here in the First State.”

FFI Ionix is part of Fortescue, a company that ranks 414th on the Forbes Global 2000 list, but its origins were founded in Delaware as Xergy.

Xergy won more than $10 million in research and development funding and patented more than 100 of its membrane and device innovations before being acquired by Fortescue and transformed into FFI Ionix in 2021.

FFI Ionix is a leader in next-generation electrolysis technology and is a commercial supplier of membranes for water electrolysis, electrochemical compression, water transmission and fuel cells.

Company officials say their advanced ion-exchange membranes enable more efficient and cost-effective electrolysis, a crucial process for producing green hydrogen from water.

Its focus on innovation in the hydrogen economy aligns with green hydrogen production goals set by the recently designated and federally funded Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub.

“This is very exciting for Dover and the greater Dover community,” said Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen. “Developing here reassures more jobs and more opportunities for our younger generations, in an industry with the potential to grow, all while decreasing our carbon footprint.”

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