The Hydrogen Stream: Big push from Iberian peninsula

A Spanish consortium has started commissioning tests to produce renewable hydrogen in Mallorca, while another consortium led by Portuguese energy giants EPD and Galp is set to develop 100MW of green hydrogen production in Sines, Portugal. Lightsource bp and Dourogás have also agreed to set up a joint venture to invest in solar and green hydrogen infrastructure in Portugal.

Power to Green Hydrogen Mallorca, a venture led by renewable developer Acciona Energía and gas TSO Enagás, in partnership with Mexican building materials company CEMEX and Spain’s public body IDAE, has started commissioning tests to produce renewable hydrogen at its facilities in Mallorca. “From this point on, testing of the start-up procedure begins. The electrolyser that splits water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen atoms is powered by renewable energy supplied by two photovoltaic plants, one located in the municipality of Lloseta (8.5 MW) and the other in Petra (5.85 MW),” Acciona Energía wrote on Thursday, adding that the plant will begin producing green hydrogen on an industrial scale at the beginning of 2022. It is set to produce at least 300 tons of renewable hydrogen per year, part of which will be distributed via Spain’s first hydrogen pipeline.

A consortium of 13 companies led by Portuguese energy giants EPD and Galp has been selected by the European Commission as part of the Green Deal to develop 100MW of green hydrogen production in Sines, Portugal. The consortium will benefit from a €30 million grant. The construction of the hydrogen project will be located in the coal-fired power plant area in Sines. It should start in 2023 while the operation is expected to begin in 2025. “The 100 MW electrolyser will be composed of innovative, scalable and fast-cycling 8 MW modules to overcome bottlenecks such as efficiency, size, lifetime and flexibility,” one of the companies in the consortium wrote on Tuesday. The consortium is comprised of EDP, Galp, ENGIE, Bondalti, Martifer, Vestas Wind Systems, McPhy, and Efacec, as well as academic and research partners ISQ, INESC-TEC, DLR, and CEA.

UK-based Lightsource bp and Portuguese gas utility Dourogás have agreed to set up a joint venture to invest in solar and hydrogen infrastructure in Portugal. The partnership is set to explore the potential of eight green hydrogen sites. “As much as 200MWp of solar projects developed by Lightsource bp will power 130MW electrolysers, developed by Dourogás, that will convert water to green hydrogen and oxygen. The green hydrogen will be injected directly into the country’s gas grid. Further clean power could be drawn from the grid to optimise the usage of the electrolysers,” Lightsource bp wrote on Thursday, adding that Monforte, the first project with Dourogás, will benefit from a €5 million grant under the EU’s Portugal 2020 fund. Lightsource bp already has a solar pipeline in Portugal of around 1.5GW. It is also part of hydrogen consortiums in Australia and the UK. BP has a 50% stake in Lightsource bp.

US-based heavy equipment company Cummins and Beijing-headquartered oil and gas company Sinopec announced the formation of Cummins Enze, a 50:50 joint venture meant to accelerate the affordability and availability of green hydrogen. “Cummins Enze, located in Foshan, Guangdong Province in China, will initially invest $47 million (RMB 300 million – €41.5 million) to locate a manufacturing plant to produce proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers. The plant will initially have a manufacturing capacity of 500 megawatts of electrolyzers per year upon completion in 2023, which will be gradually increased over the next five years to reach one gigawatt of manufacturing capacity per year;” Cummins wrote on Tuesday. Sinopec currently accounts for 14% of China’s hydrogen production. It has more than 30,000 gas stations in the country. Cummins wrote it has deployed more than 2,000 fuel cells and 600 electrolyzers globally.

Russia-based gas producer Novatek and Germany-headquartered energy company Uniper signed a Term Sheet on long-term supply of up to 1.2 million tons of low-carbon ammonia per annum to the German market. “The product price will be indexed to relevant European and global benchmarks,” Novatek wrote on Wednesday, adding that “low-carbon ammonia” will be produced at the planned Obskiy GCC (Gas Chemical Complex) project, which should include carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities. The ammonia would be then exported to the terminal in Wilhelmshaven. “We are now at the pre-FEED stage for a low-carbon ammonia and hydrogen plant with CCS facilities, and signing of term sheets for long-term supply demonstrates growing demand for low-carbon products, which is an essential precursor for the Final Investment Decision on this project. The plant will be located next to our LNG cluster in Yamal,” said Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of Novatek.

German conglomerate Siemens has completed a feasibility study for Productora H2 Bolivia’s Pacha K’anchay green ammonia export project. “The study analyzed up to 420 MW of electrolysis capacity and found that green ammonia produced by the project can economically provide green ammonia to the global markets,” wrote Santa Cruz-based startup H2 Bolivia on Thursday. The project is in the Oruro-Bolivia region. The plant should consist of a solar farm, electrolyzers, and ammonia production.

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Ark Energy Corporation, an Australia-based unit of Korea Zinc, has announced it will acquire a 100% interest in local wind and solar energy developer Epuron Holdings. “We will leverage our parent company’s strong balance sheet to expand Epuron’s existing business model and leverage the group’s internal demand from the production of green non-ferrous metals, and our own demand from green hydrogen production, to fast-track the build-out of Epuron’s development portfolio,” Yun B. Choi, Chairman of Ark Energy and Vice Chairman of Korea Zinc said on Thursday. The investment will allow Ark to access 4.2GW of early-stage projects and a further investigation pipeline of 4.8GW. In November, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced that it had conditionally approved $3.02 million (€1.93 million) in funding to Ark Energy H2 Pty to support the deployment of a 1MW electrolyzer with storage and refueling infrastructure to fuel five new 140 tonne rated fuel cell electric trucks. Korea Zinc aims to become the world’s most competitive green hydrogen producer.

Australia’s largest rail freight operator Aurizon and mining company Anglo American have agreed to work together on a feasibility study to assess the introduction of hydrogen-powered trains for bulk freight. If the feasibility study is successful, the agreement between the two companies could be extended to the development of a hydrogen-fuelled heavy haul locomotive prototype. “The Feasibility Study will focus on the potential deployment of Anglo American’s hydrogen power technology on Aurizon’s Moura rail corridor that operates between Anglo American’s Dawson metallurgical coal mine and the Gladstone Port, and the Mount Isa rail corridor that operates between the North West Minerals Province to Townsville Port, via Aurizon’s Stuart Terminal,” wrote Aurizon early last week.

Australia’s Woodside Energy, Singapore’s Keppel Data Centres Holding, Singapore’s gas company City Energy, Osaka Gas Singapore, and City-OG Gas Energy Services have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to study the feasibility of a long-term, stable supply chain of sustainable Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) from Western Australia to Singapore and potentially Japan. The study is expected to continue until mid- 2022. “H2Perth is ideally located in Western Australia for shipping to Singapore and Japan and the project site is close to existing gas, power, water and port infrastructure, as well as a skilled local residential workforce,” commented Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill.

South Korea launched a one-year hydrogen truck pilot program in coordination with research institutes (Korea Research Institute for Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Korea Institute of Technology, AURI), and other experts. The initiative is part of the “Land Transport Carbon Neutral Roadmap”, which should be revised every five years to reflect policy implementation performance, market conditions, and technological progress. The government wants 500,000 electric and hydrogen vehicles for commercial use (buses, taxis, trucks) by 2030, and new hydrogen trains.

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