A trio of Belgian companies have announced their plans to develop a completely green hydrogen plant that not only produces green hydrogen by means of electrolysis powered by renewable energy.
The Port of Oostende, offshore engineer DEME Concessions, and financier PMV announced on Monday their plans to develop a green hydrogen plant in the port area of Ostend, to be operational by 2025.
The project will use the process of electrolysis – which uses electricity to convert water into hydrogen – which, in turn, will be powered by excess electricity generated by Belgian’s expanding fleet of offshore wind turbines. The excess electricity generated by the wind farms will thus be stored as green hydrogen.
According to a statement published by the trio of companies, a total of 399 wind turbines are expected to be operating off the coast of Belgian by the end of 2020, with an installed capacity of 2.26 GW.
Another 1.75 GW is also available for potential expansion, which would then lead to offshore generating capacity of around 4 GW – enough to supply half of Belgium households with electricity.
However, according to the companies, “the wind turbines’ production peaks rarely coincide with consumer demand peaks, meaning that there is an opportunity to compensate for the discontinuity between production and consumption.”
This is where the green hydrogen plant enters the picture, serving as a means to store excess electricity generated by the country’s offshore wind turbines as well as acting as both an energy source for electricity, transport, heat, and fuel purposes, as well as a raw material for industrial manufacturing.
“With our energy transition in mind, we need to be able to temporarily store our green energy surplus using hydrogen as an energy carrier or to use hydrogen as an alternative raw material for converting the industry away from fossil fuels,” the companies stated.
The project will move forward in phased stages, starting with a general feasibility study and a development plan. This will be followed by what the companies describe as an “innovative demonstration project” which will produce mobile shore-based power.
A demonstration project with a 50 MW electrolyser will then be produced, and then a large-scale shore-based power project, running on green hydrogen, will be operational by 2022. Full completion of the project is expected for 2025.
In the end, the companies believe their project will deliver a CO2 reduction of around 500,000 to 1 million tonnes per year and serve as an important step towards achieving Belgian’s and the European Union’s climate objectives.
The three companies involved are not involved by chance, either, with each bringing significant expertise to the table to accomplish this revolutionary green hydrogen project.
PMV has experience in financing the development, construction, and operational of infrastructure necessary for such projects, while the Port of Oostende has expanded its activities in the realm of the Blue Economy.
Meanwhile, DEME is one of the pioneers in the development of offshore energy projects, being the resulting company of its subsidiaries GeoSea, Tideway, A2Sea, and EverSea.