Shell said today one of the world’s largest hydrogen electrolysers has started production of green hydrogen in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, China.

The power-to-hydrogen electrolyser in Zhangjiakou is owned by a joint venture between Shell and Zhangjiakou City Transport Construction.

The 20 megawatts (MW) phase one electrolyser will provide about half of the total green hydrogen supply for fuel cell vehicles at the Zhangjiakou competition zone during the Winter Olympic Games, set to begin on 4 February 2022.

“The electrolyser is the largest in our portfolio to date and is in line with Shell’s Powering Progress strategy, which includes plans to build on our leading position in hydrogen,” said Wael Sawan, Shell’s Integrated Gas, Renewable and Energy Solutions Director.

“We see opportunities across the hydrogen supply chain in China, including its production, storage and shipping. We want to be the trusted partner for our customers from different sectors as we help them decarbonise in China.”

The joint venture has plans to scale up to 60 MW in the next two years in phase two.

Taking 13 months to complete, Shell said this is its first commercial hydrogen development project in China.

The project utilises onshore wind power and will initially supply green hydrogen to fuel a fleet of more than 600 fuel cell vehicles at the Winter Olympics.

After that, the hydrogen will be used for public and commercial transport in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, helping to decarbonise the mobility sector.

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"Measured by production capacity, the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser is 30 MW operated by Baofeng Energy in China, while the second largest is a 20 MW one operated by Air Liquide in Canada, said Shell.

The Zhangjiakou facility is one of only three commercial-scale electrolysers in China alongside the 30 MW one operated by Baofeng Energy and a 10 MW electrolyser operated by HyPower in Hebei province, according to Shell.