North Sea Port to produce hydrogen from natural gas
The Ghent site of the North Sea Port, the joint Dutch-Belgian harbour, will become a major centre in Europe for producing low carbon hydrogen from natural gas. To develop the relevant technology and implement it on a large scale, three energy companies have joined forces. The new project will start in the coming years.
Two European energy companies, Engie and Equinor, have jointly launched a feasibility study into the technical and economic suitability of a location of a hydrogen-producing facility in Ghent within the North Sea Port area. This is a part of the H2BE project, which aims for producing hydrogen from natural gas by using autothermal reforming technology (ATR) in combination with carbon capture and storage (CCS). Such a combination allows reducing CO2 emissions by more than 95 per cent that could become a great impetus for starting hydrogen production on a large scale. “The H2BE project fits into our strategic plan ‘Connect 2025’ because it will speed up the transition to climate neutrality and the development of the required hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure,” said Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port.
Moreover, the H2BE project requires the development of infrastructure for capturing CO2 and transporting hydrogen. Engie and Equinor plan to move the captured CO2 in liquid form and store it at a location beneath the North Sea near Norway. At least 3 million tonnes of CO2 for the subsequent storage and reuse in North Sea Port are being planned to capture by 2025.
To deliver hydrogen produced in the North Sea Port to the customers, a related network is also required. Therefore, Engie and Equinor have teamed up with Fluxys Belgium, an independent operator of the natural gas transport network in Belgium. By putting large volumes onto the market, the H2BE project could be significant for the development of the Fluxys open access hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure, connecting supply and demand in the industrial clusters in Belgium and neighbouring countries, primarily in the Netherlands. All the partners want to start the project in the coming years to contribute to Belgium’s interim target of making its economy climate-neutral by 2030.