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China To Build Massive Green Hydrogen Project

China will build a large-scale green hydrogen production site in Inner Mongolia that will utilize a generation capacity of 1.85 GW of solar and 370 MW of wind to produce close to 67,000 tons of hydrogen annually.

This amount of hydrogen, if used in fuel cell cars, could eliminate the demand for about 28,000 tons of gasoline, BloombergNEF analyst Xiaoting Wang said, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Fuel cell cars are indeed on the Chinese authorities’ pollution-fighting agenda. Earlier this week, Argus reported Beijing’s authorities are already implementing plans to put 3,000 fuel cell vehicles on the streets of the city by the end of 2023, along with building 37 hydrogen fueling stations.

Carmakers are also ramping up production of fuel cell cars, the Argus report added. Between January and July, fuel cell vehicle output in China was 48.5 percent higher than a year earlier, at 664 cars. Sales of fuel cell cars in the seven-month period also rose substantially, by 47.7 percent, to 675 cars. Last year, China produced 1,000 fuel cell cars, with production severely affected by the pandemic.

State-owned oil major Sinopec also has big plans for hydrogen. Following ambitious targets to become carbon neutral by 2050, the company plans to build 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations by 2025, among other low-carbon projects such as EV charging stations and solar farms.

The Inner Mongolia site will produce some electricity for the grid, Bloomberg reports. Still, it will be only about a fifth of the total. The bulk would be used to produce green hydrogen. This scale would require massive electrolyzer capacity, BloombergNEF’s Wang said, more than is produced globally.

The project would need 465 MW of electrolysis capacity, the analyst noted. For context, global electrolyzer sales last year totaled 200 MW. Forecasts for this year see electrolyzer shipments doubling to 400 MW—still lower than what the Inner Mongolia project would need.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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