Siemens, Air Liquide begin production at GW-scale electrolyzer factory in Berlin
Siemens Energy and Air Liquide have inaugurated their new multi-gigawatt electrolyzer factory located in Berlin, Germany. The series production of the hydrogen technology was started in the presence of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the inaugural event.
The manufacturing facility will roll out electrolyzer stacks with an initial capacity of 1 GW this year, which will be gradually ramped up to 2 GW in 2024 and at least 3 GW by 2025, according to the partners.
They claimed that an average of 300,000 metric tons of green hydrogen can be produced per year with a installed electrolyzer capacity of 3 GW, operated using clean energy. Using this green hydrogen to replace fossil fuels would avoid the CO2 emissions of a major German city with around 260,000 inhabitants like Aachen, they added.
Christian Bruch, CEO Siemens Energy, commented, "There is no energy transition without green molecules. With today's opening and the start of gigawatt-scale production of electrolyzers, we are launching the next step for the commercialization of this vital technology. Now we need to agree on a viable business model with a balanced risk and reward profile to turn the smallest molecule into a big success story."
The electrolyzer production line has been set up at Siemens Energy's existing production facility in Berlin of a cost of around € 30 million. It will supply stacks based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology.
According to the manufacturers, the PEM technology is best suited for intermittent renewable energy supply, and enable GW capacities using limited material, manpower and space requirements, thus making them the ideal enablers of a fast ramp-up.
"The mass production of industrial scale electrolyzers is essential to making competitive renewable hydrogen a reality", said François Jackow, CEO of Air Liquide Group. "Our joint-venture with Siemens Energy brings the best of our respective expertise together and allows us to offer the most-suited products to the market. More than ever, hydrogen is proving to be a key element of the transition to a low-carbon society".
The Franco-German partnership is expected to aid a larger portfolio of hydrogen projects under each company's pipelines. More specifically, the Normand'Hy 200 MW electrolyzer project that is under construction near Port-Jérôme in France by Air Liquide will be one of the first to be equipped with the stacks made from the Berlin plant.