REFHYNE consortium starts construction in Germany

Energy storage and clean fuel company, ITM Power, has announced that work has commenced for the construction of the REFHYNE hydrogen refinery in Wesseling, Germany.

The facility wil be the world’s  largest and is underdevelopment at the existing Rheinland site in conjunction with owner Shell.

“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.” Simon Bourne, Chief Technical Officer of ITM Power, said.

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.

Shell expects a new hydrogen model region to be set up in the Cologne area, based on activities around filling stations, cars and buses. The project is based on the idea of a “hydrogen model region” that can jointly demonstrate the potential of hydrogen in the energy turnaround.”

On behalf of the state government of Northrhine-Westfalia, Christoph Dammermann, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy, NRW, welcomed the construction of the plant: “Hydrogen has great potential for a climate-neutral energy system of the future. Produced from renewable electricity, it can serve as an important energy carrier and longterm storage in the transport, heating and industrial sectors and thus become a key element for the energy and traffic transition.”