Air Liquide builds the largest electrolyzer connected to an existing hydrogen infrastructure in Germany

Air Liquide plans to build a 30-megawatt (MW) electrolyzer to produce climate-neutral hydrogen in Oberhausen, Germany. In a first phase, the plant is scheduled to go into operation as early as 2023 with a capacity of 20 MW. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has approved public funding for this project – the first world-scale electrolyzer to be realized as part of the partnership between Air Liquide and Siemens Energy. The electrolyzer will be integrated into air Liquide’s existing hydrogen pipeline to supply key industries around zero-emission mobility in the Rhine-Ruhr region with climate-neutral hydrogen.

The new proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer being built by Air Liquide will produce carbon-neutral hydrogen from water and renewable electricity. The technological solution for the project is being developed as part of the previously announced partnership between Air Liquide and Siemens Energy. By 2023, the two partners will build a 20-MW electrolyzer plant that will produce 2,900 tons of carbon-neutral hydrogen per year and carbon-neutral oxygen. In a second phase, Air Liquide plans to increase the plant’s capacity to 30 MW.

The PEM electrolyzer will be the largest carbon-neutral hydrogen production facility connected to an existing pipeline.

The accelerated availability of these gases will support sectors such as steel, chemicals, refining and mobility in North Rhine-Westphalia in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. This project has received a grant from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics: “With the National Hydrogen Strategy, we have taken a decisive step towards the further development of the energy transition. At the same time, the market ramp-up of the H2 economy offers great economic opportunities, especially after the cuts of the Corona pandemic. The Ministry of Economics has therefore been working at full speed for a year to create the regulatory and legal framework. Now we need concrete and ambitious projects. Air Liquide Germany’s “Trailblazer” project is a showcase in this context. Here it is shown how “green” hydrogen can be used to sustainably transform industry as well as certain transport sectors. At the same time, the project is a strong signal for the positioning of the Rhine/Ruhr region in the hydrogen sector.”

Gilles Le Van, Chief Executive Officer of Air Liquide Deutschland GmbH, said:

“We appreciate the support of the Federal Ministry of Economics for this groundbreaking project. It is precisely the integration into an existing hydrogen infrastructure that will accelerate the decarbonization of North Rhine-Westphalia’s industry and promote clean mobility in this populous region. The construction of this plant will be the first project under the partnership between Air Liquide and Siemens Energy and will contribute to the emergence of a sustainable hydrogen economy in Germany.”

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