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Sinopec Goes Green: USD 4.6 Billion Investment on Hydrogen Energy on the Cards

Sinopec Goes Green: USD 4.6 Billion Investment on Hydrogen Energy on the Cards

  • 07-Sep-2021 12:00 PM
  • Journalist: Xiang Hong

China’s biggest oil refinery and petroleum products company, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (aka. Sinopec) has planned a USD 4.6 billion investment for hydrogen energy and natural gas production by 2025. The company targets an annual production capacity of 200 KT of refuelled hydrogen by aggressively exploiting renewable sources. Till now the company had been producing 3 million tonnes of hydrogen per year from non-renewable sources. 

The planned green hydrogen production by the company will be serving the transportation sector and the refining activities. To further fortify its mandate for sustainable energy production, Sinopec has plans to power its production facility with 400 megawatts of solar power generator that would enable the electrical charging of vehicles. In this direction, Sinopec has already proceeded to build about 20 hydrogen filling stations with 60 stations in the pipeline.

Sinopec will also be prioritising its natural gas production activity by enhancing the natural gas production by 13.5% during the second half of 2021, owing to the surging local demand for natural gas that is expected to remain over 13% in the running year.

These strategies have been devised under China’s long-term goals to become a carbon-neutral energy provider by 2050. China is tirelessly involved in revolutionising its refinery sector which is evident from its plans for developing a hydrogen-industry chain at the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area which will be specifically focussed on reducing carbon emissions by 2 million tonnes.

Hydrogen energy is a clean fuel having zero percent toxic emissions which is why it is viewed as the future of sustainable energy. With the increasing environmental pollution and strict environmental legislation, the demand for hydrogen as a green energy fuel is skyrocketing. Many developed countries are investing heavily in hydrogen production and its utilization as a transportation fuel. Developing countries have also started looking forward to bringing hydrogen-based vehicles into common use.

As per ChemAnalyst, hydrogen represents a potential alternative as a fuel that has the capability for fuelling transports, generate electricity and carrying it as a portable stored energy. However, storing hydrogen is a major challenge as the storage and maintenance facilities are largely expensive. The inclination of government policies towards green energy production and consumption is expected to propel its high demand in future. China’s initiative to enhance production of hydrogen using renewable feedstocks is an important step that will aid to establish its dominance in the energy sector. Also, the availability of copious amounts of green hydrogen may lead to a fall in prices in the end-use sectors.

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