Two Spanish companies, electric utility Iberdrola and fertilizer company Fertiberia announced an agreement to work together to construct a green hydrogen plant for industrial use in Europe. With an initial investment of €150 million, the facility will be the largest plant yet to produce green hydrogen for industrial use in Europe, according to the companies.
Hydrogen has long been seen as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, given its ability to act both as a clean energy carrier and fuel, as well as a CO2-neutral feedstock for the production of green chemicals. Despite being the most abundant element in the universe, however, there are no pure hydrogen deposits on earth, and it must be extracted from other materials. The extraction process often creates pollutants and GHG emissions. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, uses an electrolysis process to extract hydrogen from water, using a renewable source of energy such as wind or solar, with only oxygen released as a byproduct.
According to the agreement, Iberdrola will be responsible for the production of green hydrogen, which will be used at Fertiberia’s ammonia plant in Puertollano. The new project will make Fertiberia the first European company in the sector to develop expertise in large-scale green ammonia generation.
Iberdrola’s renewable production solution will consist of a 100 MW photovoltaic solar plant, a lithium-ion battery system with a storage capacity of 20 MWh and one of the largest electrolytic hydrogen production systems in the world (20 MW). According to Fertiberia, the Puertollano ammonia plant already one of the most efficient in the European Union, with a production capacity of more than 200,000 t/year. Fertiberia will update and modify the plant to be able to use the green hydrogen produced to manufacture green fertilizers.
The companies estimate that the plant will reduce C02 emissions by 39,000 t/year, and development and construction of the facility will create 700 jobs.
Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán said:
“Today we are launching the first major green hydrogen project in Europe, demonstrating that thanks to renewables and technological innovation, it is possible to continue to meet the needs of the electrification and decarbonisation of our industry. The initiative shows the path and opportunities offered by the energy transition to develop innovative projects as the focus for industrialisation and employment in our country.”
Javier Goñi, President of Fertiberia said:
“The partnership with Iberdrola allows Fertiberia to take a further step in its ambition to become a european reference for sustainable solutions for agriculture and to lead the paradigm shift required for the energy transition in the chemical sector, thanks to the manufacture of green ammonia from domestic renewable energy sources.”