Photo: Courtesy of Port of Zeebrugge

Hyoffwind partners to build green hydrogen production facility in Zeebrugge

Belgian consortium Hyoffwind has signed an agreement with John Cockerill and BESIX to build a green hydrogen production unit in the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

Hyoffwind partners to build green hydrogen production facility in Zeebrugge
Courtesy of Port of Zeebrugge

A consortium active across the entire energy value chain is developing the Hyoffwind project. It consists of Virya Energy (generation and sale of renewable energy) and Fluxys (transmission of green molecules). The aim is to develop a power-to-gas facility that can convert renewable electricity into green hydrogen.

Fluxys and Virya Energy joined forces in 2018 to bolster the sustainability of the energy landscape in Belgium and Europe.

The first phase of the project will consist of a facility that can convert 25 MW of electricity into green hydrogen. Then, the partners aim to scale this up to 100 MW in the second phase.

Firstly, there was a feasibility study that the Federal Energy Transition Fund supported. Then, a tender process was started involving multiple parties. Thus, the consortium selected John Cockerill and BESIX as technology partners.

The permit application process started in late 2021 and the consortium expects to receive a permit by mid-2022.

The final investment decision is to take place in the course of 2022. It is also subject to the granting of subsidies by the Flemish government under the recovery plan.

Flemish minister for economy Hilde Crevits has been supporting the project since 2020 because it fits with the Flemish hydrogen strategy. In fact, in 2020 the Flemish government awarded €8 million ($9.08m) in strategic ecological aid to Hyoffwind. In addition, Crevits will provide another €23 million ($26.1m) under the Flemish recovery plan via the European call for IPCEIs.

Crevits said: “Hyoffwind is one of the projects that Flanders has submitted in connection with the European call for hydrogen IPCEIs. We aim to become a frontrunner in sustainable hydrogen. In other words, it is positive that the consortium has taken the next steps towards the first green hydrogen production unit in the port of Zeebrugge.”

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This project is to make a major contribution to the Flemish, Belgian and European hydrogen strategy. It will do so by taking a first step towards the development of Belgium as a European green hydrogen hub.

Paul Tummers, CEO of Virya Energy, said: “We are entering the next stage in the transition towards more fit-for-purpose green energy sources by enabling the start of a green hydrogen supply chain. The availability of clean hydrogen is set to further decarbonize industries such as transport and logistics. By partnering with John Cockerill and BESIX, we have the complete know-how and experience to become one of the first important building blocks supporting the European hydrogen strategy.”

Pascal De Buck, CEO of Fluxys, added: “We want to be an active actor of the energy transition in Belgium, with a view to making our country an import and transit hub in a European-wide hydrogen backbone.”

Jean-Luc Maurange, CEO of John Cockerill, commented: “With our rapidly growing team of hydrogen experts based in Belgium and France, we strive to constantly develop innovative technological solutions. This project really answers the needs of our times. It is a significant step forward in the fight against climate change.”

Pierre Sironval, deputy CEO of BESIX, said: “As the collaboration between our construction teams over the last few months has shown, BESIX’s multidisciplinary expertise is extensively involved in creating, together with John Cockerill and Hyoffwind, the solutions that will make this project a success and an example for the decarbonization of our economies.