Green hydrogen company gets $1.7 million from state for expansion in Dover


FFI Ionix Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue, an Australian green technology and metals company, picked Dover for expanded operations and gained up to $1.7 million in grants from the state.

FFI Ionix, which focuses on hydrogen technologies, will relocate from a 15,000-square-foot site in Harrington to 60 Starlifter Avenue in Dover. More than 22,000 square feet of the new facility’s almost 57,000 square feet will be lab space, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership reported.

The expansion at the new location also builds 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. No specifics were listed on the number of jobs.

Fortescue, based in iron-rich Western Australia, is one of the world’s largest producers of that metal and wants to use green hydrogen and other technologies to reduce its carbon footprint. It is also launching businesses that aim to reduce emissions in other regions and industries.

“FFI Ionix’s decision to stay and grow in our state is great news for Delaware and our leadership in the hydrogen economy,” said Gov. John Carney. “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.”


Fortescue ranks 414th on the Forbes Global 2000 list. FFI’s origins stem from Xergy. Xergy has won over $10 million in research and development funding and patented more than 100 of its membrane and device innovations before being acquired by Fortescue and becoming FFI Ionix in 2021.

FFI Ionix is involved in next-generation electrolysis technology and is a commercial supplier of membranes for water electrolysis, electrochemical compression, water transmission, and fuel cells. The company’s ion-exchange membranes enable cost-effective electrolysis, a crucial process for producing green hydrogen, a release stated.

FFI’s focus on the hydrogen economy aligns with green hydrogen production goals set by the recently designated and federally funded Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub (MACH2), in which Delaware companies are participants.

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

DPP 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 depends on the company meeting commitments as outlined to the state 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 (Central Delaware) since the program was piloted in 2021.

“This is very exciting for Dover and the greater Dover community,” said Dover Mayor Robin R. 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.”