Shell starts power-to-hydrogen operations in China

The power-to-hydrogen electrolyser in Zhangjiakou is a joint venture between Shell China and Zhangjiakou City Transport Construction Investment Holding Group.

The 20 megawatts power-to-hydrogen electrolyser and hydrogen refueling stations in Zhangjiakou are phase 1 of the JV. The companies have plans to scale up to 60 MW in the next two years in phase 2.

The electrolyser will provide about half of the total green H2 supply for the Zhangjiakou competition zone during the Winter Olympic Games, set to begin this month.

“The electrolyser is the largest in our portfolio to date and is in line with Shell’s Powering Progress strategy, which includes plans to build on our leading position in hydrogen,” said Wael Sawan from Shell.

“We see opportunities across the hydrogen supply chain in China, including its production, storage and shipping. We want to be the trusted partner for our customers from different sectors as we help them decarbonise in China.”

Taking only 13 months to complete, this is Shell’s first commercial hydrogen development project in China. Using wind power, the project is to help decarbonise the mobility sector.

“The hydrogen industry is critical for Zhangjiakou’s transition to low-carbon energy and to achieve the city’s carbon peak and carbon neutrality targets,” said Bai Jing, from Zhangjiakou municipal commission.

Jason Wong from Shell China added: “With project phase 2 expansion plans and through partnerships with the local government and businesses, we will support the development of a low-carbon energy system and low-carbon transport system in Zhangjiakou and the wider Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.”

The world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser is 30MW operated by Baofeng Energy in China. On the other hand, the second-largest is a 20MW one operated by Air Liquide in Canada. This is specifically measured by production capacity.

The Shell’s project is one of only three commercial-scale electrolysers in China today; alongside the 30 MW one operated by Baofeng Energy and a 10MW electrolyser operated by HyPower in Hebei province.