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Preem and Vattenfall eye large-scale green hydrogen production in Lysekil

Sweden's largest transportation fuel producer Preem AB and state-owned energy major Vattenfall AB have announced that their joint collaboration, aimed at producing fossil-free hydrogen for biofuel production, is entering the next phase. A study is now being conducted to examine opportunities for building a large-scale green hydrogen facility at Preems's Lysekil oil refinery.

The Preem AB and Vattenfall AB collaboration to produce fossil-free hydrogen for biofuel production is entering the next phase. A study is now being conducted to examine opportunities for building a large-scale production green hydrogen facility and future power supply at Preems’s Lysekil oil refinery in Sweden (photo courtesy Preem).

Already in March 2017, Vattenfall and Preem first announced their intent to explore the opportunities for using “climate-smart” hydrogen in the refinery scale production of biofuels for the Swedish market, and in May 2019, the duo announced a joint hydrogen project at Preem’s Gothenburg refinery.

Preem’s target of reaching an annual renewable fuel production capacity of 5 million m3 by 2030 could result in a reduction of transport emissions of up to 12.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is equivalent to about 20 percent of Sweden’s current total emissions.

Increased production of biofuel is one of the cornerstones of Preem’s overall, long-term business strategy. At the same time, we are working hard to reduce production emissions. Investing in fossil-free hydrogen could create opportunities for producing more biofuel while reducing emissions at our refineries, said Peter Abrahamsson, Head of Sustainable Development at Preem.

Investigate industrial-scale hydrogen and refinery power supply

This shift in production will though require a sizable supply of hydrogen and is why Vattenfall and Preem have decided to look into the possibility of meeting Preem’s hydrogen needs with fossil-free hydrogen from extensive water electrolysis.

According to a joint statement, the collaboration aimed at producing fossil-free hydrogen for biofuel production is entering the next phase with a study being conducted to examine opportunities for building a large-scale production facility at Preem’s Lysekil refinery.

The study, planned to be completed by summer, will not only look into green hydrogen production but also at the refinery’s future electrical supply. Should the study prove positive, the next step could be to plan for constructing the first electrolysis facility – in the 200 to 500 MW scale – at the Lysekil refinery.

We are very positive toward our partnership and taking the next step with Preem. Fossil-free transport is one of the most important focus areas for reducing a third of Sweden’s carbon dioxide emissions. Partnership and electrification via fossil-free hydrogen are vital for creating a fossil-free society, said Andreas Regnell, Head of Strategy at Vattenfall.

Green hydrogen just one solution

Preem, Sweden’s largest producer of transportation fuels, plays a prominent role in the shift toward more renewable fuel. Vattenfall, Sweden’s largest producer of electricity, aims to assist customers and society in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to enable fossil-free living within one generation.

Fossil-free hydrogen production through electrolysis is but one of the solutions being investigated to reduce emissions from Preem’s refineries.

For Sweden to reach its climate objective of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from transport by 70 percent by 2030, the production of renewable fuels must increase dramatically. Reaching this goal will require more electricity and more fuel for the existing vehicle fleet.

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