Sunfire plans to invest more than 100 million euros in hydrogen plant

Sunfire wants to focus on processes for the production of green hydrogen. A plant is to be built in Germany for this purpose.

The Dresden high-tech company Sunfire wants to be at the forefront with additional investments in the booming hydrogen market. Investments of more than 100 million euros are planned, said managing director Nils Aldag of the dpa.

In addition, there would be subsidies. The company wants to build a new plant in the next year and a half and build so-called electrolysers for the production of hydrogen. In the first step, the systems should have an output of 500 megawatts. In addition, Sunfire wants to increase the number of employees to more than 400 by 2023 – currently there are around 260 employees.

Where exactly According to Aldag, it is not yet clear. “The final location decision has not yet been made.” However, such an industrial plant cannot be built in the middle of a city area, emphasized the Sunfire boss. For this reason, research and development should remain at the Dresden location with its proximity to the Technical University (TU) and institutions such as Fraunhofer.

Hydrogen already plays a major role in Saxony, with the Free State mixing several projects in the European hydrogen alliance with. Sunfire is part of a network called “H2-SARA” with which electrolyser systems and production systems for fuel cells are to be built. For the project “LHyVe” In addition, an entire value chain from production to storage and transport to the end use of “green hydrogen” implemented and networked with other European projects. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, a total of 62 German hydrogen projects are being funded by the state with more than eight billion euros.

Originally it was Sunfire started with the idea of ​​synthetically producing petrol, diesel or kerosene using the so-called power-to-liquid process. For this process, hydrogen is generated in a first step – and then further developed through synthesis. Through company takeovers, Sunfire finally started making the ‘core’ to develop and build for hydrogen production.

In the past year, the topic of hydrogen has gained so much momentum that it is now being concentrated on, it was said. Sunfire wants to compete in the market with other manufacturers of electrolysis plants – such as Siemens, Linde/ITM and Thyssenkrupp. When it comes to the use of hydrogen, Aldag sees the steel industry, the aviation sector and shipping as the main focus. So far, Sunfire has implemented around 70 projects in 24 different countries, but is not yet producing on a large scale.

The problem with using electrolysers: They need large quantities of as “green” Electricity. There is not yet enough electricity from renewable energies in Germany for this, according to Aldag. “We need to move the plants to places where the green electricity is cheap and available and convert it into a transportable product.” The Sunfire boss named countries like Denmark, Sweden or Norway. Iron ore could then be converted there with the help of hydrogen into “clean” converted into steel pellets and sent back to Germany for the steel industry. “It can be done in two to three years,” Aldag is convinced.

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