Plug Power to supply 5 MW electrolyzer to Irving Oil

By Becky Schultz14 July 2022

A 5 MW Plug containerized PEM electrolyzer system will be used at Irving Oil’s Saint John, New Brunswick refinery. (Photo: Plug Power)

Plug Power Inc., a provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions, has been awarded a contract to deliver a 5 MW containerized proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer system for hydrogen production and distribution at Irving Oil’s Saint John, New Brunswick refinery, the largest such facility in Canada. Irving Oil will use the electrolyzer to help with its goal of shifting its hydrogen production to low-carbon, or green, hydrogen in the future.

Initially, the electrolyzer technology will be powered by the local electricity grid and enable Irving Oil to produce 2 tonnes of hydrogen per day for refining and mobility applications. Plug systems are designed to help customers shift production to carbon-free green hydrogen over time.

“Demand for green hydrogen is growing because companies that have relied on other forms of hydrogen are recognizing the viability of achieving net-zero carbon emission targets,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug. “We are honored that Irving Oil has chosen Plug to support its initial investment in electrolytic hydrogen production. We look forward to expanding the partnership.”

According to the announcement of the contract, Irving Oil’s initial investment offers the company the opportunity to explore the role of electrolyzer technology in driving emissions reductions at the refinery and unlock new market opportunities, such as making hydrogen available for regional customers.

“We believe that low-carbon hydrogen production, use and distribution will play an important role in our decarbonization journey,” said Ian Whitcomb, president, Irving Oil. “This foundational project will accelerate our company’s learning about hydrogen as a downstream product while creating a decarbonization pathway for our Saint John refinery.”

The 5 MW containerized electrolyzer system for the Saint John refinery will be manufactured at Plug’s PEM fuel cell and electrolyzer manufacturing Gigafactory in Rochester, N.Y. Deployment of the technology at the oil refinery is expected in Q3 2023, and hydrogen production is expected to be fully operational by late 2023.

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