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The world's largest and first green hydrogen plant starts production at Herøya in 2023

Yara's and the world's largest and first green hydrogen pilot plant is now being built into a refurbished building, ready to start up new green energy production at Herøya in 2023.
four persons, posing, one arm each up in the air like high five Milestone: The world's first and largest hydrogen plant is now being installed in Yara's rehabilitated pilot hall at Herøya in Porsgrunn. From left Michael Hoffmann, Linde, Stein Rune Johansen, Bilfinger, Madalina Hoffmann, Linde and Reidar Tveit, Yara.

SKREI is Yara's initiative to build and produce hydrogen using renewable energy at Herøya, and the project has received 283 million Norwegian kroner from ENOVA. Investing in hydrogen is an important step towards producing green ammonia and fertiliser without emissions.

Reidar Tveit, Yara's project leader for the SKREI project, talks about significant milestones achieved since the groundbreaking and grand opening with Prime Minister Gahr Støre at Herøya in March 2022

portrait of man, standing close to concrete wall, industry
Important milestones reached: Reidar Tveit, project manager for SKREI, in front of the building where the hydrogen factory is being built, talks about important milestones.

"Our old compressor building has been refurbished and is now ready for a new hydrogen plant. Installation of process equipment inside the building has begun. And none of the hundreds of people working here have been injured after 56,000 hours in the project," says the project manager, pleased with the progress.

Pilot hall ready to be put to use

Bilfinger's team of 6-7 concrete workers, along with pipefitters, electricians, and several other trades, have refurbished Yara's former compressor hall, now ready to be put to use and new green energy production.

a group of seven people, high-five, outside concrete buiodings, industry
Bilfinger's construction and concrete experts and Yara's project managers take a "high-five" for the fully rehabilitated compressor hall, made ready to house a new green hydrogen factory. From left Ronald Smith, Marius Jensen, Willy Haugvik, Thomas Furuvald, Fredrik Stamland, Svein William Pedersen, and Reidar Tveit, Yara. - We had some surprises and challenges, but managed to solve them. Here, we have built solid concrete structures that meet high demands going forward, says Willy Haugvik, Bilfinger.

Largest and first in the world

The hydrogen plant being installed inside the building is a 24 MW electrolysis pilot, developed and delivered by German company Linde Engineering.

"The 24 MW electrolysis pilot is the largest hydrogen factory of its kind in the world built inside a building, and the first of this size to be put into operation," says Madalina Hoffmann. "We are a bit ahead of our first prototype built in Leuna," she explains.

portrait of woman, white helmet, yellow jacket, industry hall
Madalina Hoffmann, Linde.

This is the second time that Linde has built such a plant. Linde's first hydrogen pilot, built in Leuna, Germany, was built from the ground up (greenfield), while the hydrogen factory at Herøya will be built inside Yara's existing building, refurbished for this purpose (brownfield).

Tight construction schedule

The parties involved report a tight construction schedule going forward.

"The hydrogen plant will be built, tested, and necessary approvals will be in place before it starts," says the project manager.

"In that sense, it will be a tight construction schedule. This is an industrial pilot and the first time the plant is being built as a process plant with 12 electrolyzers. There is a lot of learning and development going both ways since Linde built the prototype in Leuna and since we started the collaboration here at Herøya. But the spirit is high," says Tveit, who closely follows the progress.

"We plan to start producing hydrogen with renewable power here at Herøya in 2023."

four people posing, industry hall
Tight construction programme: Ready for a tight construction program going forward. The project team from Linde, Madalina Hoffmann, front, and Michael Hoffmann, in the middle behind her, are well underway with assembly and have received most of the equipment on site. Here together with, on the left, Stein Rune Johansen, Bilfinger and Reidar Tveit, Yara, at the back.
Four people viewing a large oxygen separator
Monument: A black oxygen separator, splitting water and oxygen, towers like a monument in the newly rehabilitated hall. - We are starting to assemble the large parts, say the hydrogen factory builders from Linde, Madalina and Michael Hoffmann. - Here, oxygen is vented out at the top, and the water is recycled and goes back into the process, they explain.


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