The Hydrogen Stream: 200 MW electrolyzer in the Netherlands, Russian-French partnership for blue hydrogen


French energy company TotalEnergies and Russia's second-largest natural gas producer, Novatek, have signed a memorandum of understanding to reduce CO2 emissions from the production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) while developing large-scale carbon capture and storage solutions (CCS) in Russia's Yamal and Gydan peninsulas. The two companies also want to “explore new opportunities for developing decarbonized hydrogen and ammonia,” suggesting that hydrogen will be among a large portfolio of green measures that oil and gas majors will adopt to react to the increasing societal pressure.

Anglo-Dutch energy major Royal Dutch Shell has awarded Australian engineering company Worley a services contract to support the development of a new 200 MW electrolysis-based hydrogen plant in Rotterdam, Netherlands. “The new plant will be powered by renewable energy from an offshore wind farm that is currently in development. Once complete, the green hydrogen plant will be one of the largest commercial green hydrogen production facilities in the world,” reads a note released by Worley on Tuesday. Operations are scheduled to start by 2023 and are estimated to produce 50,000 to 60,000 kilograms of green hydrogen per day. “The green hydrogen produced will initially be used to decarbonize Shell’s nearby refinery in Pernis and support the industrial use of hydrogen in the heavy transportation industry.”

The Netherlands are moving closer to set up HyXchange, a hydrogen exchange platform. A recent report outlined the conditions that would allow its establishment. The main elements are “hydrogen certification, an index that would make prices transparent, a spot market and the development of trading instruments to balance the physical hydrogen network and to store the gas,” the Port of Rotterdam wrote, citing the report by Bert den Ouden on behalf of Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transportation company Gasunie and the port authorities of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Groningen and North Sea Port. Gasunie has been working to connect the infrastructure in the Netherlands to that of Germany and Belgium.

Belgian hydrogen solutions developer CMB.TECH opened the first multimodal hydrogen refueling station in Antwerp on Thursday. “It is the first refuelling station in the world that produces green hydrogen, which will be used to power ships, tube trailers, cars, trucks and buses,” the company said. CMB.TECH also announced the launch of a hydrogen truck. The hydrogen refuelling station is built at the Port House in Antwerp. CMB.TECH chose the location on the border between the city and the port “to be able to supply hydrogen to the many industrial applications in the port on the one hand and on the other to keep it easily accessible to the general public.”

Germany-based Siemens Mobility and Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) signed an MoU to jointly research the use of Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) technology in rail transport. In this process, an organic carrier liquid absorbs hydrogen and releases it only when needed. The hydrogen is thus chemically bound and can’t escape in a gas form, not requiring storage under high pressure or at low temperatures. “Siemens Mobility’s interest in the LOHC technology that we’ve decisively developed over the past few years at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg and at the HI ERN is an excellent basis for a possible cooperation in the future,” commented HI ERN director Peter Wasserscheid. “We share with Siemens Mobility the vision of developing a hydrogen technology that uses the existing fuel infrastructure to power large vehicles like trains.”

Lightsource bp, the 50/50 joint venture between British oil company BP and solar developer Lightsource, reached an agreement with Portugual’s Insun to develop five solar projects totaling more than 1.35 GW of photovoltaic power. The €900 million projects are in the initial development phase. The company said it was also actively exploring opportunities for green hydrogen in the country. Portugal aims to reach 2.5 GW of green hydrogen capacity by the end of the decade. Lightsource bp has partnered with authorities in the UK and Australia to establish large-scale green hydrogen projects.

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