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Plus hydrogenation of Russia
Significant agreements on the creation of a hydrogen cluster in Sakhalin and the Penzhinskaya power plant in Kamchatka were signed within the framework of the VI Eastern Economic Forum. Hydrogen energy has become one of the main topics of the EEF-2021.
Why hydrogen is "new oil", what is slowing down the "green revolution", and how the energy reality is changing today - in the EastRussia review.
Springboard to a new reality
The future of hydrogen energy was discussed at the session "Healthy Ambitions: Presentation of Breakthrough Projects in the Far East". The discussion was attended by representatives of development institutions, executive authorities and the scientific community.
The Green Agenda was built around two strategic projects - the creation of a tidal power plant in Kamchatka and the development of a hydrogen cluster in Sakhalin. Together, these projects are expected to help ensure the export from Russia of environmentally friendly types of hydrogen for $ 2050 billion a year by 100 and will become a "springboard to a new energy reality."
Session moderator, Head of Energy and Utilities Practice at KPMG in Russia and the CIS, Vasily Savin, noted that many countries today are striving for low-carbon economic development, adopting hydrogen strategies and "are feverishly moving towards reducing COXNUMX in the atmosphere." This tendency became especially evident in the conditions of covid reality. There is a hope that the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol can be realized.
The project to create a hydrogen cluster on Sakhalin was presented by the Governor of the Sakhalin Region Valery Limarenko. He noted the proximity of the region to the Asia-Pacific countries, where the main consumers of hydrogen have been declared today. For example, the Japanese authorities announced that they would implement their hydrogen program using imported raw materials.
“For us, hydrogen is not only an energy transition, but also a diversification of the economy. Like gas and oil, this is a promising commodity on the Asia-Pacific markets. Therefore, we made a fundamental decision - to allocate 200 million cubic meters of gas in order to produce 2024 thousand tons of hydrogen in 30. Pay attention, if you made a decision, it means you didn't turn aside, didn't pass by the energy transition. We believe this is a historic moment for us, ”Valeriy Limarenko said.
Location, resources and high technological readiness are obvious advantages of Sakhalin on the way to clean energy.
According to Limarenko, the technologies for the production of liquefied gas (LNG) and hydrogen are similar to each other. At one time, Sakhalin-2 became the first LNG plant in Russia. This means that the foundation has been laid for the production of hydrogen.
The speaker recalled that at the beginning of 2021, an agreement on cooperation in the development of hydrogen energy in Sakhalin was signed between the Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, the Government of the Sakhalin Region and Rosatom. The parties agreed on a preliminary feasibility study of the project.
The tests were completed successfully. And at the VI Eastern Economic Forum, Gazprom, Rosatom and the Sakhalin authorities signed a new landmark agreement - on cooperation in the construction of a plant for the production of hydrogen from natural gas.
The main technology is the method of steam reforming of methane. At the first stage, the enterprise will produce about 30 thousand tons of hydrogen per year, and by 2030 it will increase the volume to 100 thousand tons.
Limarenko stressed that such production is "a whole science." Hydrogen energy is associated with a number of problems and questions to which the world community has not yet received clear answers. Otherwise, the "green revolution" would have already taken place.
“The main question is how to deliver this hydrogen to the buyer. There is an idea to mix it with nitrogen and transfer it as ammonia because it is easier to do. The feasibility study, which will be carried out by the end of the year, will show which method we choose, ”said Valeriy Limarenko.
Among the key issues are also the construction of the terminal (if the method of transportation is the shipment of ammonia), the choice of the place of shipment, the allocation of a land plot for the hydrogen cluster, and engineering facilities.
As for raw materials, an agreement was signed with the state corporation Gazprom on the supply of gas for future production on the VEF fields. Also in 2021, together with Gazprom, the Sakhalin Oblast government is launching a training program for power engineers who will specialize in the field of hydrogen.
Anton Moskvin, Vice President for Marketing and Business Development, Rusatom Overseas JSC, emphasized that this is a “megaproject”.
“We plan that the cluster will unite all the main elements of the technological chain and the chain of cooperation typical for a full-fledged hydrogen cluster - in some countries they are called hydrogen valleys. In fact, this is a model of such an isolated economy, where market participants from different industries interact with each other, ”he explained.
It is planned that the "mega-enterprise" will send the first products for export by 2025. Negotiations with potential Japanese and Korean customers are already underway. Moreover, an agreement was signed with the Japanese side on the supply of Russian hydrogen. A feasibility study has been developed for organizing a supply chain from Russia to Japan.
“Transporting hydrogen in large volumes is a challenge indeed. Today there are simply no such technologies, so we plan to supply it in the form of ammonia. But science does not stand still, projects of specialized ships for the transportation of liquefied hydrogen have already appeared, so adjustments are possible in the future, ”said Anton Moskvin.
Valeriy Limarenko, speaking about the image of the future cluster, said that "both trains and cars there will run on hydrogen." Moreover, this reality is closer than it seems.
Hydrogen trains make history
At EEF-2021, Russian Railways, the Government of the Sakhalin Region, Rosatom State Corporation and Transmashholding JSC signed a protocol “on the recognition of the project for organizing railway traffic using hydrogen fuel cell trains on Sakhalin as expedient and technically feasible”. There are examples of such projects in the UK, Austria, Italy and other countries. Now hydrogen transport is to be introduced in the Russian realities.
