Engie and Equinor to produce hydrogen in Belgium with H2BE project

Norwegian energy giant Equinor and French utility company Engie announce the H2BE project which aims to develop the production of low-carbon hydrogen from natural gas in Belgium.

Courtesy of Equinor
Engie and Equinor to produce hydrogen in Belgium with H2BE project
Courtesy of Equinor

In February, Engie and Equinor signed an MoU to develop low-carbon hydrogen projects together. Now, the two companies move forward with the H2BE project that fits well the Belgian and Flemish hydrogen strategies.

Belgium released its Hydrogen Strategy in October and the H2BE project is to help deliver on the strategy. The project aims to produce H2 from natural gas using autothermal reforming (ATR) technology combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The ATR technology allows for decarbonisation rates above 95 per cent and for producing hydrogen at large (GW) scale. The captured CO2 will be transported in liquid form and will be permanently stored at a site on the sub-surface of the Norwegian North Sea.

Now, Engie and Equinor launched a feasibility study to assess the technical and economic suitability of a site in the Ghent area. Commercial talks with potential hydrogen offtakers continue simultaneously.

Moreover, discussions are ongoing with North Sea Port on integration with port infrastructure. The H2BE project fits within “Connect 2025”, the recently published strategic plan of North Sea Port, by accelerating the transition towards carbon neutrality and the development of the required H2 and CO2 infrastructure.

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Having the necessary H2 and CO2 infrastructure in place is a crucial element for the success of the project. Therefore ENGIE & Equinor joined forces with Fluxys, the independent gas transmission system operator in Belgium.

The project would be a key building block for the open access hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure Fluxys Belgium is planning to develop. The collaboration will hence create synergies with other hydrogen and CO2 capturing projects, lowering the overall costs.

All partners aim to start operations well before 2030 in order to contribute to Belgium’s 2030 interim decarbonisation targets.