Embarked on a mission to build green hydrogen highways across Europe and North America, fuel cell and hydrogen provider PlugPower is rapidly stacking up significant orders in pursuit of its goals. Recent contracts include:
- a large-scale green hydrogen plant at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in Belgium.
- a giant 1-gigawatt electrolyzer in Denmark for hydrogen company H2 Energy Europe that is the largest capacity electrolyzer installation in the world yet and will be powered from offshore wind turbines.
- a 5-megawatt containerized proton exchange membrane electrolyzer system to energy company Irving Oil for the production and distribution of hydrogen at its Saint John, New Brunswick refinery, the largest in Canada.
- an agreement with Walmart to for an option to deliver up to 20 tons per day of liquid green hydrogen to power material handling lift trucks across Walmart distribution and fulfillment centers in the U.S.
- an agreement with chemicals company Olin, North America’s largest producer of electrolytic hydrogen, to create a joint venture to produce and market green hydrogen to support growing fuel cell demand.
At the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in the heart of Europe, Plug’s 100 MW electrolyzers will produce 35 tons per day of green hydrogen for the European market. Plug signed a 30-year concession agreement to build the plant at the Belgian port, the second largest in Europe. Plug plans to erect a 100-megawatt green hydrogen plant using its own electrolyzer and liquefaction technology. Plug will produce up to 12,500 tons per year of liquid and gaseous green hydrogen. Construction of the plant will begin upon completion of the permitting process, anticipated in late 2023. Initial production of green hydrogen is expected in late 2024 and plant commissioning in 2025.
“As Europe grapples with the challenges of climate change and energy security, our agreement with Port of Antwerp-Bruges will deliver much-needed natively generated, green hydrogen to local markets,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug. “The energy crisis in Europe resulting from geopolitical risks has accelerated the demand for green hydrogen development projects.”
The site location provides the opportunity for a ready supply of electricity from on-site and site-adjacent wind turbines generating dozens of megawatts, with an electric interconnection point less than a mile away. In addition, it offers water, road, rail, and pipeline access for the delivery of green hydrogen to customers. An open-access hydrogen pipeline will be built along the site, and Plug has signed a contract with Fluxys to engage in a feasibility study for enabling a connection to the pipeline, which will be part of a European open-access hydrogen backbone.
The project illustrates the strength of trans-Atlantic cooperation between a leading international technology company and a forward-thinking European port operator, noted Plug. Plug is building out an end-to-end green hydrogen ecosystem across the world, focused on hub locations with attractive economics and strong customer demand. Europe is core to Plug’s strategy, reflected in multiple recent investments, such as the opening of a service and logistics center in Duisburg, Germany, the acquisition of Netherlands-based Frames Group, and the inauguration of a hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicle production plant with Renault in Flins, France.
“Plug is already one of the largest investors in the European hydrogen economy, and one of the largest employers in Europe among the hydrogen pure players. Our investment in a green hydrogen production plant in the heart of Europe deepens our commitment to the European market,” added Marsh. “Europe is determined to shift from foreign sources of fossil fuel energy to local sources of green energy, and we are helping to deliver on their vision.”
In Denmark and also harnessing offshore wind power, Plug’s electrolyzer technology will enable the production of up to 100,000 metric tons per year of green hydrogen by H2 Energy for use in the energy and transportation sector in northern Europe, supplying the fuel needed for the equivalent of approximately 15,000 heavy duty vehicles per day. Through its joint venture with Hyundai, H2 Energy will supply fleets of heavy-duty fuel cell trucks. In addition, earlier this year H2 Energy entered a joint venture with Phillips 66 to build more than 250 hydrogen refueling stations in Denmark, Germany and Austria supplied with green hydrogen.
Electrolyzer products destined for the Danish complex will be manufactured at Plug’s gigafactory in Rochester, N.Y., the world’s first and largest fuel cell and electrolyzer manufacturing gigafactory. Deployment of the technology at H2 Energy’s complex is expected in 2024, with production of green hydrogen in 2025. Headquartered in Zurich, H2 Energy Europe is a joint venture between commodity trading firm Trafigura Pte Ltd. and H2 Energy Holding AG. Through its affiliated companies, H2 Energy was the first to develop and deliver hydrogen fuel cell trucks to commercial users and create a green hydrogen fueling ecosystem in Switzerland.
At Irving Oil’s refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, Plug has been awarded a contract to deliver a 5-MW containerized proton exchange membrane electrolyzer system for the production and distribution of hydrogen. Initially, the system, powered by the local electricity grid, will enable the refiner to produce 2 tons of hydrogen per day for refining and mobility applications. For Irving, the investment offers the opportunity to explore the role of electrolyzer technology in driving emissions reductions at the refinery while also unlocking important new market opportunities, such as making hydrogen available for regional customers. “We believe that low-carbon hydrogen production, use, and distribution will play an important role in our decarbonization journey,” said Irving Oil President Ian Whitcomb. “This foundational project will accelerate our company’s learning about hydrogen as a downstream product while creating a decarbonization pathway for our Saint John refinery.” The system will be manufactured at Plug’s Gigafactory in Rochester. Deployment of the system is expected in Q3 2023, and hydrogen production is expected to be fully operational by late 2023.
For Walmart, Plug’s role is to supply green hydrogen to fuel the mega-retailer’s fleet of material handling lift trucks. The deal provides Plug an option to deliver up to 20 tons per day of liquid green hydrogen to power the equipment across Walmart distribution and fulfillment centers in the U.S. Notably, the deal is one of the first green hydrogen supply contracts for Plug, seen as validating the company’s multi-year investment in its green hydrogen network.
Through Plug’s investment in its vertically integrated green hydrogen ecosystem, the company will deliver green hydrogen to Walmart facilities using a fleet of liquid transport Plug has put into service using capabilities gained from its recent acquisition of Applied Cryo Technologies, a manufacturer of gas transport equipment.
Walmart has worked with Plug to adopt and expand hydrogen fuel cells throughout its facilities for over a decade, beginning with a 50-fleet pilot in 2012 and expanding to a fleet of 9,500 and growing. Now, the retailer is continuing to decarbonize its operations by striving to incorporate the use of green hydrogen throughout its facilities. “Hydrogen is critical to helping us power a more sustainable supply chain and Plug Power’s hydrogen solutions allow us to continue making progress,” said Jeff Smith, Senior Director of Supply Chain Maintenance Services. “Sourcing green hydrogen can help bring Walmart closer to reaching our goal of zero emissions by 2040.”
The joint venture with Olin, a vertically integrated chemicals producer and marketer, could mushroom. It is the first of its kind, says Plug, and is designed to provide reliability of supply and speed to market for green hydrogen operations throughout North America. The first plant in St. Gabriel, Louisiana will produce 15 tons per day of green hydrogen. The largest producer of electrolytic hydrogen in North America, Olin will provide production and operational support while Plug will market the hydrogen and provide logistical support for delivery.
“Olin’s 130-year history of producing hydrogen as part of our core alkali production process combined with Plug Power’s leadership in the green hydrogen economy creates a powerful partnership to serve the growing demand for green hydrogen,” commented Scott Sutton, CEO. “This JV is a key step for Olin as we seek to recognize the full potential of Olin’s untapped hydrogen supply capabilities across North America.”
“We believe widespread availability of green hydrogen will create a flywheel effect by making green hydrogen ubiquitous and economical, helping accelerate the proliferation of numerous fuel cell applications,” noted Marsh. The joint venture is expected to be operational in 2023. For more info, see www.plugpower.com.