Chinese poly maker moves to establish natural gas-fired hydrogen business

GCL will enter the hydrogen business, but what color will it produce?

Image: EERE/Wikimedia Commons/https://bit.ly/3eAqK7O

Chinese polysilicon manufacturer GCL-Poly has announced its intent to move into the hydrogen business by signing two strategic co-operation agreements in a bid to mobilize up to US$2.3 billion for investment.

While the update issued by heavily-indebted GCL to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday mentioned the production of solar-powered, ‘green hydrogen‘ first, there followed stronger emphasis on the use of natural gas-fired hydrogen, with GCL stating: “With the advantages of being an abundant resource, low in production cost and [boasting] mature technologies, generating hydrogen from natural gas as [a] “transitional clean energy” will play an important role in the implementation of the strategy of “carbon peak and carbon neutrality.””

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No mention was made of any use of carbon capture and storage technology to mitigate the carbon emissions associated with the production of hydrogen feedstock liquid ammonia from natural gas.

With the company, whose shares are still suspended from trading on the exchange in the absence of signed-off figures for 2020, having claimed to have sold off 5.6 GW of its solar project portfolio to “restore the liabilities of the company to a healthier level,” GCL said it would work with its connected Poly-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings Ltd energy business to source the natural gas to be used for hydrogen production.

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The poly maker said it had signed two strategic co-operation agreements to raise funds for hydrogen investment.

State-owned JIC Capital Management Ltd will be tasked with fundraising RMB10 billion (US$1.54 billion) for a hydrogen energy industry investment fund which GCL said it would assist “in preparing and implementing.”

A separate cash pot of up to US$800 million would be established with the help of state-owned CCB International Asset Management Ltd, which will act as general partner, with GCL as one of the fund’s limited partners.

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