Shell has started production of green hydrogen at its Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland in Germany.
As part of the Refhyne European consortium and with European Commission funding through the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), the fully operational 10 MW plant is the first to use this technology at such a large scale in a refinery, Shell said.
The Rheinland electrolyser will use renewable electricity to produce up to 1,300 tonnes of green hydrogen a year. This will initially be used to produce fuels with lower carbon intensity. The green hydrogen will also be used to help decarbonise other industries.
Plans are also underway to expand the capacity of the electrolyser from 10 MW to 100 MW at the Rheinland site, near Cologne, where Shell also intends to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using renewable power and biomass in the future. A plant for liquefied renewable natural gas (bio-LNG) is also in development.
”Shell wants to become a leading supplier of green hydrogen for industrial and transport customers in Germany,” Shell’s Downstream Director, Huibert Vigeveno, said.
”We will be involved in the whole process — from power generation, using offshore wind, to hydrogen production and distribution across sectors. We want to be the partner of choice for our customers as we help them decarbonise.”
The European consortium backing the Refhyne project consists of Shell, ITM Power, research organisation SINTEF, consultants Sphera, and Element Energy. The electrolyser was manufactured by ITM Power.
”We all recognise that this is just the beginning of the journey to net zero,” Dr Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, said.
”The next step, Refhyne II, is even bigger and would take us into the hundreds of megawatts for the first time, on our way to gigawatts deployments. The vision and commitment of Shell, North Rhine-Westphalia and the FCH JU show what can be achieved to deliver the world’s commitments on climate change.”