PUERTOLLANO – Iberdrola has presented, in the presence of King Felipe VI, its green hydrogen production plant that will supply Fertiberia for the manufacture of ammonia, the first stone of a project with a horizon of 2027 and which foresees an investment of 2,000 million euros to be will be extended to the plant in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva).
To achieve the objectives set, as has been made clear in the presentation, 200 plants like the one in Puertollano will be necessary in 2030.
The plant will produce 360 kilos of green hydrogen per hour up to 3,000 tons per year, avoiding the emission of 48,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and in an area of 7 hectares that is a reality after 15 months of construction.
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It has a building that receives the energy produced in the photovoltaic plant located a few kilometers away, from where it passes to the electrolyser building, the heart of the plant.
From there, the hydrogen is stored until stable conditions are achieved for its transport and finally it can be sent to Feriberia so that it can be used in the manufacture of ammonia. In addition, a dozen wind turbines work to cool the water in the process and allow manufacturing.
Iberdrola has selected the European company Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser -a division of Nel ASA- as its preferred supplier for the construction of the hydrogen production system through electrolysis, which will be based on its Proton PEM solution.
For its part, the Basque company Elecnor has taken charge of the electrical assembly of the Puertollano plant and will supply materials, such as electrical panels and cabinets, supports, conduits and lighting; while Construcciones Electromecánicas Consonni will manufacture the medium voltage equipment at its plant in Bilbao.
OBJECTIVE, “NOT DEPENDING ON THIRD PARTIES”
The president of the company, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, was in charge of starting the act to value the “need” of the country to have indigenous energy sources “so as not to have to depend on third parties”.
A strategy that demonstrates, in his words, how Iberdrola “invests in decarbonisation” when it comes to producing energy thanks to hydrogen, “one of those technologies that makes it possible to eliminate emissions in high-temperature industrial processes” as well as in transport, producing fossil-free raw materials.
A plant that has been designed by “many Spanish companies” that have contributed with the electronics, the rigged photovoltaic plant or Fertiberia itself, which is now committed to hydrogen as an energy source for its manufacturing process.
This new factory would not be possible without the work of Cummings, a Norwegian company that supplies electrolysers and has the largest factory in Europe projected in Guadalajara.
All to form “a first phase of a more ambitious project” with 2,000 million euros of investment to “replace natural gas with the sun” that is used for, for example, the production of ammonia.
At this point, he has been confident that public administrations assume a commitment “with the development of these projects” in order to achieve a “virtuous circle of clean energy” to be “self-sufficient” and generate “quality training and employment” .
“Let’s continue making Spain a leader in sectors of the future such as renewables, green hydrogen or the ammonia that it will produce”, he concluded.
The person in charge of starting up the plant, Agustín Delgado, has recalled what it was like on March 12, 2020 when Sánchez Galán entrusted him with this project.
To do this, it looked for “the best allies” such as Fertiberia and managed to demonstrate “the execution capacity” that has led to having this plant in just two years.
In order to demonstrate why green hydrogen is important, he has exemplified by ensuring that the current energy sector “is not sustainable” in Spain, with data that point to more than 40,000 million euros per year in fuel purchases and a dependency of 70% from the foreign market, also emitting 250 million tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere.
Methanol, green steel or ammonia will be some of the raw materials that can be derived using green hydrogen.
On the other hand, Nerea Bartolomé, from Iberdrola, explained how Spain “has already committed” to its National Energy and Climate Plan, which already establishes that by 2030, 75% of electricity will come from renewable sources. 20 years later, the goal to be achieved must be one hundred percent.
MORE USES FOR HYDROGEN
The director of the Foresa plant in Caldas de Rei, Begoña Gómez, participated in the act, who has shown that hydrogen, apart from its uses related to energy, has other uses far beyond.
As an example, the project that will be launched at its plant to manufacture green methanol, an initiative that receives the name of ‘Green Methanol – Meiga’.
Green hydrogen together with CO2 to obtain green methanol in a project that seeks decarbonization and will be powered 100% by renewable energy.
“WE NEED VISION, COURAGE AND SUPPORT”
Fertiberia’s industrial director, David Herrero, also participated in the event to explain the importance of green hydrogen in the manufacture of ammonia that will come out of its Puertollano plant.
To achieve this, imported natural gas is replaced by indigenous renewable energy, which contributes to decarbonizing agriculture and improving food security.
“We need vision, courage and institutional support in equal parts for a transformation of our industrial capacities”, he claimed, assuring that today Feriberia will be the first company to manufacture CO2-free ammonia.
Ammonia “will become the sustainable fuel” in segments such as maritime, and engines that use this fuel are already being manufactured.
Thus, “the foundations are laid for greater independence using clean and indigenous energy”, as he defended.