OKG signs hydrogen supply contract

20 January 2022

Swedish power company OKG AB has signed its first contract to supply hydrogen produced at its Oskarshamn nuclear power plant. According to the agreement with Linde Gas AB, the first delivery of hydrogen produced with fossil-free nuclear power will be completed early this year.

The Oskarshamn plant (Image: OKG)

OKG has long operated a facility at the Oskarshamn site which uses electricity from the power plant to produce hydrogen through the electrolysis of water. During power operation, this hydrogen was added to the reactor coolant of the plant's three boiling water reactors in order to reduce the risk of stress corrosion cracking of the reactor piping by reducing the amount of free oxygen in the coolant.

As this hydrogen is now only required for use in unit 3 of the Oskarshamn plant following the permanent closure of units 1 and 2 in June 2017 and December 2016, respectively, the plant now has an overcapacity for hydrogen.

The hydrogen plant at Oskarshamn - built in 1992 - is currently being modernised, including the installation of a new control system and the replacement of other components, in order to expand operations. It's current capacity is 12 kg of hydrogen per hour.

Speaking of the new supply contract, the value of which was not disclosed, an OKG spokesperson told World Nuclear News that Linde will first use the hydrogen "in the green transition of the Swedish industry, but also for the supply to its existing customer base."

OKG CEO Johan Lundberg said: "Initially, it is about relatively small volumes. But we have expertise as well as plant and infrastructure, and I see a very good potential to expand this business. The need for hydrogen will increase gradually, and we have received strong support from our owners Uniper and Fortum to develop this business opportunity."

"Our ambition is to develop the growing market for hydrogen together with Fortum," said Uniper Sweden CEO Johan Svenningsson. "The Swedish electricity system is virtually fossil-free, and we therefore have good conditions for producing large volumes of hydrogen, which will play an important role when Sweden changes."

OKG noted that with the supply contract, Oskarshamn will be the first municipality in Sweden that can offer fossil-free hydrogen produced by nuclear power.

"We know how important the role is that hydrogen will play for Sweden, but also that we as a municipality should be able to meet our climate requirements," said Andreas Erlandsson, municipal councilor in Oskarshamn.

"I can see that the hydrogen gas produced at OKG can also be useful in the long-run in Oskarshamn when we change our industries and transports."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News