New Hydrogen Plant by Asahi Kasei Aims to Revolutionize Green Energy

kawasaki pilot plant

(Credit: Asahi Kasei)

by | May 16, 2024

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Asahi Kasei, a leading Japanese technology firm, is celebrating the commencement of its multi-module hydrogen pilot plant in Kawasaki, Japan. This significant development marks a step forward in the company’s commitment to enhancing its hydrogen production capabilities. The operational launch of the plant in March, followed by its official inauguration this month, represents an important advance towards commercializing a 100 MW-class alkaline water electrolysis system designed for green hydrogen production.

Advancing Green Hydrogen Technology

The global hydrogen market is expected to grow substantially, with forecasts by the Hydrogen Council projecting a total installed capacity of 300 GW by 2030. In response to this growing demand, Asahi Kasei has developed the Aqualyzer, an alkaline water electrolyzer tailored for green hydrogen generation. The pilot plant at Kawasaki, initiated in November 2022, serves as a critical testing ground for this technology under real-world conditions using a multi-module configuration.

Masami Takenaka, Lead Executive Officer overseeing Asahi Kasei’s hydrogen initiatives, highlighted the pilot facility’s strategic role in scaling up the production capabilities necessary for fostering a hydrogen-driven society. The Kawasaki pilot plant utilizes four 0.8 MW Aqualyzer modules, testing their operation during diverse conditions, such as maintenance periods and low power supply scenarios typical of nighttime operations.

Leveraging Long-term Industry Experience for Market Expansion

Asahi Kasei’s approach integrates multiple modules, allowing for up to ten units, each with a 10 MW capacity. This setup aims to facilitate the launch of commercial large-scale electrolysis systems capable of achieving capacities up to 100 MW by 2025. The company’s extensive experience, spanning over four decades in chlor-alkali electrolysis, underpins its ambitious target of achieving sales of ¥100 billion (€600 million) by 2030.

The pilot plant in Kawasaki builds upon the knowledge gained from long-term testing of a 10 MW single-stack alkaline-water electrolysis system at the Fukushima Energy Research Field (FH2R) in Namie, Fukushima, since 2020. These insights are crucial as Asahi Kasei plans to extend its market presence with reliable and scalable multi-module alkaline water electrolysis equipment. The company’s ongoing collaboration in Malaysia with partners Gentari and JGC for a 60 MW-class electrolyzer further demonstrates its dedication to expanding its hydrogen technology footprint.

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has provided support for the construction and operation of the Kawasaki pilot plant through the Green Innovation Fund. As the hydrogen market continues to evolve, Asahi Kasei’s efforts in Kawasaki are vital in transitioning to a more sustainable and energy-efficient global landscape.

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