Rusatom, Air Liquide complete feasibility study to build hydrogen complex in Russia

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The Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom is negotiating with partners in Japan and South Korea to set up an international supply chain of green, or low-carbon, hydrogen by 2025, Rosatom said in a release earlier this week. 

A Rosatom statement said that towards this end, its subsidiary Rusatom Overseas together with French multinational Air Liquide have recently completed a feasibility study for the construction of a hydrogen production complex in Sakhalin, the largest island of Russia.   

Green hydrogen is hydrogen gas produced by a process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen – known as electrolysis – using power generated from renewable sources to achieve this. Besides, steam and oxygen can also be used to convert biomass into green hydrogen.  

Currently, only around 1 percent of global hydrogen production is low-carbon, which means that most of the hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, releasing carbon into the atmosphere. However, technologies like carbon capture use and storage are now available to reduce the carbon footprint of hydrogen produced this way and make low-carbon hydrogen. 

The statement said that based on the positive results of the feasibility study, Rusatom and Air Liquide are preparing for the next stage of the project – the front-end engineering design. 

“We see that many companies from countries of the Asia-Pacific region pay great attention to the development of the hydrogen economy and are interested in importing low-carbon hydrogen from Russia. We are already negotiating with potential partners in Japan and the Republic of Korea to launch an international supply chain for low-carbon hydrogen from 2025”, Rusatom Overseas President Evgeny Pakermanov said in a statement.  

Rosatom said the construction of the hydrogen production complex will become part of a large-scale project for the development of a hydrogen cluster in the Sakhalin Region and lay the foundation for organising an effective hydrogen supply chain to foreign markets as well as local consumers in the energy, transport and industry sectors. 

“The project for the production of low-carbon hydrogen on Sakhalin Island by steam reforming of methane using environmentally friendly technologies for capturing CO2 emissions is developing successfully. This is a very important project for our region”, the Governor of the Sakhalin Region, Valery Limarenko, said. 

Several countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan and South Korea, have been proactive in the area of hydrogen policy making. In 2017, Japan formulated its Basic Hydrogen Strategy which sets out the country’s action plan till 2030, including the establishment of an international supply chain. South Korea is operating hydrogen projects and hydrogen fuel cell production units under its Hydrogen Economy Development and Safe Management of Hydrogen Act, 2020. 

Last year, Russia adopted its Hydrogen Energy Development Concept and the government has already approved the Plan of Action to Develop Hydrogen Energy in the country. 

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the Indian government notified its green hydrogen and green ammonia policies aimed at boosting domestic production of green hydrogen to 5 million tonnes by 2030 and making India an export hub for the clean fuel. 

The plan gives significant flexibility and incentives for hydrogen producers in terms of sourcing and development of renewable electricity and offers 25 years of free power transmission for any new renewable energy plants set up to supply power for green hydrogen production before July 2025. 

The Indian government will also provide a single portal for all clearances required for setting up green hydrogen production, as well as a facility for producers to bank any surplus electricity generated using renewable sources with power distribution companies for up to 30 days and use it as required.