Photo: Courtesy of HyNetherlands

ENGIE, OCI, EEW team up for HyNetherlands hydrogen value chain project

French energy company Engie, Dutch methanol producer OCI, and German company Energy from Waste (EEW) have partnered up to develop HyNetherlands, a large-scale hydrogen-based value chain.

ENGIE, OCI, EEW join in on HyNetherlands hydrogen value chain project
Courtesy of HyNetherlands

HyNetherlands is uniquely positioned in the Northern Netherlands, where the LNG economy is shifting towards a hydrogen economy.

The project wants to develop, build, and operate one of the first large-scale industrial value chains in Europe for the production of e-methanol by combining renewable hydrogen and biogenic CO2.

Hydrogen and e-methanol are sustainable energy carriers that match the characteristics of their fossil counterparts: they have a high energy density, they are easy to bunker and transport, and they use existing assets and infrastructure.

The first phase of the project will consist of a new 100 MW electrolyser facility that will produce hydrogen for e-methanol production. It will also deliver renewable-based hydrogen to the local mobility and industry sectors.

The ENGIE hydrogen production site will be located on the site of the Eems power plant in Eemshaven. The 100 MW electrolyser will be powered by 200 MW capacity of offshore wind turbines.

The EEW carbon capture plant will be integrated with the existing waste-to-energy plant in Farmsum. It will capture biogenic CO2 from the flue gases of the plant’s production lines. CO2 logistics and infrastructure will intentionally be provided by Groningen Seaports.

OCI’s BioMCN methanol facility in the Delfzijl chemical park in Farmsum has the capacity to combine hydrogen and biogenic CO2 to produce e-methanol.

The plants of ENGIE (production) and OCI/BioMCN (offtake) will be connected to the hydrogen network that Gasunie is developing throughout the Netherlands and Northern Germany. The vast majority of the national network for H2 will consist of pipelines currently used for natural gas transportation.

Key priorities are obtaining the necessary financial support and government approvals for the project. Therefore, the project has already applied for grants from the European authorities.

The long-term vision is for HyNL to play an increasingly important role in the decarbonisation of industrial and transportation sectors in the region. The plan is to scale up electrolyser production capacity from 100 MW in 2025 to 1.85 GW in the early 2030s.

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“The project contributes materially to meeting the CO2 emission reduction objectives on a national scale. The HyNL roadmap paves the way towards an effective European renewable energy hub and will offer a decarbonisation solution to multiple industry sectors with a high carbon footprint,” said Cedric Osterrieth, managing director of ENGIE Thermal Europe.

“Methanol is one of the most effective green hydrogen carriers and will be key to the development of the hydrogen economy in the Netherlands and Europe. The flexibility of OCI’s production assets to switch to green hydrogen can enable expedited and scalable industry decarbonisation and will simultaneously help lower Europe’s reliance on imported natural gas,” said Ahmed El-Hoshy, CEO of OCI.

“The project will not only ensure circularity by utilising biogenic CO2 from non-recyclable waste, but will overall avoid 140 kilotonnes of CO2 per year from the end of 2025 by producing e-methanol and hydrogen-based on renewables instead of fossil fuels,” added Bernard Kemper, CEO if EEW.