Construction starts on Europe’s largest green hydrogen plant for industrial use


Spain – Iberdrola has begun the construction of Europe’s largest plant for the production of green hydrogen.

To be built in Puertollano (Ciudad Real) will be a 100 MW solar plant, 20 MWh battery storage, and one of the world’s largest electrolytic hydrogen production systems (20 MW). All of which is sourced from renewable energy. Up to 700 jobs will be created, and emissions of 48,000 tCO2/year will be avoided, thanks to a 150 million euro investment. Fertiberia’s local ammonia plant will make use of the green hydrogen generated there.

Fertiberia plans to modernize and modify its facility so that it can use the green hydrogen it produces to make environmentally friendly fertilizer additives. It will be the first European company to develop expertise in large-scale green ammonia generation thanks to this technology, which will allow it to reduce natural gas requirements at the plant by over 10%.

Decarbonization option

For the new plant to be operational in 2022 it must be located in Puertollano, a prime industrial area. The National Hydrogen Centre is also located there, and has provided advice on the project since its inception. In the long run, this project will aid in the maturation of green hydrogen’s technology and make it a viable option for decarbonization.

For the construction of the hydrogen production system by electrolysis, Iberdrola has chosen Nel Hydrogen Electrolyseras, a European company, as its preferred supplier. Both Elecnor and Construcciones Electromecánicas Consonni, a Basque company, will be responsible for the electrical assembly of the Puertollano plant and supply equipment such as electrical panels and cabinets, support, conduits and luminaries.

Iberdrola – Fertiberia collaboration

The partnership between Iberdrola and Fertiberia aims to make Spain a technological leader in the production and use of green hydrogen in Europe and a benchmark in the electrolysis field. There are plans to build 830 megawatts of green hydrogen and invest $1.8 billion over the next decade to achieve this goal.

The Puertollano complex will be the starting point for an innovation initiative that could culminate in three additional projects at the Fertiberia plant in Ciudad Real and the Palos de la Frontera plant in Huelva between 2023 and 2027, each of which would add 40 percent to the initial plant’s capacity.

Electrolysis capacity of 830 MW, or 20% of the national target of 4 GW installed by 2030, would be achieved through this plan. Additionally, about 25% of the hydrogen currently consumed in Spain would not produce CO2 emissions. For the refining and chemical industries, hydrogen is used as a raw material, producing 0.5 million tons of hydrogen per year and emitting five million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Globally, this number rises to 830 million tons of CO2 per year (more than 2 percent of global emissions). A total of 1.8 billion euros will be invested in the project, which is expected to generate nearly 4,000 new jobs across the entire value chain.