China’s Sinopec Breaks Ground on Worlds Largest Solar to Hydrogen Production Plant

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  • With total investment of US$470.77 million, the project will produce an annual output of green hydrogen reaching 20,000 tons when put into operation.
  • With an expected reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 485,000 tons a year.
  • The project will contribute an average of $20.4 million to the local GDP and generate US$2.82 million in tax revenue.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation’s (“Sinopec”) hosted an online launching ceremony on November 30 in the cities of Beijing, Urumqi and Kuqa to announce that China’s first 10,000-ton photovoltaic green hydrogen pilot project, the Sinopec Xinjiang Kuqa Green Hydrogen Pilot Project (the “Project”), has officially started construction. Upon completion, the project will produce an annual green hydrogen output of 20,000 tons, making it the world’s largest photovoltaic green hydrogen production project

A concrete action of Sinopec’s pledge to support China’s “dual-carbon” goals and pursuance of green, low-carbon development, the Project is of great significance to promote the development of a green hydrogen industry chain as well as economic and social development in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, guarantee the energy security and carry forward the transformation and upgrading of the energy industry in China.

The Project is a hydrogen production plant that directly uses large-scale photovoltaic power generation and with a total investment of 3 billion yuan ($470.77 million) is mainly comprised of five sections: photovoltaic power generation, power transmission and transformation, hydrogen from water electrolysis, hydrogen storage and hydrogen transport.

As part of the project, Sinopec will build a new photovoltaic power station with an installed capacity of 300MW and annual power generation of 618 million kilowatt-hours, an electrolyzed water hydrogen plant with an annual capacity of 20,000 tons, a spherical hydrogen storage tank with hydrogen storage capacity of 210,000 standard cubic meters, and hydrogen transmission pipelines with a capacity of 28,000 standard cubic meters per hour (including supporting power transmission and transformation facilities).

The Project is expected to be completed and put into operation in June 2023, and the green hydrogen produced by the plant will be supplied to Sinopec Tahe Refining & Chemical to replace the existing natural gas and fossil energy used in hydrogen production. The carbon dioxide emissions are estimated to be reduced by 485,000 tons a year, and the Project will contribute an average of US$20.4 million to the local GDP and generate US$2.82 million in tax revenue.

“Hydrogen energy is one of the sources of clean energy that has the most potential for development. This pilot project gives full play to Xinjiang’s advantage in its wealth of resources and is a key project for Sinopec to build a No.1 hydrogen energy company. It’s also a major strategic achievement for local-enterprise cooperation and is of great significance to promoting social and economic development in Xinjiang, advancing energy transformation, ensuring China’s energy security and supporting the sustainable development of the global economy,” said Ma Yongsheng, president of Sinopec.

The Project has four major advantages – rich in resources, green and low-carbon, large-scale application and technological breakthroughs. It’s an all-process green hydrogen production and application pilot project linking up wind and photovoltaic power generation, green electrical transmission, hydrogen production with green electricity, hydrogen storage, hydrogen transportation and green hydrogen refining. Upon completion and full operation, the Project will present a new development path for green hydrogen refining and have a major effect on the large-scale application of green hydrogen to achieve carbon emission reduction.

In the meantime, all of the major equipment machineries and core materials used in the construction of the Project are manufactured in China, including the photovoltaic modules, the “heart” electrolyzer in water-electrolytic hydrogen production, hydrogen storage tanks and hydrogen pipelines, which is momentous for the rapid development of China’s hydrogen production equipment industry.

Focusing on achieving “dual carbon” goals, Sinopec has taken the lead in developing the green hydrogen industry and actively promotes the green and low-carbon development of the petrochemical industry. As the largest hydrogen producer in China, Sinopec is currently producing approximately 3.9 million tons of hydrogen per year and in terms of green hydrogen technology, Sinopec has applied its first self-developed PEM water electrolysis hydrogen production station.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Source: Sinopec


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