Shell has signed up Germany's Thyssenkrupp to supply a 200-megawatt electrolysis plant at the Port of Rotterdam to produce green hydrogen from power coming from the future Hollandse Kust North offshore wind farm.

The plant will be based on the Thyssenkrupp's 20MW alkaline water electrolysis modules, with first construction work for the electrolysers to begin in the spring of this year.

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Shell is expected to take a final investment decision to build the ‘Holland Hydrogen I’ project later this year. The 200MW plant is in contention to be the world's largest when commissioned, which is foreseen in 2024.

“We are looking forward to support building a major hydrogen hub in central Europe and to contribute to Europe’s transition to green energy”, said Christoph Noeres, head of green hydrogen at Thyssenkrupp's Uhde Chlorine Engineers, which will supply the plant.

“With our large-scale standard module size, we will further strengthen Shell’s hydrogen strategy.”

When the CrossWind consortium of Shell and Mitsubishi-owned Dutch utility Eneco won a tender in 2020 for the 759MW Hollandse Kust North offshore wind zone in the North Sea, it said production from the project would power some 200MW of electrolyser capacity, initially to decarbonise Shell’s Pernis refinery.

The Rotterdam hub is slated to be a “stepping stone” toward the giant NortH2 project that would be engineered to turn 10GW in offshore wind capacity into vast volumes of hydrogen.

The centre of the Hydrogen Holland I facility will be a hall the size of three football fields, where green hydrogen will be produced for industry and the transport sector, Thyssenkrupp said.

The power from Hollandse Kust North will come by means of guarantees of origin. The hydrogen can be transported through a pipeline with a length of about 40 kilometers that will run from the plant to Shell’s Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam.

(This article first appeared in Upstream's renewable energy sister publication on 10 January, 2022.)