Rosenergoatom to launch pilot hydrogen production project in northern Russia
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Rosenergoatom, the company operating Russian nuclear power stations, is to bring on stream a bench testing site for producing hydrogen at the Kola nuclear power station in Murmansk region in northern Russia.

The complex with electrolysis installations is to have an initial capacity of 1 MW, but that could over time be increased to 10 MW.

    “We have to create a system for handling hydrogen on an industrial scale – formation, compressing or liquefying and transporting,” Vasily Olemchuk, director of the power station, told reporters. “If the technology works, it will be developed throughout the Russian Federation.”

    Olemchuk said Kola had been chosen for the project because of an excess of generated electricity, low costs, as well as experience in the production of hydrogen in small quantities for the plant’s own needs.

    The Kola power station may not be the sole site in Murmansk region for hydrogen production. Also vying for production rights in the Kola wind farm – now under construction – with a capacity of 201 MW. This is Enel Russia’s wind farm which, along with the help of the Rusnano innovation development company, is to produce “green hydrogen”. The two companies were in discussions on the project during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum this month.

    Another joint project is in the planning stages on Russia’s Pacific island of Sakhalin involving Air Liquide, French producer of rare gases, and Rusatom Overseas – an affiliate of Rosatom, which promotes Russian nuclear expertise and technology abroad. In April, the two companies concluded an agreement with Sakhalin’s government on conducting technical and economic analyses of a project with a capacity of producing between 30,000 and 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year.

   Projects on hydrogen production are being overseen to varying degrees by regulators:

  • In adopting a long-term energy strategy last year, the Energy Ministry set a goal of boosting hydrogen exports by 2024 to 200,000 tonnes a year and by 2035 to 2 million tonnes.
  • The Ministry of Trade and Industry in February said it could include hydrogen on a list of technologies for which investors could use special investment contracts – agreements establishing tax and regulatory conditions to remain in force for the duration of a given project.
  • The Ministry of Economic Development proposes the creation on Sakhalin of a “Hydrogen Valley” – a special economic zone whose residents will receive a series of duty and tax benefits.

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