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Topsoe plans to build $400M electrolyzer factory in US

Topsoe plans to build in Chesterfield, Virginia a factory that will manufacture Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cells (SOEC) (earlier post) that are essential to the efficient production of clean hydrogen and derivatives such as eAmmonia and eMethanol.

Subject to Final Investment Decision (FID), this more than $400-million investment would mark Topsoe’s largest investment in the US to date. A Final Investment Decision (FID) will be based on an assessment of market conditions and developments. If FID is taken, the facility, combined with the company’s SOEC factory in Herning, Denmark (earlier post), will make Topsoe the largest SOEC manufacturer in the world.

The decision by Topsoe to announce its plan comes after the company received an allocation for nearly $136 million in federal Section 48C tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act.

With a planned capacity of more than 1 GW, the factory’s output of electrolyzer stacks will enable an annual greenhouse gas emission avoidance of up to 2 million tonnes CO2e—the equivalent of avoiding the emissions from more than 400,000 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for a year.

Electrolyzers are key for decarbonizing energy-intensive industries such as steel, mining, and long-distance transportation that account for approximately 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and where direct electrification is not a viable solution.

Topsoe’s SOEC technology increases electrolyzer efficiency up to 30% compared to other electrolysis technologies, and thereby produces more hydrogen per total power input.

Topsoe’s SOEC electrolysis technology is a modular design that operates at significantly higher temperatures compared to other electrolyzer technologies. When coupled with waste heat from downstream production (from processes producing ammonia, methanol or steel production), Topsoe’s SOEC technology will produce up to 30% more hydrogen per total power input when compared to conventional electrolyzer technologies. It further allows for the lowest levelized hydrogen cost per megawatt volume, no matter the industry.



Making renewable nitrogen fertilizer would be a good first step.

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