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BASF receives funding approval for 54 MW water electrolysis plant

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Hydrogen Review,


With the approval of funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, BASF has taken a major step closer in building a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser.

In cooperation with Siemens Energy, work on the water electrolysis at the Ludwigshafen site – the so-called Hy4Chem-EI project – is now entering the next phase of construction. Dr. Franziska Brantner, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, presented the official notification of funding to Dr. Melanie Maas-Brunner, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and Site Director Ludwigshafen, in the presence of Malu Dreyer, Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate.

With an output of 54 MW and a capacity of up to 8000 tpy hydrogen, the PEM electrolyser will be one of the largest of its kind in Germany once it is operational. Powered using electricity from renewable energy sources, the system will produce CO2-free hydrogen and thereby reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the site by up to 72 000 tpy. BASF will primarily use this hydrogen as a raw material in the manufacture of products with a reduced carbon footprint. In addition, the company will supply hydrogen for mobility in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region to support the ramp-up of a hydrogen economy in the area.

BASF and Siemens Energy plan to begin operating the water electrolysis plant in 2025. In cooperation with the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection is contributing up to €124.3 million to the project – up to €37.3 million of which will be financed by the government of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Dr. Melanie Maas-Brunner, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and Site Director Ludwigshafen, said: “In today’s chemical industry, our main need for low-carbon hydrogen is as a raw material. In the long term, it will also become increasingly important for BASF as an energy vector. That is why I am particularly pleased that our politicians have recognised the project’s potential. In Siemens Energy, we also have a partner with outstanding technological expertise at our side. The current funding commitment shows that politics and business are working together to shape the industrial sector’s energy transformation. This is both a milestone on the road to net zero carbon emissions and a sign of the Ludwigshafen site’s capabilities.”

Dr. Franziska Brantner, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, commented: “I am delighted to present the funding notification today for this pioneering project aimed at decarbonising the chemical industry. As the largest project of its kind to date at a chemical site, it is a leading example of how we can achieve our climate targets. In this way, German companies are demonstrating how the hydrogen economy can become a reality and that carbon neutrality and future viability go hand in hand.”

Malu Dreyer, Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate: “As the state government, we are promoting the expansion of the hydrogen economy. €184 million in regional funding has been earmarked for this purpose. Hydrogen is the energy carrier that will pave the way for our future as a centre for business in a climate-neutral Rhineland-Palatinate. We are focusing on expanding both the infrastructure for hydrogen imports and local production. That is why the Hy4Chem project is a milestone in the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, and Europe – and in the decarbonisation of entire industries. BASF is a global pioneer in the chemical industry’s energy transformation and a role model in the use of innovative climate protection technologies, which are making an important contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. My state government and I will continue to support this process extensively in line with our long-standing close and trusting cooperation. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate’s provision of over €37 million in funding for Hy4Chem underlines its importance to the entire state.”

Hydrogen is the starting point for important chemical value chains. At the Ludwigshafen site, the company uses around 250 000 tpy, which are produced by means of steam reforming or occur as coupling products and by-products. Steam reforming, the current conventional production process, generates high CO2 emissions. Changing the technology for producing hydrogen and using this hydrogen as a raw material for chemical products should significantly reduce BASF’s carbon footprint. In order to drive the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy, BASF is committed to remaining as open as possible toward different technologies for the production of low-emission or emission-free hydrogen. Besides water electrolysis, such options also include methane pyrolysis.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalhydrogenreview.com/hydrogen/24112023/basf-receives-funding-approval-for-54-mw-water-electrolysis-plant/

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