The partnership is investigating a 50-megawatt (MW) plant to produce fossil-free hydrogen, following a study conducted in the spring that concluded with the Preem Lysekil plant in Sweden being deemed suitable for an electrolysis plant for hydrogen biofuel production.

An initial strategic analysis was conducted in January 2021 that sought to assess the role that fossil-free hydrogen generated via electrolysis can play in Preem’s ability to mass-produce biofuels.

With results looking promising, investigations into a potential 50MW electrolysis plant at Preem’s Lysekil refinery and the next step is due to be taken in the spring of 2022.

Preem, Sweden’s largest fuel company, intend to lead the transition toward a sustainable society. To achieve this, it intends to produce approximately five million cubic metres of biofuels by 2030, potentially reducing transport emissions by up to 12.5 million tonnes, corresponding to around 20% of Sweden’s total emissions.

Speaking about Preem’s ambitions, Peter Abrahamsson, Head of Sustainable Development, Preem, said, “Preem is in the middle of a very ambitious transition journey and fossil-free hydrogen is an interesting technology that can create opportunities for the increased and sustainable production of biofuels.”

The duration of the environmental assessment, along with other factors will determine when such a facility can be put in place. Other factors that the partners are taking into consideration include the size of the plant, which is governed by the ability to scale up biofuel production and the ability to extract more power from the electricity grid.

Andreas Regnel, Strategy Manager, Vattenfall, also commented on the collaboration, saying, “It is very promising that fossil-free electricity has the potential to replace fossil raw materials and thereby reduce emissions from Preem’s hydrogen production when biofuel production increases.”

“In order to meet Sweden’s climate goals, it is crucial to find solutions through partnerships to restructure industrial processes with lower carbon dioxide emissions.”

He added that the partnership is completely in line with leading European energy company Vattenfall’s goal of enabling a fossil-free life within a generation.