German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp has signed EPC contracts to build what it says will be record-size commercial green hydrogen production facilities in North America. One was awarded this month at a Louisiana chemical plant and a larger one in January at a Quebec greenfield site.
The latest award comes as U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said at President Joe Biden’s global climate change summit that the cost of clean hydrogen would fall 80% by 2030
The German firm will build a 20-MW alkaline water electrolysis plant for fertilizer manufacturer CF Industries at its huge ammonia production complex in Donaldsonville, La.. The plant will produce 20,000 tons per year of green hydrogen that will be integrated into its existing ammonia production. “Ammonia is a critical enabler for storage and transport of hydrogen,” CF Industries said, noting that it also can be used as carbon-free fuel.
Its Louisiana facility is the world's largest nitrogen fertilizer plant.
The company will use renewable energy from the power grid to match 100% of the electricity needed by the electrolyzer to separate water into carbon-free hydrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen will be fixed with the hydrogen to produce green ammonia.
[Related: Has Hydrogen's Time Finally Come?]
The electrolyzer, a modular unit developed by Thyssenkrupp, can be replicated to increase production to several hundred MW in the future. CF Industries also is pursuing production of blue ammonia, which is produced with CO2 from carbon capture and storage.
Construction will begin in the second half of this year and will be managed by CF Industries, the company said April 21. The plant is expected to come online in 2023. The cost of the project was not released but the firm said it is “within the company’s annual capital expenditure budget.”
Canadian utility Hydro Quebec in January awarded Thyssenkrupp a contract to design an 88-MW water electrolysis plant near Montreal that will produce 11,100 metric tons of green hydrogen a year. The hydrogen and oxygen produced through electrolysis will be used to produce biofuels. The project is set to come online in late 2023. Water electrolysis currently is the only scaled technology for producing green hydrogen.
The two projects show North America’s “leading role in making the green hydrogen economy a real deal,” Christoph Noeres, who heads green hydrogen at Thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers, said in a statement.
Hydro-Québec is investing C$200 million to install the electrolyzers at the site for the estimated C$680 million biofuels plant that will be operated by Enerkem, with “strategic partners” that include investors Shell and Suncor, and Proman, a methanol producer.
Three large companies in January also proposed a larger but longer-range green hydrogen project near Hamburg, Germany. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shell, Swedish clean energy developer Vattenfall and a Hamburg municipal company proposed a 100-MW electrolyzer project to produce green hydrogen by 2025 using offshore wind and solar energy. The companies plan to expand the project into a “green energy hub.”
Production of hydrogen “is one key to decarbonization of industrial and industry and transportation sectors,” Andreas Regnell, Vattenfall senior vice president said in a statement.
Vattenfall plans to grow renewable energy production for use in industries such as steel, chemicals, agriculture, mining and smelters and heating with a goal toward “fossil free living within one generation,” he said.
The partners are seeking funding through the European Union.