Another agreement was signed with Volvo Group Russia. The company will get involved in the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and fueling infrastructure for it. Sergey Yavorskiy, director of Volvo Group Russia, notes that clean energy will help reduce operating costs for heavy commercial vehicles.
“The combination of such important elements of the cluster as a production complex, projects with Russian Railways, infrastructure solutions, the creation of refueling complexes and hydrogen storage facilities, according to our estimates, will make it possible to implement the idea of a hydrogen economy within Sakhalin. This region should become a pilot for the emergence and development of technologies that can be applied in other regions of Russia, ”said Anton Moskvin.
Rotational energy of the earth
The second large-scale project in the field of hydrogen economy, presented at the VI Eastern Economic Forum, is the creation of a tidal power plant in Kamchatka.
The agreement between the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, the Kamchatka Territory and H2 Clean Energy LLC was signed within the framework of EEF-2021. The document confirms the intentions to start a joint study and preliminary study of the project for the construction of the Penzhinskaya tidal power plant.
These plans were commented on by Roman Berdnikov, Member of the Management Board, First Deputy General Director, PJSC RusHydro.
According to him, since the 19th century, mankind has been trying to master a special type of hydroelectric power plants that use the kinetic energy of the earth's rotation. But the projects are expensive, difficult to implement, and therefore only 8 such stations operate in the world today.
Penzhinskaya Bay is one of the most isolated places in the Far East, 900 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Remoteness from consumer markets is a serious minus, however, there are significant pluses as well. Here, in the northeastern part of the Sea of Okhotsk Bay, the volume of water moves, comparable to the runoff of the Volga River in two years - more than 500 cubic kilometers. The height of the tides reaches 13,4 meters. The water decreases by 5-8 kilometers, exposing the seabed and returning back.
This is a unique renewable energy source that does not require additional fuel. On the Penzhinskaya Bay, it is possible to build a tidal power plant (TPP) with a capacity of over 100 GW or 260 billion kW per hour.
Such plans were considered in the Soviet Union, and Russia returned to them with the adoption of the hydrogen agenda. With the maximum use of all capacities, the Penzhinskaya station will be capable of producing up to 5 million tons of hydrogen per year.
“We would like to use this huge potential. Moreover, among the advantages of tidal stations are a long service life, the ability to predict the energy received, biological permeability, that is, there are no obstacles to the passage of fish. Plus, no land alienation is required, ”said Konstantin Korotov, General Director of the Kamchatka Development Corporation.
Short shoulder of the Northern Sea Route
The TPP project will consist of three main parts. This is the generation of electricity, its transmission for the production of hydrogen and the organization of delivery to consumers.
The place of generation was chosen in the Bay of Korf - an ice-free port at the intersection of the Northern Sea Route, which is planned to be involved in transportation. The short shoulder of transportation and the absence of problem areas on the route speak in favor of this location.
“Modern transport corridors are just considering the issue of passing hydrogen through their capacities - the Suez Canal and the straits of Turkey, because the process is new and requires compliance with large world security. But we believe that while the whole world comes to some standards for the transportation of hydrogen, the Northern Sea Route will already be able to resolve such issues, ”commented Konstantin Korotov.
By the end of this year, it is necessary to determine technical solutions, carry out the necessary hydrogeological surveys and calculations for the construction of a tidal power plant. By 2030, the authorities of Kamchatka plan to enter the production and shipment of the first batches of Penzhinskaya TPP products.
In the meantime, it is necessary to look for answers to a number of technological challenges associated with the construction of port infrastructure in difficult conditions, storage and delivery of hydrogen.
Role of the state
First Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Gadzhimagomed Huseynov commented on the plans to create hydrogen clusters from the point of view of government authorities.
According to him, large-scale projects can raise the GRP of the constituent entities, create new jobs and attract investment to the Far East.
“It is clear, this is a new industry, and today we have more questions than answers. But this is the agenda that we must implement for future generations. The role of the state here cannot be overestimated. Its task is to become a link in technological chains, to accompany the process at every stage, from generating electrical energy to obtaining "green hydrogen", to create and develop competencies in the field of hydrogen energy, "Gadzhimagomed Huseynov said.
In turn, VEB.DV General Director Artem Dovlatov emphasized the role of development institutions in the “green” agenda. He noted that investment in development is one of the main tasks of VEB.RF, there are many tools for this, and new ones will be launched soon.
As for the participation of investors in creating a “new energy reality”, the chairman of the board of directors, H2 Clean Energy, Pavel Grachev, spoke with caution about the commercial future of the projects presented.
The interest of Russian and foreign investors in hydrogen clusters is great, but it is too early to talk about the entry of a large number of players into this market.
On the sidelines of the WEF, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said that projects to create hydrogen clusters in the Far East lie in the plane of global climate problems.
Revealing the national potential in the field of production, application and export of hydrogen, as well as the entry of Russia into the number of countries - leaders in this industry - are the goals set forth in the Concept for the Development of Hydrogen Energy, approved by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in August 2021. The document defines the creation of at least three hydrogen clusters: North-West, East and Arctic.