TotalEnergies, Air Products Sign Hydrogen Deal, Boosts Platinum Demand

Agreement to Supply Green Hydrogen Spurs Growth in Platinum Sector

by Adenike Adeodun

TotalEnergies and Air Products have inked a 15-year agreement to supply 70,000 tons of green hydrogen annually. This deal is a significant step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting the demand for platinum group metals (PGMs).

TotalEnergies aims to cut its oil and gas operations’ net greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. The partnership with Air Products, covering six refineries and two biorefineries in Europe, is central to this goal. “This deal is a stepping stone towards our goal of decarbonizing the hydrogen used in our refineries in Northern Europe by the end of the decade,” said TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné.

The green hydrogen supplied to TotalEnergies’ refineries will eliminate an estimated 700,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. This initiative is part of TotalEnergies’ larger plan to source 500,000 tons of green hydrogen annually for its European refineries. Air Products, which started producing clean hydrogen seven years ago, is a key player in this partnership. The company develops, engineers, builds, owns, and operates some of the world’s largest clean hydrogen projects.

Interestingly, TotalEnergies is also contributing to Air Products’ decarbonization roadmap by providing green power. “This contract validates our long-term strategy. Clearly, the demand is here, and it will grow significantly as we move forward, playing an essential role in decarbonizing heavy industry and other sectors,” said Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi.

In addition to the green hydrogen deal, TotalEnergies and Air Products have signed a memorandum of understanding for the supply of renewable power. This includes a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 150 MW produced at a solar project in Texas. They also plan to explore further PPA opportunities in the UK, Poland, and France.

From a South African perspective, this transaction boosts the demand outlook for PGMs. These metals are crucial for green hydrogen and green electricity technologies, including proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers and fuel cells. PGMs support every step of the green hydrogen economy, from initial electrolysis to transport, storage, fuel cells, alternative fuels, and recycling.

South Africa already has its first green hydrogen refueling station in Midrand, Gauteng. Here, locally launched BMW IX5 hydrogen cars refuel. Additionally, the prototype zero-emission hydrogen-powered mine haulage truck, unveiled by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, highlights the country’s commitment to green technology.

The truck, part of the nuGen Zero Emissions Haulage Solution (ZEHS), can carry a 290-ton payload. It generates more power than its diesel predecessor by using eight parallel PGM-catalyzed hydrogen fuel cells and a lithium-ion battery. This innovation is a key step in Anglo American’s pathway to carbon-neutral operations by 2040.

One hydrogen-powered mining haul truck eliminates carbon emissions equivalent to 700 cars. The broader adoption of hydrogen in mining could lead to significant diesel savings and a holistic decarbonization of mine sites.

Betts from First Mode emphasized the importance of viewing hydrogen within a system. “Hydrogen comes with a system. There are haul trucks, trains, and ammonium nitrate, the base of which is hydrogen. Rather than thinking about individual use cases, we need to consider hydrogen in the system,” he said.

TotalEnergies’ partnership with Air Products, focusing on green hydrogen and renewable energy, signifies a significant move towards a sustainable future. This deal is expected to drive innovations and create opportunities in the green hydrogen economy.

Source: Mining Weekly

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