Germany: tomorrow’s hydrogen pacesetter

On 18 January 2018, 120 political and business luminaries gathered at the Rheinische Raffinerie to witness the official launch of the world’s largest hydrogen electrolysis undertaking.

This project of tomorrow, called REFHYNE, is taking shape at Rheinland-Raffinerie. At this plant in Wesseling, Shell and ITM Power plan to erect the world’s largest  polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) hydrogen electrolysis plant. With a capacity of 10 megawatts, the hydrogen will primarily be used for processing the refinery’s products.

This European project will also help to test PEM technology on the industrial scale and make it usable in other plants. It thus represents a possible step toward the future of the refining industry. It is considered a key technology for CO2-free power generation.
In Europe’s future energy system, hydrogen can also play an important role as an energy storage medium, enabling excess renewable energy to be stored indefinitely and accessed as needed. It helps to reduce CO2 emissions, makes energy supply more reliable and can stabilise power grids thanks to its flexibility.

The official start marks the beginning of the technical planning and approval process. The plant is to go into operation in 2020.