China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) has announced that the Green Hydrogen Pilot Project (Project) constructed by the company in Kuqa City of Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has commenced operation. The official operation of the plant, which harnesses solar energy to generate green hydrogen, marks a major stride forward in Sinopec’s technological exploration to produce clean hydrogen as it empowers the country to transition to a greener and more sustainable energy system.
Spearheaded by Sinopec’s New Star Company, the mega project is the largest solar-to-hydrogen project in the world and the first of its kind in China that is equipped with a photovoltaic power generation complex, power transmission, and transformation lines, as well as facilities for water electrolysis hydrogen production, hydrogen storage and transportation, and supporting auxiliary production.
Green hydrogen is produced by facilities powered by renewable power sources such as solar and wind energy, minimizing the carbon footprint across the entire production process. The Project takes advantage of the wealth of photovoltaic resources in Kuqa to achieve 20,000 tons per annum of green hydrogen by using solar power to electrolyze water, along with the capacity to store 210,000 cubic meters of hydrogen and transport 28,000 cubic meters per hour.
As a demonstration project that serves to carve out a new path for green hydrogen refining and provide an exemplary model for green hydrogen production in China, the Project supplies hydrogen to Sinopec’s Tahe Refining & Chemical to remove its fossil fuel-based electricity used for hydrogen production, which is expected to help it reduce 485,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.