Cepsa selects preferred electrolyser suppliers for first phase of 1GW green hydrogen project at Spanish refinery


Polly Martin

Spanish oil & gas company Cepsa has selected Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Nucera and Siemens Energy as its preferred suppliers for 400MW of electrolysers to the first phase of a 1GW green hydrogen plant at the La Rabida refinery in the southern Spanish port city of Huelva.


Siemens Energy will supply 100MW of PEM electrolyers to the 400MW initial phase, while Thyssenkrupp Nucera has been contracted to deliver a basic engineering package for the plant, based on 15 of its 20MW alkaline electrolysers, with a firm 300MW order expected once Cepsa and project partner Fertiberia take a final investment decision on the project.


“Through a combination of electrolyser technologies, Cepsa can manage technology risk to ensure supply for our customers,” said Carlos Barrasa, Cepsa's executive vice-president of commercial and clean energies.


The 400MW order is the largest in Southern Europe, according to Cepsa.


The Spanish company had in late 2022 announced plans to spend €3bn ($3.23bn) on 1GW of green hydrogen production capacity in Huelva — powered by wind and solar — as well as another 1GW at its San Roque refinery in Cádiz.


The Huelva plant’s first phase was originally scheduled to start up in 2026, before reaching full capacity in 2028.


The company had not been one of the winners of subsidies announced in the recent pilot European Hydrogen Bank auction.


However, its executive vice-president for commercial and clean technologies Carlos Barrasa argued during a panel session at the World Hydrogen Summit that the results — which favoured Spanish and Portuguese projects — demonstrated “the competitiveness of southern Spain” to produce green H2 for consumption in northern Europe.


Cepsa plans to ship its renewable hydrogen as ammonia to ports in Northern Europe, such as via a maritime corridor between Algeciras and Rotterdam, with the chemical cracked back to H2 at the point of use.


However, it is unclear whether these plans will change depending on the relative cost of cracking and the development of direct hydrogen pipelines from Spain and Portugal to the rest of Europe by 2030.


Thyssenkrupp Nucera suggests that it could set up electrolyser assembly capacity in Spain in order to supply the project.


The 2.2GW of electrolysers ordered for the under-construction Neom green hydrogen and ammonia project in Saudi Arabia are being fabricated in Vietnam by local industrial engineering company Lilama, with the equipment already being shipped via the Red Sea.


The electrolyser manufacturer boasts that it has won orders for more than 3GW of electrolyser capacity, including the 200MW Holland Hydrogen 1 project by Shell in the Netherlands and at least 700MW for H2 Green Steel in Sweden.


This article was updated to add the news that Cepsa had selected Siemens Energy, as well as Thyssenkrupp Nucera, as an electrolyser supplier to the Huelva project.


Source: Hydrogeninsight


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