Hungarian Group Inaugurates Green Hydrogen Production Project

A Hungarian company that operates refineries and petrochemical plants, and runs service stations across Central and Eastern Europe, said it is set to begin commercial operation of a 10-MW green hydrogen production plant in Százhalombatta, Hungary.

MOL Group, headquartered in Budapest, said the plant will produce 1,600 tonnes of hydrogen annually using electricity from renewable energy resources. The company said the plant at the Danube Refinery represents an investment of €22 million ($23.45 million) and is the largest plant producing green hydrogen in the region. The group said the facility is part of “MOL Group’s long-term corporate strategy,” a program known as SHAPE TOMORROW, for carbon neutrality and sustainability.

József Molnár, CEO of MOL Group, addresses the crowd at the inauguration ceremony for the company’s new green hydrogen plant in Hungary. Source: MOL Group

“MOL Group has reached another milestone: we can now produce green hydrogen without producing any greenhouse gases. Using this technology, we are able to achieve the same emissions reduction as if we took roughly 5,500 cars off the road overnight,” said József Molnár, CEO of MOL Group, at the recent inauguration ceremony of the new green hydrogen plant. “Today, our new green hydrogen plant is only making MOL’s industrial operations greener, but tomorrow it will offer solutions for the whole industry and hydrogen mobility. After Száhalombatta, we will take the technology to the other two fuel production units of the group to make the fuel production process more sustainable at each of MOL Group’s refineries.”

Officials said utilizing the new plant will reduce the refinery’s emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 25,000 tonnes each year.

Plug Power’s electrolysis technology is being used at a hydrogen production facility in Hungary. Source: MOL Group

The plant is using electrolysis equipment from Latham, New York-based Plug Power, which uses electricity produced by renewable energy to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen. The new technology will gradually replace the current natural gas-based production process at the refinery, which today accounts for one-sixth of the MOL Group’s total emissions of CO2. The plant will start producing hydrogen in the second half of 2024, and MOL will use the green hydrogen primarily in its own network for fuel production, according to the company.

Officials with MOL Group and other dignitaries look on during an inauguration ceremony for a hydrogen production plant in Hungary. Source: MOL Group

MOL Group in an April 11 news release said the technology “means that no polluting by-products are generated and, in fact, the plant produces 8-9 tonnes of pure oxygen per tonne of hydrogen.”

Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power, said, “We are thrilled to celebrate, in partnership with MOL, the inauguration of one of Europe’s largest green hydrogen plants supporting a refinery. As a potent way to reduce carbon emissions within refinery operations, we are proud to equip MOL with cutting-edge electrolyzer technology to efficiently produce green hydrogen. Together, we are advancing towards carbon neutrality, fostering greener operations, and propelling the hydrogen economy forward.”

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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