Hydrogen Economy Update: key developments in the industrial hydrogen market

Multi-billion investment projects have been announced globally to promote hydrogen in industrial applications.

In Europe, UK’s Aggreko to develop a 50 kVA hydrogen generator in collaboration with cleantech partner CMB.Tech. The company is now investing in ten additional units. After successful testing, the solution will be ready for customers in Europe by the end of 2021. Aggreko is also working with Nedstack for the integration of fuel cell technology for its storage battery solution.

In France, McPhy dedicated its new industrial site in Grenoble area to mass-produce hydrogen station units. One become operational in 2022, the new site is expected to increase McPhy’s production of hydrogen station units from 20 units/year to 150 units/year. It will also create hundreds of jobs opportunities in the Grenoble area.

Air Liquide’s project ‘ELYgator’, a 200 MW electrolyser project in the Netherlands, is shortlisted in the final selection round of the European Innovation Funds. The project will also be connected to Air Liquide’s cross-border pipeline networks. The ELYgator project will reduce around 4 million tonnes of CO2 over the first ten years of its operational period. The company submitted its application for the final selection round on 23 June 2021.

In Sweden, Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser collaborated with Ovako, Volvo, Hitachi ABB, and H2 Green Steel to develop a fossil-free hydrogen facility in Hofors, Sweden. The facility will produce steel using hydrogen in the steelmaking processes, decreasing CO2 emissions from steel rolling and milling processes by around 50%. Also, in Sweden, myFC announced that it would be more focused on the fuel cell developments for low power requirements, from 1 W to about 3 kW, where the company will move towards the high power fuel cell market by developing fuel cells with high power range.

In Lithuania, the first green hydrogen production project is launched through the collaboration between Amber Grid, ESO and SG dujos Auto. The plan is to produce green hydrogen through power-to-gas (P2G) technology. The hydrogen production unit will be connected to the Lithuanian gas system for the first time, which will show that the existing gas system can also be used for the transportation of hydrogen.

In Spain, Fisterra Energy, Enagás and White Summit Capital collaborate to develop 237 MW green hydrogen production plants in the Bay of Algeciras. The green hydrogen produced will be supplied to local industrial consumers and vehicles or ships at Port of Algeciras. Also, in Spain, Arturo Aliaga, Spain industry minister, announced the promotion of GetHyGA initiative in Aragon, an autonomous community of Spain. GetHyGA is a global initiative that aims to bring together a large number of hydrogen projects in the region to develop the local hydrogen market.

In Italy, the Intesa Sanpaolo has become the first bank to join the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance of the European Commission. The bank is part of the European Commission’s IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) since 2019 to facilitate businesses access to funds and to assessing the financial sustainability of projects.

In North America, Canada’s Ionomr Innovations Inc launched its Aemion+ membrane technology, which will produce industrial-scale green hydrogen through water electrolysis. The alkaline membranes used in the technology are highly stable Anion Exchange Membranes (AEMs), replacing the expensive components used for water electrolysis with less expensive materials while increasing the performance.

The Canadian based company Xebec Adsorption Inc. announced that its subsidiary, HyGear, commissioned the onsite Gas-as-a-Service hydrogen generation system for Tayras based oil re-refinery in Turkey. Under a 15-year Gas-as-a-Service contract, approximately 560 kg/day of hydrogen (205 t/year) will be delivered through a fully automated system under 125 bar. The hydrogen will be used by Tayras plant to hydro-treat the used oils and remove sulphur, chlorine, nitrogen, phosphorous, silica and saturation of aromatics using special catalysts. Also, in Canada, Ballard Power System has received a purchase order from New Flyer for 20 fuel cell modules. The fuel cell modules will be used in New Flyer Xcelsior model Fuel Cell Electric Buses, which would be deployed in Oakland, California.

Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation (Htec) announced to open a new division, Htec Quebec, in Montreal, Canada, in July. Htec has already established itself in the hydrogen business in Quebec by developing a station in the province in 2019 for which it provides support in operations to Toyota and Harnois. The company is also working on the expansion of Htec’s Quebec Fueling Network.

In the US, NewHydrogen, Inc. announced expanding its existing sponsored research agreement with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Under the agreement, both partners will develop the technology which can reduce the cost of green hydrogen production. The new agreement expands the scope of the non-precious metal-based oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalyst development program. Meanwhile, Aemetis, Inc. announced that it is negotiating the supply of 1.6 million tonnes/year of CO2 at two Aemetis renewable fuels plant sites in Central California near Modesto for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS).

In Oceania, Australia’s resources company TNG and renewable energy consultancy AGV Energy, Malaysia, announced a collaboration to integrate Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) and green hydrogen. Under the agreement, flow batteries with vanadium electrolyte will be used to transfer the electricity that is produced through renewable energy to the electrolysers. AGV Energy also has plans to integrate the VRFB into its HySustain solution, which is the process to produce hydrogen from demineralised water electrolysis powered by renewable energy.

In Australia, LAVO and Hybrid Systems Australia (HSA) signed an MoU to test LAVO’s hydrogen energy technology applications at HSA’s Kewdale facilities in Western Australia. Under the MoU, both companies will also test the long term integration of LAVO’s products into HSA’s suite of products. Meanwhile, the Patriot Hydrogen in Australia announced the second binding agreement for the supply of its Patriot P2H Hydrogen Units to Sweetman Renewables Limited, under which Sweetman will purchase one P2H unit at first with the plan to increase it to 15 over the next two years. In Tasmania, TasPorts has signed an agreement with Australian Fortescue Future for the land and operating access requirements for its proposed 250 MW green hydrogen plant at Tasmania.

In Asia, Japan’s GE and IHI Corporation (IHI) signed an MoU to develop Ammonia Roadmap. The roadmap will support the use of ammonia as low carbon emission fuel in both existing and new gas turbines. Under the MoU, both companies will perform research on the marketplace volume of ammonia and will also perform feasibility studies for the use of ammonia as a fuel for gas turbine power plant installations in Japan and across Asia.

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. and JFE Engineering Corporation signed a collaboration agreement for the joint study of technical issues that are faced in the transportation and supply of new energy such as carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen and ammonia. The study will be mainly focused on problems related to new energy such as CO2 separation and recovery, pipelines for transportation, social implementation and commercialisation.

In China, Energy China Construction started the application demonstration project of solar hydrogen heat storage in Zhangye City, Gansu Province. The project encompasses photovoltaic power generation, energy storage, hydrogen energy, and filling stations. It will play a demonstrative role in the region due to the integration of solar, storage, and hydrogen application. The project participants also include Gansu Research Institute and Gezhouba Equipment.

In South Korea, Hyosung and Linde held a groundbreaking ceremony in Ulsan for the liquefied hydrogen project. The project has a total investment of around 300 billion won (US$ 266 million), and it is expected to be operational by 2023. Once in operation, the expected annual output would be 13,000 tonnes/year of liquefied hydrogen.

In the Middle East, Fertiglobe has joined the world-scale blue ammonia production project at TA’ZIZ in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. Fertiglobe is the first international investor to participate in the TA’ZIZ’s project.

Shahkar Ali

Shahkar is the regional representative for Asia covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact him directly via email or follow him on social media.
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