Food retailer MPREIS produces its first green hydrogen
Völs, March 28, 2022
The Austrian food retailer MPREIS aims to save tons of CO2 emissions with green hydrogen. To this end, Europe's largest single-stack electrolyzer from Sunfire is now going into operation.
"Today is the day, finally," says MPREIS project manager Ewald Perwög as he enters the production site. "Over the last few weeks, our teams have made every effort to make sure the electrolyzer can go into operation in time." Green hydrogen as a substitute for natural gas and diesel – the Demo4Grid project is setting new sustainability standards with which MPREIS is continuing to drive forward the company's decarbonization strategy.
Core technology: a pressurized alkaline electrolyzer from the German electrolysis manufacturer Sunfire. With an overall capacity of 3.2 MW, the plant splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The whole process runs at a pressure of 30 bar. Since the electricity for the electrolyzer comes from renewable sources, the hydrogen production is 100 percent CO2-neutral.
Green hydrogen for fuel cell trucks and a bakery
"The green hydrogen we produce is used directly on site," Ewald Perwög says, pointing to the Therese Mölk industrial bakery further down the site. "The big ovens over there are now being heated with hydrogen instead of natural gas. We bake our bread green, so to speak. We also fuel our brand-new fuel cell truck fleet with the renewable energy source." This will save MPREIS large amounts of diesel in the long term. Considering rising fuel prices and the current oil and gas situation across Europe, the company will also be less dependent on fossil energy carriers.
Moreover, hydrogen initiatives like this help to achieve the EU's climate targets. On the road to climate neutrality, MPREIS is the first mid-sized company in Austria to use green hydrogen. The investment volume for the new plant in Völs alone amounts to EUR 13 million. Half of this was raised through funding from the EU's Clean Hydrogen Partnership and the Swiss government.
Reliable pressurized alkaline electrolysis made by Sunfire
Sunfire's pressurized alkaline technology has already been proven in industrial projects worldwide and is considered one of the most reliable solutions on the market. "We need solid solutions because our trucks are always running and the availability of green hydrogen must be guaranteed on an ongoing basis," Ewald Perwög explains. "Therefore, there was no question for us to go for an experienced partner like Sunfire for the technology of our new plant in Völs."
"We are very excited to demonstrate the benefits of our pressurized alkaline electrolyzer in Tyrol," says Sunfire CEO Nils Aldag. "Our technology can subsequently help other energy-intensive industries become more sustainable."
For Sunfire, the commissioning of the pressurized alkaline electrolyzer marks the start of many more projects on multi-MW scale. Industrial companies have already ordered alkaline electrolyzers to achieve their climate targets through green hydrogen – including the German energy company ENERTRAG and the Finnish Power-to-X pioneer P2X Solutions.
Information about the Demo4Grid project are available at www.demo4grid.eu.
Information about the MPREIS hydrogen initiative are available at www.mpreis.at/wasserstoff.
Picture: © MPREIS / ProMedia
The Demo4Grid project has received funding from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership and its members Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research under grand agreement No 736351 and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract number 17.00002.