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AkzoNobel, Gasunie plan to build electrolysis plant to convert water into hydrogen

CTBR Staff Writer Published 10 January 2018

Dutch paints and chemicals maker Akzo Nobel has partnered with gas infrastructure company Gasunie New Energy to set up a green hydrogen-production installation to convert water into hydrogen, using renewable energy.

The planned green hydrogen-production installation will include a 20MW water electrolysis unit which will be built at Delfzijl in the Netherlands.

Delfzijl water electrolysis unit will use electricity from wind and solar power, to produce 3,000t hydrogen per year, enough to run 300 hydrogen buses.

Both the companies said that the final decision on the project will be taken in 2019, and it will be the biggest such plant in the country as the current electrolysis unit is just 1MW.

The new plant will help in scaling up the electrolysis technology further, for possible large scale conversion and storage of sustainable energy in the form of hydrogen, with electrolysis unit as big as 100MW.

Gasunie executive board member Ulco Vermeulen said: “Achieving the Netherlands’ CO2 reduction targets and the corresponding transition in the energy system will be a huge challenge.

“This requires not only vision, but also immediate action and concrete collaboration.

The companies said that they complement each other in terms of expertise for the project which includes gas transport and storage, electrolysis and handling of hydrogen.

Delfzijl electrolysis project is also expected to contribute to Netherlands’ CO2 reduction targets and energy transition.

Vermeulen added: “We see ‘power to gas’ not only as a promising technology, but also as one that will be necessary to achieve a fully sustainable energy mix by 2050.

“Hydrogen also plays a crucial role in achieving the emission reduction target set by the Dutch government for 2030, i.e., a reduction of CO2 emissions by 49% compared to 1990. To make sure we have enough hydrogen in 2030, we will need to take steps now to validate the technology at different scales.”

Dutch industry consumes 800,000t of hydrogen per year which is produced by natural gas and replacing it with greener method will help in cutting down CO2 emission.

AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals energy director Marcel Galjee said: “Replacing this by sustainably produced hydrogen will reduce CO2 emissions by seven million tons.

“However, the real potential is in large-scale production as the basis for green chemistry.”

Image: The Delfzijl site in the Netherlands. Photo courtesy of 2017 Akzo Nobel N.V.