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Shell to build Europe’s largest “green” hydrogen plant

The Shell company has announced that it will start building the largest renewable hydrogen plant in Europe. The subsidiaries Shell Nederland and Shell Overseas Investments have made the final decision to build Holland Hydrogen Iwhich will be the largest renewable hydrogen plant in Europe once it is operational in 2025.

The plant will be built on the Tweede Maasvlakte (Maasvlakte 2), the newest part of the port of Rotterdam. The 200 MW electrolyser will be the most powerful installed by Shell and is scheduled to be capable of producing up to 60,000 kilos of hydrogen per day when it is fully operational. The other key, in addition to this large quantity, is that it will be green hydrogen, with no emissions in its production, generated from renewable energy sources.

The renewable energy needed for the electrolyser will come from the Hollandse Kust noord offshore wind farm, which is also (partially) owned by Shell. The generated hydrogen will then supply power to Shell’s Chemical and Energy Park in Rotterdam via the HyTransPort1 pipeline, where it is intended to replace some of the gray hydrogen use in the refinery. This will help decarbonize the plant’s manufacturing of energy products such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

“Holland Hydrogen I demonstrates how new energy solutions can work together to meet society’s need for cleaner energy. It is also another example of Shell’s efforts and commitment to becoming a net-zero emissions company by 2050,” said Anna Mascolo, Executive Vice President, Emerging Energy Solutions, Shell. “Renewable hydrogen will play a critical role in the energy system of the future and this project is an important step in helping hydrogen realize that potential.”

In addition, Shell says that the supply of green hydrogen can also be sent to the new refueling infrastructures that are opening (or will open), mainly focused on hydrogen trucks of great tonnage, with the aim of helping to decarbonise commercial road transport as well.

Let us remember that in several European countries a fleet of Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell, the rigid hydrogen truck of the South Korean firm, has already been deployed. Mercedes is working on the GenH2 Truck and Volvo Trucks has presented its first hydrogen truck, with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers and capable of transporting loads of up to 65 tons. For its part, Toyota is also working on commercial hydrogen vehicles and General Motors will collaborate with Navistar to develop this type of vehicle.

Shell’s ambition is “to help build a global hydrogen economy by developing opportunities in the production, storage, transport and delivery of hydrogen to end customers.” The approval of Holland Hydrogen I marks an important milestone on this path not only for the Netherlands, but also for Shell in Europe and globally. Currently, Shell owns and operates approximately 10% of the world’s hydrogen electrolyser capacity., including a 20 MW electrolyser in China and a 10 MW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser in Germany. They can generate, respectively, 3,000 tons and 1,300 tons of hydrogen per year.

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