Hidroelectrica plans 50MW green hydrogen plant on Danube river

Hidroelectrica plans 50MW green hydrogen plant on Danube river

Photo: iStock


December 30, 2021






December 30, 2021





Romanian majority state-owned hydropower producer Hidroelectrica seeks a consultant to prepare a feasibility study for a 50 MW green hydrogen production unit with a photovoltaic park with storage batteries on the Danube island Ostrovu Mare. Also, another hydrogen project started in Ploiesti – Lukoil has signed a memorandum of intent with Rusatom Overseas about the production and supply of green hydrogen.

Hidroelectrica announced the intention to produce green hydrogen from water hydrolysis, using a hydrolyzer with an installed capacity of 50MW, and resources of water from the Danube and renewable energy generated by a dedicated photovoltaic park.

The Romanian company is planning a process efficiency of 75% and production of at least 7,500 tones of hydrogen per year. The cost of a kilogram of the produced hydrogen would be no more than EUR 4, as the company prefigures.

High-purity green hydrogen in Romania

Hidroelectrica intends to produce ultra high-purity green hydrogen at the location Ostrovu Mare in Mehenditi county – near the hydropower and navigation system Iron Gate 2, also called Porțile de Fier 2 in Romanian and Đerdap 2 in Serbian.

The feasibility study focuses on analyzing whether or not it is possible to connect the dedicated hydrogen production unit Iron Gate 2 hydropower plant – as a backup option to the photovoltaic park and to assess the optimal installed power of the solar power plant.

Higher costs of production for green hydrogen

The Global Hydrogen Review 2021 reports that the global capacity of electrolyzers has doubled in the past five years. The main obstacle for green hydrogen is the cost of production – it can cost 2 to 7 times as much as hydrogen made with natural gas because it requires large amounts of electricity to produce it from water. But, technological advances and economies of scale could make it the cost-competitive, says the IEA report.

Lukoil and Rusatom joint project

Russian oil and gas conglomerate Lukoil and Rusatom Overseas, the part of the Rosatom Group, has signed a memorandum last week, of intent on the production and supply of green hydrogen at the Petrotel-Lukoil refinery in Ploiesti, in southern Romania.

The companies plan to study opportunities for the construction of a green hydrogen production unit at the refinery, thus reducing CO2 emissions – stated Lukoil in a press release.

“We will evaluate prospects for our plant’s switching to one of the most environmentally-friendly technologies of hydrogen production. This will allow us to replace all traditionally produced hydrogen with green hydrogen, generated via electrolysis in symbiosis with renewable energy sources,” said Lukoil vice-president for oil refining, petrochemicals, and gas processing Rustem Gimaletdinov. Lukoil operates in Romania since 1998.

Lukoil and Rusatom will try to obtain government support for the project at the national and European levels.

“We are studying possibilities of manufacturing hydrogen at the Romanian refinery by employing electrolyzers with a production capacity of 10,000 cubic meters per hour,” said Rusatom Overseas president Evgeny Pakermanov.

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