The Swedish power company OKG will deliver fossil-free “pink hydrogen” from its nuclear power plant in Oskarshamn 3.
The first contract is reported to be with the industrial gas company Linde Gas, with the first delivery at the beginning of the year.
OKG, which is owned by Uniper and Fortum, has long produced hydrogen from electrolysis of water for use in the cooling systems of nuclear power generators. With the closure of Oskarshamn units 1 and 2 and only unit 3 left in operation, the company has an overcapacity of hydrogen.
“Initially, it is about relatively small volumes. But we have expertise as well as plant and infrastructure and I see a very good potential to expand this business “, says Johan Lundberg, CEO of OKG.
“The need for hydrogen will increase gradually and we have received strong support from our owners to develop this business opportunity.”
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OKG says in a statement that the hydrogen plant is currently being modernized, including a new control system, at the same time as other components will be replaced to expand operations.
Johan Svenningsson, CEO of Uniper Sweden, says that the ambition is to develop the growing market for hydrogen together with Fortum.
– The Swedish electricity system is virtually fossil-free and we therefore have good conditions for producing large volumes of hydrogen, which will play an important role when Sweden changes.
With the agreement, Oskarshamn on Sweden’s east coast will be the country’s first municipality to offer so-called ‘pink hydrogen’ – also called ‘red’ or ‘purple’ hydrogen – produced with nuclear power.
Data on pink hydrogen production globally are limited and any volumes must be small. However, this is likely to change with the growing resurgence of support for nuclear power and, for example, the EU’s proposal to categorize certain nuclear power production that will help mitigate climate change.
IEA: s Global Hydrogen Review 2021 reports around a dozen demonstration projects with a combined 250MW electrolyzer capacity exploring the use of nuclear power for hydrogen production in Canada, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. However, not all are expected to be realized.
France has signaled that nuclear-powered hydrogen production could play a major role in the country’s future energy mix, while the British Government’s Nuclear Industry Council hydrogen roadmap has nuclear power that will produce a third of the country’s need for clean hydrogen by 2050.