Bilfinger, a leading engineering and industrial services company, has provided support to Austrian supermarket chain MPREIS in the construction and assembly of a hydrogen production plant near the city of Innsbruck.
The project aims to produce green hydrogen from renewable energy sources, which will power the bakery and fuel cell trucks that deliver goods. Additionally, the hydrogen produced will be sold to other companies in the region and supplied to local partners during the ramp-up phase.
Bilfinger provided engineering, construction, and assembly services for the piping systems used in the plant. The company was responsible for the mechanical assembly of the electrolyzer on-site, including the erection and installation of hydrogen, well, wastewater, nitrogen, district heating, and thermal oil pipelines. Bilfinger also delivered the necessary pumps and valves, and insulation work on the pipelines was conducted by Bilfinger’s subsidiary, Multiserwis.
The electrolysis plant, commissioned last year as part of the EU project “Demo4Grid,” will provide balancing energy services in the Austrian electricity grid. In the long term, MPREIS intends to use the hydrogen produced to convert its entire vehicle fleet to alternative drive systems and ensure zero-emission and carbon-neutral deliveries to its stores. MPREIS employs more than 6,000 people in roughly 300 supermarkets and prioritizes responsible actions.
Hydrogen technology is considered a groundbreaking technology for the industrial sector, and Bilfinger is committed to supporting its customers throughout the entire value chain of this technology. The company is successfully transferring its decades of experience in gas plant projects to hydrogen production plants. For example, Bilfinger is a key player in the HyGrid2 Study, which aims to convert Austrian natural gas pipelines to transport pure hydrogen.
Despite the potential benefits of hydrogen technology, there are also some challenges to consider. One of the main challenges is the high cost of producing and storing hydrogen, which could limit its widespread adoption. Additionally, there are concerns about the safety of hydrogen fuel due to its flammability and the need for specialized infrastructure to transport and store it.
In conclusion, the successful construction and assembly of the hydrogen production plant by Bilfinger and MPREIS is a significant milestone in the development of green hydrogen technology. The project demonstrates the potential of hydrogen as a zero-emission energy source for the transportation and industrial sectors, as well as its ability to provide balancing energy services for the electricity grid. While there are still challenges to overcome, the increasing investment in hydrogen technology suggests that it could play a vital role in achieving a sustainable energy future.