Asahi Kasei launches pilot plant for hydrogen in Japan

Asahi Kasei launches pilot plant for hydrogen in Japan

Japan’s Asahi Kasei has officially launched its latest venture in the realm of hydrogen technology. Situated in Kawasaki, Japan, the newly inaugurated hydrogen pilot plant commenced its operations, boasting four 0.8 MW modules.

It stands as a testament to Asahi Kasei’s commitment to pioneering advancements in green hydrogen production.

Central to Asahi Kasei’s strategy is the development of the Aqualyzer alkaline water electrolyser, tailored to meet the escalating demand for green hydrogen.

The company’s multi-module approach, capable of scaling up to ten modules with a capacity of 10 MW each, positions it at the forefront of commercial large-scale electrolysis systems, with potential capacities reaching up to 100 MW.

Key to the success of green hydrogen production is the ability to adapt to fluctuating power supplies from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Asahi Kasei’s pilot plant is engineered to operate under realistic conditions, including scenarios of low power supply during night time and variable inputs from renewable energy sources. By leveraging data gleaned from these trials, the company aims to refine equipment design, operational methods, and control technology to optimise electrolysis system performance.

Building upon its extensive experience in chlor-alkali electrolysis spanning over four decades, Asahi Kasei sets ambitious targets for its hydrogen business, with a projected EUR600 million in total sales volume by 2030.

Commercialisation efforts for its alkaline water electrolysers are slated to commence in 2025, bolstered by the invaluable insights gained from long-term tests conducted at the Fukushima Energy Research Field (FH2R) in Namie, Fukushima, Japan.

Masami Takenaka, Lead Executive Officer at Asahi Kasei, emphasised the significance of this milestone, stating, “This pilot facility is a milestone not only for Asahi Kasei but also for the global hydrogen business in general.”

Moreover, the successful operation of the pilot plant in Kawasaki not only fortifies Asahi Kasei’s market entry but also serves as a springboard for collaborative ventures such as the joint feasibility study with Gentari and JGC for a 60 MW-class electrolyser in Malaysia (GI-Phase 2), scheduled for 2027.

Notably, the construction and operation of the pilot plant are supported by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) through the “Green Innovation Fund.”