Element Energy

Construction begins on the world’s largest PEM electrolyser at Shell’s Rheinland Refinery

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Element Energy joined the REFHYNE consortium for the ground-breaking ceremony of the new hydrogen electrolysis plant at the Shell Rheinland refinery in Wesseling, Germany.

The REFHYNE project will build and install a 10 MW electrolyser at the Shell refinery site in Wesseling, Germany. The project is a total investment of 16 million euros, of which the European Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking contributes 10 million euros. 6 million euros is contributed by the REFHYNE consortium with Shell, ITM Power, SINTEF, thinkstep and Element Energy.

Construction of the new plant, which features advanced polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) technology, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020. The plant will produce up to 1,300 tons of hydrogen per year when operating at peak rates.

Hydrogen will be produced using electricity instead of natural gas. Producing hydrogen with electricity generated from renewable power sources could help significantly reduce CO2 emissions from the Shell Rheinland refinery.

“Oil products will continue to play an important role in the decades ahead, and this project means we will be able to make more and cleaner fuels, bitumen and base chemicals,“ explained Frans Dumoulin, Director of the Shell Rheinland Refinery. “At the same time, we want to contribute to accelerating the use of hydrogen in transport and other sectors.”

Hydrogen can play an important role in the energy transition. Today, hydrogen is already being used in fuel cell vehicles and in industrial applications. In transport, hydrogen can help improve local air quality, as fuel cell vehicles only emit water vapor.

Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director, EU Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, said: ” “FCH-JU funded projects like REFHYNE give the opportunity to European electrolyser industry to build equipment that meets the strict standards of the European refining industry. They will help reducing the CO2 footprint of large industrial processes through the production of green hydrogen.”

Simon Bourne, Chief Technical Officer of ITM Power, said: “This ground breaking of the world’s largest PEM electrolyser is an important moment for ITM Power and our partners. Working with Shell has been a real privilege for us and the process has transformed our market offering as a result. Large scale electrolysis is now seen as an important element in the decarbonization of key industrial processes and the REFHYNE project lays the first building block to 100MW industrial plants and beyond.”

For further information about the REFHYNE project, please contact Madeline Ojakovoh or visit www.refhyne.eu

Read the full press release: here.

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