Hydrogen energy sector fuels Shanxi's green development


Updated: 2022-06-28


An energy supply station opens in Shanxi. [Photo/Shanxi Economic Daily]

The Shanxi Department of Industry and Information Technology recently held a planning meeting on the development of the hydrogen energy industrial supply chain, to pave the way for potentially exponential expansion of this widely acclaimed and promising form of eco-friendly energy in the region.

The meeting – held in Taiyuan, capital of North China's Shanxi province – outlined plans to promote the construction of nine hydrogen energy projects costing 13.56 billion yuan ($2.03 billion).

The department earmarked investment of 4.06 billion yuan to be in place in 2022, according to Shang Alang, a department official at the meeting. 

The production of hydrogen from coke oven gas is seen as an important way to obtain industrial hydrogen on a large scale and at a low cost. Shanxi's coking production capacity accounts for one-third of the country's total, underscoring the obvious advantage enjoyed by the province in developing its hydrogen energy supply chain.

If the by-product coke oven gas is fully hydrogenated, it's estimated that the annual hydrogen production capacity of Shanxi can reach 15 billion cubic meters – which can provide running power for 289,000 hydrogen fuel cell heavy trucks per year and reduce 86.67 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. 

At present, the coal-to-hydrogen technology in the province is mature, with the coal-to-hydrogen purification rate reaching 99.9 percent. 

The hydrogen energy sector has been designated as one of the seven leading future industries in the province's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25). This year's provincial government work report proposed further guiding the integrated development of coal coking-hydrogen and steel coking-hydrogen. 

Ma Jingbo, director of the chemicals division of Shanxi Department of Industry and Information Technology, said that a circular on promoting the high-quality development of the hydrogen energy sector would soon be issued.

The circular is expected to include a number of measures and 20 incentives divided into six areas. These will involve improving the production capacity of high-purity hydrogen, supporting the construction of hydrogen storage, beefing up transportation and vehicle filling facilities, as well as encouraging technological innovation at hydrogen energy enterprises.