With a new production plant for electrolysis cells, Topsoe A/S aims to get ahead of the competition in the Power-to-X sector. The company chose Aqvila as a full-service consultant for civil and building works based on a need for agility.

In Herning in the Northwestern part of Denmark, Aqvila A/S assists Topsoe A/S, a global leader in carbon emission reduction technologies, in constructing the world’s largest production plant for solid oxide electrolysis cell manufacturing.

The plant is a fast-track project for Topsoe, requiring the ability to act efficiently in rapidly changing conditions – a hallmark of Aqvila’s engineering and consultancy services. During the project, Aqvila has facilitated an ongoing collaboration between Topsoe and the main contractor, ensuring that new and changing requirements are buildable at the plant site.

When ready in 2025, the fully-automated production facility will churn out electrolysis cells with a total capacity of 500 MW/year – equivalent to the yearly energy consumption of almost one million Danish homes.

“The facility marks the beginning of Topsoe’s journey into the Power-to-X sector. Our SOEC technology is 30 % more energy efficient than existing products, giving us a competitive advantage,” says the project director for SOEC Plant Development at Topsoe, Jan Erik Qvistgaard Høyer.

Topsoe designed SOEC (solid-oxide electrolysis cell) to integrate seamlessly into the Power-to-X process.

Power-to-X is widely considered a key technology for the green transition of societies worldwide. Through electrolysis, Power-to-X makes it possible to use excess electricity generated by wind turbines or solar panels to produce green hydrogen, which can be converted to green fuels like ammonia or e-Methanol. These fuel types are essential for decarbonizing heavy industries such as shipping, where batteries are not powerful enough.

Choosing Aqvila reflects that the electrolysis plant is a new market opportunity for Topsoe, involving some risk and a lot of learning while constructing the new plant.

“At Topsoe, we sought an in-house end-to-end consultant with all the required engineering and project management skills. Furthermore, we sought a consultant delivering flexibility, agility, and continuity during the building process. The employees at Aqvila work very structured yet agile, which is the mindset we needed,” says Jan Erik Qvistgaard Høyer.

The SOEC plant project aligns perfectly with another trademark of Aqvila, which is the ability to solve highly complex engineering projects with the utmost respect for the client’s schedule, budget, and quality requirements.

“The plant is more than just a building. It is a complex facility with strict requirements, e.g., cleanliness, climate control, automation, and logistics. The building project has required a close and ongoing collaborative effort between Aqvila, Topsoe, and their partners to succeed. On our part, this means that we, as always, engage in the project with a strong sense of ownership,” says senior engineer Per Mikael Pedersen, Aqvila.

The SOEC plant, with a gross floor area of around 23,000 m2, will be ready for production in 2025. The plant can scale to a yearly production capacity of 5 GW.

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