Air Liquide intends to construct a renewable hydrogen electrolysis facility in Oberhausen, Germany.

With a total capacity of 30 megawatts (MW), the project’s first phase is planned to be operational by early 2023 with a capacity of 20 MW. What makes this project special is that the electrolyzer will be linked into Air Liquide’s existing local pipeline infrastructure, supplying renewable hydrogen to critical businesses and mobility in one of Germany’s most industrialized regions. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy has provided public financing to expedite the completion of this project. This world-scale electrolyzer will be the first to be built as part of Air Liquide’s partnership with Siemens Energy.

Air Liquide’s innovative Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer will generate sustainable hydrogen from water and renewable electricity. The project’s technology solution is being developed as part of the previously announced collaboration between Air Liquide and Siemens Energy. By 2023, the two partners will have installed a 20 megawatt electrolyzer plant capable of producing sustainable hydrogen and oxygen. Air Liquide intends to expand the plant’s capacity to 30MW in a subsequent phase.

The PEM electrolysis plant is scheduled to begin operations in early 2023 and will be the first large-scale renewable hydrogen production facility connected to both existing hydrogen and oxygen pipelines, which already connect almost 15 big industrial locations. This will benefit sectors such as steel, chemicals, refining, and mobility in North Rhine-Westphalia by increasing the availability of gases produced using renewable energy to aid in their carbon reduction efforts.

Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics, stated: 

“With the National Hydrogen Strategy we have taken a decisive step towards the further development of the energy transition. At the same time, the market ramp-up of the H2 economy offers great economic opportunities, especially after the impact of the Corona Pandemic. The Ministry of Economics has therefore been working at full speed for a year to create the regulatory and legal framework. Now we need concrete and ambitious projects. The project of Air Liquide in Germany has a showcase character in this context. It demonstrates how “green” hydrogen can be used to sustainably transform industry as well as certain transport sectors. At the same time, the project is a strong signal for the positioning of the Rhine-Ruhr region in the hydrogen sector.”

François Jackow, Executive Vice President and a member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Europe Industries activities, said: 

“We highly value the support of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs to this groundbreaking project. Leveraging on Air Liquide’s existing hydrogen pipeline network, the renewable hydrogen produced will accelerate the decarbonization of the Rhine-Ruhr industrial basin and it will foster clean mobility in a densely populated region. The construction of this industrial scale renewable hydrogen production plant will mark the first realization of the partnership Air Liquide and Siemens Energy created to enable the emergence of a sustainable hydrogen economy in Europe. It is in line with Air Liquide’s Sustainable Development Objectives, which include contributing to the development of a low-carbon society with hydrogen as one of its key levers.”

Nedim Husomanovic

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