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01.05.2021
Nuclear Engineering International

Rosatom to develop hydrogen infrastructure on Sakhalin island

Russia’s Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, the Government of the Sakhalin Region and Rosatom on 23 April signed an agreement of intent for cooperation on the "Creation and Development of a Hydrogen Cluster" project during the Sakhalin Region Open Doors Day for investors. The agreement provides for cooperation in a number of areas, including the construction of a hydrogen production complex; organisation of the hydrogen supply chain to foreign markets and local consumers; and creation of a hydrogen park with enterprises implementing projects in this area. For personnel training, technology transfer and exchange of experience, it is also planned to create a competence centre for hydrogen and other forms of clean energy at Sakhalin State University.

"A large-scale project on Sakhalin can become a flagship for the development of this high-tech industry in the Far East. The region has a number of powerful competitive advantages - geographic proximity to potential large consumers of hydrogen, scientific groundwork, comprehensive measures of state support for investment projects. The success of the Sakhalin project will make it possible to replicate the experience in other Far Eastern regions," said Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, Alexei Chekunkov.

"The implementation of the hydrogen cluster project on the island is of strategic importance, as it will contribute to the development of high technologies, modernisation of industry, transport and infrastructure of the Sakhalin Region, increase its export potential, and develop partnerships between the participants of the Asia-Pacific Region. All conditions will be created in the cluster for the implementation of breakthrough projects in different sectors, and all kinds of support measures will be provided to its residents," said Sakhalin Governor Valeriy Limarenko.

Kirill Komarov, Rosatom’s First Deputy General Director for Development and International Business said: "Today for Rosatom hydrogen energy is one of the priority areas of business, and we are actively working on projects in this area.…Sakhalin has all the prerequisites to become one of the leaders in the development of hydrogen technologies. Earlier, we signed an agreement with the government of the Sakhalin Region on the launch of hydrogen fuel cell trains on the island, and now we have identified a wide range of interactions."

Other relevant agreements were signed during the Open Doors Day including a memorandum of understanding between Rusatom Overseas (part of Rosatom), Air Liquide, a leading industrial gas producer, and the Sakhalin government. This provides for cooperation to study the possibility of organising the production of low-carbon hydrogen in the Sakhalin region. Marilene Turcott, CEO of Air Liquide Russia, said this will contribute to the Sakhalin Oblast's goals of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. "This is the first step towards creating an efficient and sustainable industry, and we are ready to contribute through unique technological and innovative solutions of Air Liquide to support the goals of the Russian Federation in the field of energy transition."

Evgeny Pakermanov, President of Rusatom Overseas aid: "In the future, the creation of a complex for the production of low-carbon hydrogen on Sakhalin Island opens up opportunities for its export to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. We plan to receive the results of the technical and economic assessment of the project and the primary design documentation by the end of 2021, after which we will be able to make the most efficient decision on the volume of hydrogen production. It is expected that they can range from 30,000 to 100,000 tons a year."

Rusatom Overseas also signed a memorandum of cooperation with TMH - Energy Solutions (a subsidiary of Transmashholding) establishing a joint venture to develop projects for the application of hydrogen technologies in transport, which can be implemented on Sakhalin, Moscow and other regions of Russia. "Hydrogen fuel is one of the foundations of the energy industry of the future," said Kirill Lipa, General Director of Transmashholding. "Its widespread use will significantly reduce the impact of transport on the environment, which is especially important in urban agglomerations and large industrial centres."

The companies aim to ensure the localisation of advanced foreign technologies related to hydrogen energy for the transport sector in Russia. "This is a significant pilot project for the region, which is being developed by Russian Railways, Rosatom, Transmashholding and the Sakhalin government, and we will make every effort to successfully implement it. We also see significant prospects for the development of hydrogen transport in other regions of Russia," said.