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Construction begins on 6MW green hydrogen pilot plant in Austria

EBR Staff Writer Published 17 April 2018

The consortium behind the H2FUTURE project has commenced construction of what it claims to be the world's largest pilot plant for the production of "green" hydrogen at the Voestalpine site in Linz, Austria.

The hydrogen pilot plant project’s consortium comprises voestalpine, Siemens, VERBUND, and Austrian Power Grid.

The plant is being built a part of the H2FUTURE, a European flagship project for the generation of green hydrogen from clean electricity and help in reducing CO2 emissions by around 80% by 2050.

Scheduled to be commissioned by spring 2019, the 6MW CO2-free hydrogen plant will be used by industry partners to research into future technologies required to meet global climate goals.

voestalpine management board chairman Wolfgang Eder said: "Construction of the new pilot plant for the production of CO2-free hydrogen is taking us a step further towards the long-term realization of a technology transformation in the steel industry.

“The goal is to research real breakthrough technologies which will be applicable on an industrial scale in the next couple of decades.”

The EU-funded €18m plant will also be used to test the green hydrogen applications in the various process stages of steel production, and also integration into the power reserve markets for the power grid, Siemens said.

Siemens Österreich managing board chairman Wolfgang Hesoun said: "At the core of the plant beats a high-tech heart from Siemens. Using green electrons we split water into its constituent parts, hydrogen and oxygen.”

Siemens said it has developed a large proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser module for the Linz research facility, which will have capacity to produce 1,200 cubic meters of green hydrogen an hour.

The facility aims to have 80% of output efficiency in converting electricity into hydrogen, the firm noted.

Siemens managing board member and chief technology officer Roland Busch said: "This outstanding project takes us one step closer to the goal of global decarbonization.”

Verbund will be responsible for supplying renewable electricity for the H2FUTURE project, and also develop grid-relevant services.


Image: The hydrogen pilot plant is being built at the Voestalpine site in Linz, Austria. Photo: courtesy of Siemens AG.