Refhyne II could start operations in 2024, said Marco Richrath, director of the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland at the launch ceremony for the smaller facility.
Hydrogen is considered “green” when it is produced from renewable power from wind or sunshine through electrolysis but “grey” hydrogen from fossil fuels is currently the feedstock in many standard industry processes.
Green hydrogen can play a role in energy, mobility, heat provision, and hard-to-decarbonise industries.
Green hydrogen can play a role in energy, mobility, heat provision, and hard-to-decarbonise industries
Shell also aims to produce sustainable aviation fuel from renewable electricity and biomass at Wesseling as well as developing a plant for liquefied renewable natural gas (bio-LNG).
It is under increased pressure after a Dutch court ruled it must drastically deepen planned greenhouse gas emission cuts.
The Refhyne polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyser will produce up to 1,300 tonnes a year of green hydrogen. The plant cost around 20 million euros ($23.72 million) of which half came from EU funds.
The consortium also includes electrolyser producer ITM Power , research organisation SINTEF and consultants Sphera and Element Energy.
“This plant helps map out the way towards climate neutrality while keeping economic innovation within our region,” said North Rhine Westphalia’s state premier Armin Laschet.
Fabian Ziegler, CEO of Shell in Germany, noted that green hydrogen was still five times the price of fossil hydrogen, but said this could be reduced by half through scale and efficient supply chains, with the rest to be offset via policy interventions around renewable support and carbon prices.
Richrath said Shell was working with partners including Daimler, Uniper, Remondis, Thyssenkrupp, DHL and Rheinenergie on areas including hydrogen pipelines and filling stations, biofuels and recycling.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Kirsten Donovan).
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