Air Liquide to Join Hydrogen Project in Russia

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French industrial gas supplier Air Liquide plans to join Russian Rosatom's project to produce hydrogen in Russia’s Far East. The state atomic energy corporation's subsidiary Rosatom Overseas and Air Liquide signed a memorandum of understanding this week to cooperate on hydrogen production in Russia’s Sakhalin region. Rosatom Overseas is considering exporting hydrogen to Japan, located close to Sakhalin, and will complete a feasibility study this year. Although hydrogen production and exports remain in their infancy, Russia is raising its hydrogen ambitions to ensure it plays a role in a potentially fast-growing market amid the energy transition to a low-carbon economy. Moscow seeks to gain a 20% of the global hydrogen trade by 2030 (IOD Apr.16'21). Rosatom is considering hydrogen production ranging from 30,000-100,000 tons/yr in Sakhalin, Rosatom Overseas CEO Yevgeny Pakermanov said. The company is understood to be focusing on “yellow” hydrogen production through the electrolysis of water powered by nuclear energy. Russia has no nuclear plants in Sakhalin, but Rosatom may consider a floating nuclear power station there, which might cost up to 200 billion rubles ($2.6 billion). On Friday, Rosatom signed a separate agreement with the Sakhalin regional government and Russia’s ministry for the development of the Far East and Arctic regions to cooperate on the creation of a hydrogen cluster in Sakhalin. Sakhalin is a pioneering region in Russia in terms of the energy transition. It is targeting carbon neutrality by 2025 and will be the first Russian region to introduce carbon trading (IOD Jan.20'21).

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