Up to 60 kilograms of green hydrogen per hour will be produced at a high-temperature multi-megawatt electrolyzer due to be built by a consortium of six companies on the site of a renewable fuel refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
One of the financial backers of the ambitious 2.6 MW project is Sunfire, in which CEZ Group (Czech Republic) owns a minority stake through Inven Capital. The European Union contributed almost €7 million to the construction of the electrolyser.
First of its kind
The MULTIPLHY high temperature electrolyzer will be the first multi-megawatt device of its kind in the world. It will be built on the site of the renewable fuel refinery of the Finnish company Neste in Rotterdam, which will use the produced hydrogen directly. The construction of the Sunfire-controlled electrolyzer will begin in 2021, and production is expected to start by mid-2022. The connected R&D will also include the possibility of increasing the cell’s performance up to 100 MW in the future.
“The European Union’s objectives of carbon neutrality are a huge challenge not only in the energy sector but also in the transport sector. Green hydrogen from renewable sources is one of the key solutions. The MULTYPLHY project is an important technological step in the transition to high-temperature electrolysers with hundreds of megawatts of power,” said Nf Aldag, CFO and Sunfire founder.
“Sunfire’s ambitious projects for world-renowned companies show that the power-to-gas bet was the right investment decision. We are pleased that Sunfire is doing well,” explained Petr Míkovec, Managing Director of Inven Capital Venture Capital, through which CEZ Group invests in start-ups in the area of clean technologies and energy.
In addition to Sunfire’s German clean-tech and Neste’s Finnish renewable products company, the French energy company Engie and the Luxembourg engineering company Paul Wurth are also involved in the project. Everything is under the umbrella of the French public research organization CEA, which focuses among other things on the coordination of international projects in the field of clean technologies. The MULTIPLHY Electrolyzer Construction Project received € 6.9 million from the Horizon 2020 European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Program (FCH 2-JU), with additional funding from France, Germany, Finland and Luxembourg. The total value of the MULTIPHLY project is approximately €10 million.
Green hydrogen, ecological methanol
Sunfire, in which CEZ invested 5 years ago through its Inven Capital fund, specializes in environmentally friendly production of energy and energy products such as green hydrogen, synthetic gases and fuels. For example, last autumn, it concluded an agreement with the French refinery company Total to build a pilot high-temperature electrolyzer for the production of methanol from green hydrogen. The Sunfire-HyLink 200 will start operating in 2021, producing around 500 tonnes of green hydrogen in three years. In addition to renewable sources, it will also use steam and waste heat from normal refinery operations.
Long-term cooperation also connects Sunfire with the German steelworks Salzgitter Flachstahl. The first electrolyser for the production of hydrogen from waste steam from production started production as early as Spring 2016. Based on positive experience, the steelworks decided to build a larger unit with higher production and efficiency at the beginning of 2019. It should be completed this Summer, producing approximately 200 cubic meters of hydrogen per hour when started. The process efficiency should reach 84%.
In addition, Sufire is also involved in the development of the so-called co-electrolyzer on an industrial scale. It captures CO2 directly from the air and converts it into synthetic gas: a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide (CO) called Syngas, using water (in the form of water vapor) and electricity from renewable sources. Syngas can be further processed into synthetic fuels such as e-kerosine or e-diesel.