China’s Sinopec will build a pipeline to transfer hydrogen from renewable energy projects in China’s northwestern Inner Mongolia region to cities in its east, according to a report in state media outlet Xinhua on Monday.
The pipeline will stretch 400 km from Ulanqab in sparsely populated Inner Mongolia to the capital Beijing, and will have an initial capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year, said the report, citing Sinopec Chairman Ma Yongsheng.
Ports will be built along the pipeline to allow access to new potential hydrogen sources, the report added.
While the country already operates pipelines for so-called “grey hydrogen” produced from fossil fuel sources, the project is the country’s first ‘West to East’ green hydrogen transmission line, according to the report.
Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water molecules with renewable electricity, and touted as a clean replacement for fossil fuels in industries that are otherwise hard to decarbonise.
State-owned oil and gas giant Sinopec is China’s largest hydrogen producer. It announced this year it would build a green hydrogen plant in the Inner Mongolian city of Ordos, with planned annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes.
The company also launched a green hydrogen project in Kuqa in the western Xinjiang region in 2021.
China’s state planner last year announced a target to produce 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year and have about 50,000 hydrogen-fuelled vehicles by 2025, as the country pursues an ambitious campaign to transition towards renewable energy.
In neighbouring India, a top government official said last week that India is planning to give green hydrogen fuel producers incentives worth at least 10% of their costs under a $2 billion scheme set to begin before the end of June.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2023.