Ørsted to build world-scale renewable hydrogen plant to be linked to Dutch North Sea wind farms

Ørsted to build world-scale renewable hydrogen plant

Danish energy company Ørsted is developing one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen plants to be linked to industrial demand in the Netherlands and Belgium. The SeaH2Land project includes a renewable hydrogen production facility of 1 GW by 2030. The electrolyser, which will produce renewable hydrogen, can convert about 20 % of the current hydrogen consumption in the region to renewable hydrogen.

Ørsted to build world-scale renewable hydrogen plant  to be linked to Dutch North Sea wind farms

With 580,000 tonnes/year, the North Sea Port cluster is one of the largest production and demand centres of fossil hydrogen in Europe today. Driven by decarbonisation efforts, industrial demand in the cluster could grow to about 1,000,000 tonnes by 2050, equivalent to roughly 10 GW of electrolysis.

  • rsted proposes to connect the GW electrolyser directly to a new 2 GW offshore wind farm in the Dutch North Sea. This will enable the large-scale supply of renewable electricity required for the production of renewable hydrogen. The offshore wind farm could be built in one of the zones in the southern part of the Dutch exclusive economic zone that has already been designated for offshore wind development.

The industrial players in the region, under the Smart Delta Resources (SDR) industry partnership, will continue the dialogue with TSOs for them to develop a regional open-access pipeline network of about 45 km, stretching across the North Sea Port area from Vlissingen-Oost (NL) to Gent (BE).

The GW electrolyser is proposed to link to the regional pipeline system connecting large-scale consumption and production in the cluster. Yara, in consortium with Ørsted, and Zeeland Refinery have each announced plans for mid-size renewable hydrogen production at their sites, while Dow has been exporting hydrogen to Yara since 2018 through the world’s first conversion of a gas pipeline into hydrogen. The network can be extended further south to ArcelorMittal as a short-term no-regret and further north, underneath the river Scheldt, to Zeeland Refinery, as a crucial link to create a unique regional ecosystem of hydrogen exchange with significant carbon reduction in the manufacturing processes of ammonia, chemicals, and steel and a significant contribution to the European Green Deal.

Moreover, the cluster strategy proposes to extend the 380 kV high-voltage network for the electrification needs of the industry south of the river Scheldt. This would enable GW-sized electrolysis and offshore wind landing zones on both sides of the river, turning the cluster into a true energy hub.

Subject to a regulatory framework, the regional network will unlock the first phase of SeaH2Land, which comprises 500 MW of electrolyser capacity. The second phase of SeaH2Land which scales the electrolyser capacity to 1 GW will require the possibility to connect to a national hydrogen backbone, providing additional flexibility and storage. Several locations north and south of the river Scheldt have been identified for GW-scale electrolysis. In the meantime, several projects are being developed in the region on the sites of industrial players, such as Zeeland Refinery’s planned 150 MW electrolyser, which are also to be connected to the network.

The partnership will be in talks with the regulatory authorities on the framework and policies needed to support the development of renewable hydrogen linked to large-scale offshore wind, the regional infrastructure, and conduct a full feasibility study of the project.

If realised, Ørsted will develop the offshore wind farm and electrolyser. North Sea Port – the port stretching from Zeeland (NL) into Flanders (BE) – and Smart Delta Resources will take the lead in developing the regional infrastructure in close collaboration with the TSOs, supported by the provinces of Zeeland and Oost-Vlaanderen. The biggest industrial companies in the region, ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer outside China;  Yara,  the world’s leading ammonia producer; Dow,  one of the biggest material science companies in the world;  and Zeeland Refinery, owned by leading oil and gas companies and a co-supplier of low-carbon hydrogen to the network will continue to take part in the hydrogen exchange in the industrial cluster.

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