Air Liquide and Siemens Energy have announced a joint venture to produce industrial-scale, renewable hydrogen electrolyzers.
The yet-to-be-named JV with 74.9% holding by Siemens Energy and 25.1% by Air Liquide – and subject to approval by the relevant authorities – marks a major boost in the scale-up of electrolyzer production in the region and for its hydrogen economy in general.
The JV’s headquarters will be in Berlin, which also has a multi-gigawatt facility to produce electrolysis modules.
This facility, which will begin production in the second quarter of 2023 and ramp up to an annual capacity 3GW by 2025, is expected to supply stacks to both customers and serve a rapidly expanding market.
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Siemens Energy and other companies have committed to a ten-fold scale-up in electrolyzer production in Europe – from approximately 1.75GW/year currently to 17.5GW/year – by 2025.
Companies use proton exchange membrane electrolysis technology (PEM) which, according to them, is ideal for harvesting volatile renewable energy.
The companies also have agreed to dedicate R&D capacities to the co-development of the next generation of electrolyzer technologies.
“To make green hydrogen competitive, we need serially produced, low-cost scalable electrolyzers,” said Christian Bruch, CEO, and president of Siemens Energy AG.
“We also need strong partnerships. Together with Air Liquide, we look forward to implementing innovative solutions and collaborating to shape this new hydrogen market.”
Companies expect that their portfolio of hydrogen projects will provide a solid foundation for rapid scaling up of electrolysis production capacity.
One of the first projects is Air Liquide’s Normand’Hy electrolyzer project with a capacity of 200MW expected in the first phase, located in the Port-Jérôme, Seine estuary industrial hub in Normandy, France. This project will see the electrolyzer systems assembled in France. Commissioning is scheduled for 2025.
François Jackow, CEO of Air Liquide, adds: “The creation of this Franco-German joint venture is a major step towards the emergence of a leading European renewable and low carbon hydrogen ecosystem.”
For its part, Siemens Energy’s most recent project announcement is a 50MW electrolyzer for the Danish developer European Energy for e-methanol production primarily for offtake for shipping. The second half of 2023 is scheduled for commercial methanol production.
The companies intend to apply for ‘large projects’ funding under the EU’s Innovation Fund, Green Deal and Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) scheme for hydrogen.
Original publication by Jonathan Spencer Jones, Power Engineering International.