Topsoe is building a huge factory to produce electrolysis components

Topsoe's new factory, which will pave the way for the world's largest and most advanced electrolysis plant on an industrial scale. Visualization: Aqvila

Topsoe's new factory, which will pave the way for the world's largest and most advanced electrolysis plant on an industrial scale. Visualization: Aqvila

NIRAS has won the assignment of client consultant on the construction of technology group Topsoe's new electrolysis factory. The factory will produce components for the many PtX plants of the future.

February 24, 2023
  • SECTORS: Building
  • COUNTRIES: Denmark

Topsoe is in the process of building a new factory in Herning, which will pave the way for the world's largest and most advanced industrial scale electrolysis plant. To accelerate development and follow the recipe for Power-to-X, Topsoe is more than happy to be able to supply the 'kitchenware'.

That is the purpose of the gigantic new factory, which is set to produce electrolysis components.

The 23,000 m2 factory will manufacture electrolysis components, which are used to produce CO2-free hydrogen fuel – a billion kroner project for which NIRAS has been selected as the client consultant and right-hand man to guide Topsoe through the construction project from start to finish. 

"From the start of construction until the factory opens its doors in two years, our task will be to manage, coordinate and adapt the construction so that it accommodates Topsoe's processing plant," says Project Director Hans Skov from NIRAS.

Important ingredient
The green transition calls for green hydrogen, which is produced using electrolysis. Here, water is split into oxygen and hydrogen using renewable solar and wind energy. Hydrogen is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for Power-to-X.

Topsoe presses the start button in Herning

Topsoe has decided to invest in the construction of an industrial-scale electrolysis plant with a production capacity of 500 MW and the possibility of expanding to 5 GW. Topsoe has announced that the first agreement with buyers of the produced electrolyzers is already in place.

The venture is expected to cost Topsoe more than two billion kroner, and Topsoe CEO Roeland Baan points out that the factory will be the first of its kind in the world and the largest single investment ever in green climate technology for Topsoe.

The new factory is expected to begin operations in 2025. Construction began at the end of 2022 and is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2023. The company already has a large catalyst factory in Frederikssund.

Parts of the equipment remain under development

NIRAS' task is divided into two phases, firstly, to be Topsoe's client representative for the project in Herning and, secondly, to plan and coordinate all client deliveries, i.e., all the processing equipment. NIRAS is involved, moreover, in reviewing, designing, and coordinating supply installations for the processing equipment. 

Of all the exciting engineering challengesinvolved, Hans Skov points at the design of the supply installations, which need to be coordinated with the processing equipment.

"Challenges lie in the fact that parts of the equipment are still under development, and construction has already started and progressing fast.  Therefore, we will have to deal with many adjustments and changes in parallel with the construction of the factory. The technical solutions for both construction and installation must be flexible, as we expect ongoing development of the various processing plants,” says Hans Skov and continues:

“We’ll solve this in collaboration with other consultants, Aqvila, for example, who is the builder’s Client consultant, and C.C. Contractor, who is the contractor on the project, as well as by involving NIRAS' special skills. The nature of the task will change throughout the various phases, and, on account of our extensive back office, we have the opportunity of involving many different skills in accordance with the needs of the project," says Hans Skov.

Green transition requires specialist knowledge
“Industrial customers demand bespoke buildings, and they often have a strong focus on minimizing the environmental impact. NIRAS was chosen for the project since we both have considerable experience in client consultancy for the industrial segment and at the same time can offer some of the country's absolute best consultants within process and supply installations," says Mads Søndergaard, Executive Vice President, Building at NIRAS.

Hans Skov

Hans Skov

Project Director

Aarhus, Denmark

+45 6011 4252