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Shell begins green hydrogen production in China

Energy giant Shell has started producing green hydrogen at one of the world’s biggest electrolysers in China, with it supplying about half the hydrogen needed to power the fuel cell vehicles during this month’s sporting events in the Hebei province.

The new Zhangjiakou facility, which has a capacity of 20MW, is only the third industrial scale electrolyser in China. One of the others is operated by Baofeng Energy and has a production capacity of 30MW, which is currently the largest in the world. The new facility will use green energy from wind farms to produce hydrogen from water without any direct carbon emissions. The joint venture with Zhangjiakou City Transport Construction is expected to scale up to 60MW within two years.

Shell’s director for integrated gas, renewable and energy solutions, Wael Sawan, said about the development:

“The electrolyser is the largest in our portfolio to date and is in line with Shell’s Powering Progress strategy, which includes plans to build on our leading position in hydrogen. We see opportunities across the hydrogen supply chain in China, including its production, storage and shipping.”

While traditionally an oil and gas company, Shell is participating in the energy transition, such as by producing dedicated grease and transmission oil for electric vehicles. It also has plans to build another 200MW electrolyser at the port of Rotterdam. While hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are currently rare in the UK, hydrogen is expected to play a role in hard-to-decarbonise industries like the steel industry.

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