China’s state-controlled Sinopec has started the construction of a 3 billion yuan ($470 million) green hydrogen plant in Kuqa city in the country’s north-western region of Xinjiang.
When completed, the plant is expected to have an annual production capacity of 20,000 tonnes,
The project aims to produce green hydrogen, which is derived from renewable sources, through a water electrolysis system powered by a 300-megawatts solar power station, the state-media Xinhua News reported.
Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water molecules using renewable electricity, and is touted as a clean replacement for fossil fuels in industries that are otherwise hard to decarbonise.
Sinopec will also build hydrogen storage tanks, with a total storage capacity of about 210,000 standard cubic metres, and a hydrogen pipeline network that can transmit 28,000 standard cubic metres of hydrogen per hour, according to the report.
The project is expected to start production in June 2023, and the hydrogen it produces will be supplied to Sinopec’s Tahe refinery to replace its current gas-to-hydrogen facilities.
As well as the plant in Xinjiang, Sinopec is also building a 20,000-tonne-per-annum green hydrogen plant in Ordos in Inner Mongolia.