The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward


Scotland-based geo technology company Storegga, Anglo-Dutch energy company Shell, and U.K. listed, independent energy company Harbour Energy have signed a deal to become equal partners in the Acorn project, calling it “one of the largest and most mature U.K. CCS and hydrogen projects.” Storegga will take part through its wholly-owned subsidiary Pale Blue Dot Energy. Apart from the CCS part of the project, which aims to store at least 5 metric tons per year of CO2 by 2030, Acorn wants to use North Sea natural gas and reform it into “blue” hydrogen. The associated CO2 emissions would be stored under the sea at the CO2 storage site. This is an example of the U.K.’s hydrogen strategy.

Australia-based energy company Origin Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Townsville, in Queensland, to collaborate on the potential expansion of the port and the development of new infrastructure, including a liquefaction facility. “Origin is collaborating with Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries on a 300 MW early-export project that would produce 36,500 tons per annum of green, liquid hydrogen using renewable energy and sustainable water,” Origin Energy said in a press release. The three companies expect the first exports, mostly to the Asian markets, to materialize “from the mid-2020s.”

Australia-based mining company Province Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding with French renewable energy developer Total Eren. The two companies could have equal shares in Province’s HyEnergy Zero Carbon Hydrogen project, proposed in northwest Western Australia. Total Eren, 30% owned by France-based multinational energy company Total, has more than 3.3 GW of renewable energy power plants worldwide. The project is to be developed in two stages, totaling up to 8 GW in installed renewable energy capacity. “Given the recent drive by state and federal governments to quickly develop and advance the green hydrogen industry in Australia, I am confident this project will be of strategic national importance,” commented Province managing director David Frances.

Switzerland-headquartered technology company Hitachi ABB Power Grids has signed a letter of intent with Helsinki-based P2X Solutions to electrify a 20 MW hydrogen production plant. The purpose of the €50 million project is to build Finland’s first industrial scale green hydrogen production plant. “Once the first large scale green hydrogen production plant has been demonstrated, P2X’s goal is to promote the Finnish hydrogen economy with more production plants and possibly replicate the projects in Europe as well,” reads a note released last week, adding that the plant is expected to be operational in 2024. Hitachi ABB Power Grids recently signed deals for energy-transition projects in Germany and China.

New Delhi-headquartered Uttam Group of Companies, a manufacturer of ultra-lightweight composite cylinders and systems for compressed natural gas and hydrogen, has closed on the purchase of U.S.-based Catalina Composites. The new entity, based in California, will now be known as Uttam Composites. The company will invest at least $20 million (€16.6 million) in staff, equipment, and research and development of high-pressure cylinder production for hydrogen and compressed natural gas. “Uttam’s advantage is that our cylinders are not only the lightest but [also] the most durable on the market, because of our proprietary manufacturing process,” Uttam chief executive officer Karan Bhatia told pv magazine. The acquisition should allow Uttam to expand to the U.S. and Europe, in addition to increasing its presence in the Asian market.

The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA), the hydrogen organization representing more than 50 companies in the United States, has called for the public and private sectors to step up investments in hydrogen. “The growth of the hydrogen industry will also lead to the creation of well-paying engineering, manufacturing, sales and service jobs. That’s why it’s essential we invest in hydrogen now,” Morry Markowitz, president of the FCHEA, commented in a statement released last week. According to the organization, the U.S. is at risk of losing its competitive edge as other countries have already announced hydrogen investments worth hundreds of billions.

South African integrated energy and chemical company Sasol, and Toyota South Africa Motors, have announced a partnership to “commence exploration of the development of a green hydrogen mobility ecosystem in South Africa,” starting with zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell (FC) heavy-duty, long-haul trucks. Toyota’s subsidiary is developing prototype FC trucks in Japan. “In addition, the parties are evaluating the installation of a hydrogen refueling station for the demonstration project,” read a press release. Last week, Sasol and French multinational industrial gas provider Air Liquide launched a request for proposal (RFP) process to procure 900 MW of renewables in South Africa.

Aberdeen-based engineering and technical consultancy Vysus Group has secured a contract to deliver technical safety and risk studies for a new hydrogen refilling station in Spain. “Iberdrola plans to build the facility in the Port of Barcelona, Spain, in November 2021. The plant will produce, store and supply [green] hydrogen to heavy vehicles – specifically Barcelona Metropolitan Transport buses. Initially, it will produce 160kg of hydrogen per day, increasing production to 1,200kg per day. The project is currently in the design and purchasing stage,” read a note released last week.

Spanish multinational financial services company BBVA has joined the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, the organization promoted by the European Commission which gathers industry, national and local public authorities, civil society and other stakeholders together, for a total of 900 participants. In addition to BBVA, other participants from the financial sector include Citi, Deutsche Bank, ING, and Natixis. BBVA “recently announced that it will reduce its exposure to coal-related activities to zero, ceasing to finance companies in these activities before 2030 in developed countries, and before 2040 in the rest of the world,” read a note released on Monday.

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