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Air Liquide completes 20 MW Canadian electrolysis plant


World's largest low carbon hydrogen unit

Abundant green power from Hydro-Québec

Hydrogen targeted at mobility market

  • Author
  • Henry Edwardes-Evans
  • Editor
  • Jonathan Fox
  • Commodity
  • Coal Electric Power

London — France's Air Liquide has completed construction of a 20 MW PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolyzer in Bécancour, Québec, producing 8.2 mt//day of low-carbon hydrogen, the company said Jan. 26.

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The plant, the largest of its kind in the world to date, uses technology supplied by Cummins, in which Air Liquide has a 19% stake following the acquisition by Cummins of hydrogen production specialist Hydrogenics in September 2019.

"Bécancour's proximity to the main industrial markets in Canada and the United States will help ensure their supply of low-carbon hydrogen for industrial use and mobility," Air Liquide said.

Commissioning of the electrolysis unit increased Air Liquide's Bécancour hydrogen production complex by 50%, it said.

Bécancour was chosen for its access to abundant renewable power from Hydro-Québec and the proximity to the hydrogen mobility market in the northeast of the continent.

The unit would avoid the emission of 27,000 mt/year of CO2 compared to conventional hydrogen production using fossil fuels.

"With this world's first, Air Liquide confirms its commitment to the production of low-carbon hydrogen on an industrial scale and its ability to effectively deploy the related technological solutions," said CEO of Air Liquide North America, Susan Ellerbusch.

S&P Global Platts assessed the price of hydrogen (PEM electrolysis, Alberta) at C$4.35/kg ($3.41/kg) on Jan. 22. It assessed the price of conventional hydrogen (steam methane reforming, Alberta) at C$0.48/kg.