Shell is aiming to ramp up its under construction 10 MW PEM electrolysis plant capacity to 100 MW, at the Wesseling site, Germany. Subject to finalising contracts and securing funding, the construction works could begin in 2022.
The 10 MW electrolyser is being developed under the Refhyne II project with ITM Linde Electrolysis GmbH and Linde. The Refhyne project was started in January 2018 and is set to be completed by December 2022. The plant will be operated by Shell and manufactured by ITM Power, producing about 1,300 tonnes/year hydrogen. The Refhyne project is worth € 16 million (US$ 19 million), where the European Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) contributed € 10 million (US$ 12 million) while € 6 million (US$ 7 million) was invested by the Refhyne consortium consisted of Shell, ITM Power, Sintef, thinkstep and Element Energy.
Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH owns 100% of the Rheinland Refinery. H2 Bulletin understands that the plant is currently producing ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes and methanol. The Rheinland facility needs around 180k tonnes/year of hydrogen generated through steam reforming from natural gas. The Refhyne project will integrate the electrolyser into refinery processes such as the desulphurisation of conventional fuels.
In addition to the up-gradation of the electrolysis plant, Shell also announced today to produce sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in the Wesseling section of the Rheinland refinery. It plans to build a commercial Bio-PTL (Power-to-Liquid) plant. Shell considers synthetic fuels to play a role in reducing emissions in aviation in the coming decades. The company will produce green electricity, using wood residues as biomass for power generation. The construction of the 100k tonnes/year PTL plant is planned to begin in 2023, with commissioning in late 2025.