Cummins Inc. will spend more than $1 billion to modernize engine plants in three states and invest in hydrogen production equipment in Minnesota, the company said Monday.
The projects had previously been announced. But the capital spending had not been. The engine and power systems manufacturer earmarked $452 million for its Jamestown Engine Plant to upgrade the 998,000-square-foot facility in western New York. Cummins said it would announce specifics for North Carolina and Indiana later.
Jamestown will produce the industry’s first fuel-agnostic internal combustion engine platform. It is capable of burning natural gas, diesel and eventually hydrogen in an internal combustion engine. This technology is a stopgap on Cummins’ road to Destination Zero, its 2050 goal to make only zero-emission engines.
The X15N, which debuted in China in 2020, is part of the new 15-liter engine platform produced in Jamestown. Walmart will be the first to test the X15N on renewable natural gas later this month.
Cummins recently announced a new 10-liter engine to replace legacy 9-liter and 12-liter engines. It, too, will be able to run on various low-carbon fuels.
Half of all medium- and heavy-duty truck engines on the road are Cummins’ products.
Cummins’ investment announcements timed to Biden visit
The investment announcement was timed to coincide with President Joe Biden’s visit on Monday to a Cummins plant in Fridley, Minnesota. The company is investing $10 million to convert 25% of the plant’s 400,000 square feet of production space to make hydrogen electrolyzers. Electrolysis is the process of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
“In just a few weeks, we will begin manufacturing one of the key pieces of technology for green hydrogen production that will help decarbonize our economy and drive the clean energy transition — the electrolyzer,” Cummins CEO Jennifer Rumsey said in a news release.
Production at the Cummins Power Systems plant will start at 500 megawatts of manufacturing capacity annually. It could grow to 1 gigawatt. Cummins expects the plant to add 100 new jobs to the existing 900 by 2024.
The electrolyzers will come in three sizes starting at 2.5 megawatts capable of generating 1 ton of hydrogen a day. That would create enough hydrogen fuel to power 30 trucks for 300 miles, Alex Savelli, managing director of Electrolyzers Americas for Accelera by Cummins, told FreightWaves.
Federal investment through the infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act influenced Cummins’ decision to invest in its U.S. plants, Rumsey said.
“We can’t do this alone and are grateful for the continued partnership and collaboration with congressional leaders and the Biden administration,” she said.
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