Topsoe commits to its single-biggest investment ever with world’s largest SOEC electrolyzer plant
Updated: Sep 6, 2022
The board of Topsoe has made a final investment decision (FID) to begin construction of the world’s largest solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) electrolyzer manufacturing plant in Herning, Denmark.
The plant manufacturing capacity will be 500 megawatts per year with an option to expand to 5 gigawatts. According to Topsoe, its first offtake agreement is in place.
“The case for using electrolysis to produce green fuels is now well established, but manufacturing capacity has always been the challenge,” said Topsoe CEO Roeland Baan. “We are facing this challenge head on. We are dedicated to taking the lead on scaling Power-to-X technology to help drive the energy transition, and we are investing over 2 billion [Danish kroner] (USD$268.8 billion) to meet this demand and address this fundamental supply weakness. This is the single-biggest investment in the company’s history, clearly highlighting our commitment to driving the energy transition, and we hope this huge facility will act as a catalyst for new investment in the future.”
Sundus Cordelia Ramli, the chief commercial officer of Topsoe’s Power-to-X division, said, “There is a genuine trust in us and our cutting-edge SOEC electrolyzer technology, built on years of technological excellence. With this new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, we are taking Power-to-X technology into a commercially competitive position, ultimately making the case for decarbonization unarguable. We already have 500 megawatts of presold capacity and are in discussions with other potential offtake partners as well, who find our electrolyzer technology attractive, and look forward to being able to make more announcements in due course.”
At 500 MW capacity per year, the new facility will be the world’s largest SOEC manufacturing plant. This is a rapid acceleration not just for Topsoe, but also Denmark, and the EU towards a green-energy transition while reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
Topsoe is also delivering on its REPowerEU ambitions when, in May, a joint declaration was signed along with other industry leaders and the European Commission to commit to a tenfold increase of European electrolyzer-manufacturing capacity by 2025.
“This is a major statement of intent from Topsoe, but it is also a reality that industry cannot lead this energy transition alone,” Baan added. “We look towards the EU and the Danish government for long-term incentives and supportive framework conditions to continue to accelerate the green-hydrogen market and anchor large-scale electrolyzer production right here in the EU.”
The final investment decision was made Aug. 24. The plant will be built in Herning, Denmark, and construction is set to start the second half of this year. SOEC consumes less electricity than alkaline and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) technologies, since the process requires less power overall. With the integration of a steam feed, the SOEC process becomes even more efficient. When fully operational, 170 people will work on the site.