Rising demand driving blue hydrogen plans – pv magazine International


Air Products has announced plans for Europe’s largest blue hydrogen production plant, while RAG Austria says it has commissioned “the world’s first 100% hydrogen storage facility in a porous underground reservoir.”

RAG Austria (RAG) has selected Innio Jenbacher’s hydrogen engine technology to power its hydrogen cogeneration (combined heat and power) plant in Gampern, Austria. RAG said that as part of the commissioning of the world’s first 100% hydrogen storage facility in a porous underground reservoir, up to 4.2 GWh of electricity produced in the summer can be kept ready for winter in the form of green hydrogen. Commissioning of the combined heat and power (CHP) plant in the 1 MW range is scheduled for spring 2024. “The hydrogen cogeneration plant is a key building block for the entire hydrogen ramp-up, because flexible, quick-start CHP plants can not only generate electricity as needed, but also produce the heat that is so important in winter,” said Markus Mitteregger, CEO of RAG Austria.

GE Vernova‘s gas power business has secured two orders from EnBW to provide H-Class natural gas-fired combined cycle power generation equipment for EnBW’s CHP power stations near Stuttgart. GE Vernova will lead an international consortium for the projects, which includes the EPC companies Bonatti and Sener. “The projects will replace existing coal-fired plants with more efficient natural gas-fired plants while enabling future fuel mix combustion of up to 100% by volume of hydrogen in the 2030s,” said GE Vernova. The two CHP 680 MW power plants, which should be operational by the end of 2026, are expected to deliver nearly 1,340 MW to the national grid, as well as steam for district heating near Stuttgart, Germany. Each plant will be powered by a GE 9HA.01 gas turbine, an STF-D650 steam turbine, a W88 generator, a triple pressure with reheat Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG).

Air Products will build, own, and operate a carbon capture and carbon dioxide (CO2) treatment facility at its existing hydrogen production plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The facility should be online in 2026, and the resulting blue hydrogen product will serve ExxonMobil’s (Esso) Rotterdam refinery and additional customers via Air Products’ hydrogen pipeline network system. “This will be the largest blue hydrogen plant in Europe once operational,” said the US company. The plant will be connected to the Porthos system, “a consortium developing the first large-scale CO2 transport and storage system in the Netherlands which recently reached final investment decision approval.” The captured CO2 will be transported to depleted gas fields in the North Sea, approximately 20 kilometers off the coast, where it will be stored at a depth of more than three kilometers beneath the seabed.

Topsoe, ULC-Energy, and Rolls-Royce SMR have agreed to consider the production of hydrogen based on SOEC technology and electricity and heat from an SMR nuclear power plant. Topsoe will provide its Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell (SOEC) technology, Rolls-Royce SMR will contribute with its knowledge on nuclear Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology. “We expect nuclear energy, especially in combination with high-temperature electrolysis, to be able to produce zero-emission hydrogen competitively on a stand-alone basis,” said Dirk Rabelink, CEO of ULC-Energy. “Additional value associated with the operational flexibility will further enhance the business case for this solution.”

KfW Development Bank, a German lender, has entrusted KGAL with the management of the PtX Development Fund. The funds will foster the growth of the green hydrogen value chain in developing and emerging economies.

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