Siemens starts construction at world's largest hydrogen pilot plant
Staff Writer |
An EU-funded flagship project for a CO2-reduced energy future and the decarbonization of steel production is taking shape.
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At the voestalpine site in Linz, the H2FUTURE project consortium, consisting of voestalpine, Siemens, VERBUND, and Austrian Power Grid, together with the research partners K1-MET and ECN, officially gave the go-ahead for construction of the world's largest pilot plant for the production of "green" hydrogen.
With a capacity of 6 megawatts, this is the most effective and advanced plant of its type.
The partners from industry and power generation will use this facility to research into future breakthrough technologies which are needed to meet global climate goals over the long-term. The plant is scheduled to be fully operational by spring 2019.
Reducing CO2 emissions by around 80 percent to 2050 is the central climate goal, and requires both energy suppliers and industry to prepare themselves and explore new pathways together.
This is the role of the H2FUTURE research project.
More than 600 billion cubic meters of hydrogen are used annually worldwide, more than 95 percent of which is produced via a CO2-intensive process.
What will be the world's largest and most advanced plant of its type for generating "green", i.e. CO2-free hydrogen, will be built at the voestalpine premises in Linz.
In future the EU-funded EUR 18 million project will be used to test the potential applications for green hydrogen in the various process stages of steel production, and integration into the power reserve markets for the power grid.
For the industry, transport, and energy sectors, CO2-free hydrogen is an important source of energy for sector coupling and can significantly contribute to achieving the climate goals.
The new plant is designed to be a technological milestone on the pathway to the energy transition, and thus to the gradual decarbonization of the steel industry.
After the launch of the project at the beginning of 2017, construction of the pilot facility at the voestalpine site in Linz has now accelerated. The foundations are in place and construction of the hall is currently underway.
The core electrolysis components will be delivered during the summer, with the plant going live within a year. The start of the comprehensive two-year test program is planned for spring 2019.
The vision of the technology and capital goods group is to move away from coal and coke via bridging technologies based on natural gas, as is already the case at the direct reduction plant in Texas, and finally on to the greatest possible use of green hydrogen. ■
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