Topsoe, ABB and Fluor join forces for SOEC factory development in US

Danish technology company Topsoe, Swiss technology company ABB and U.S. engineering and construction company Fluor have formed an alliance to design a standardized concept for building Topsoe’s solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOEC) factory in Chesterfield, Virginia, U.S.

Courtesy of Topsoe

According to Topsoe, the aim is to continuously develop processes to reduce costs, enhance safety and secure an efficient project execution via a standardized approach.

The factory, subject to the final investment decision (FID), is expected to be operational by 2028 and will provide electrolyzers for the production of green hydrogen. Topsoe noted that green hydrogen and its derivatives such as green ammonia and eMethanol can be applied as e-fuels or chemicals, which are “key” to decarbonizing energy-intensive industries and long-distance transportation.

Kim Hedegaard, CEO of Power-to-X at Topsoe, said: “We’re committed to take a leading role in driving the energy transition forward. E-fuels are an important part of the equation to reach global net zero in 2050, and we need to scale electrolyzer capacity and production of e-fuels at a higher pace than is happening today. Our SOEC solutions for production of green hydrogen can deliver a substantial contribution to the e-fuels economy and with the alliance we can build our next SOEC factory more efficient and faster.”

Brandon Spencer, President of ABB Energy Industries, stated: “Progressing the energy transition at any acceptable pace and scale will require collaboration and balance between existing and new technologies, driven by formal partnerships that span the entire energy value chain. By joining forces with Topsoe and Fluor and delivering our automation and electrical expertise as part of this alliance, we can support the scaling of technology to enable society’s efforts to move towards a net-zero future.”

Richard Meserole, President of Fluor’s Advanced Technologies & Life Sciences business, commented: “Fluor is proud to be part of this collaboration supporting the state-of-the-art production of electrolyzers for green hydrogen as part of the global energy transition. Fluor looks forward to continuing to help our clients and partners achieve their decarbonization goals.”

Topsoe previously revealed that the plans for this investment in the U.S. came after the company received an allocation for nearly $136 million in federal section 48C tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act.

At the time, Hedegaard claimed: “With this new facility, we will help drive down the cost of clean hydrogen by employing our innovative SOEC technology which is up to 30% more efficient than competing technologies. Our factory will ensure the economic and environmental aspects of the hydrogen economy are felt in the decades to come.”

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To note, Topsoe is currently building its first SOEC factory in Herning, Denmark, which is expected to be in operation by late 2024.