LOHC Storage Plant

Vopak, Hydrogenious roll out hydrogen storage and transport JV

Dutch tank storage company Vopak has teamed up with Germany-based Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies to establish a joint venture specializing in hydrogen storage, transport, and supply.

Image by Vopak

At the heart of the 50-50 joint venture named LOHC Logistix will be Hydrogenious’ Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) technology, the duo said, adding that the move will pave the way for the implementation of large-scale pilot projects.

The LOHC technology uses the thermal oil benzyl toluene as liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC-BT), which is already well-established in the industry as a heat transfer medium and has ideal properties for safe handling in ports.

Vopak said that due to its characteristics as a flame retardant and non-explosive carrier with a high volumetric energy density, benzyl toluene can be handled like a fossil liquid fuel within existing infrastructure, tankers and vehicles at ambient pressure and temperature. This will make it a natural fit with the current port infrastructure and fleet of vessels, railcars, and tank trucks, the company added.

After the release of hydrogen (dehydrogenation), the LOHC can be reused to bind hydrogen many hundreds of times.

The two partners committed themselves to accelerate the establishment of the LOHC storage plant planned at Chempark Dormagen (Germany/North-Rhine Westphalia), for which the kick-off has been given in 2021, as well as a release plant in Rotterdam with a release capacity of 1.5 tonnes of hydrogen per day. The intention of both parties is to accelerate the scale-up.

LOHC Cycle
Image credit Vopak

Worldwide there exists a huge capacity of storage tanks, sea vessels, inland tankers and tank trucks for the storage and transportation of liquid fossil fuels. Hydrogenious wants to turn all this valuable infrastructure into the hydrogen infrastructure of the future using our LOHC technology. Ever since Vopak’s investment in our company we have worked very closely together in developing and establishing clean hydrogen value chains,” Daniel Teichmann, founder and CEO at Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies, said.

“With the build-up of LOHC plants in Chempark Dormagen and Rotterdam we will establish a green hydrogen supply chain that we see as a blueprint for a future even more comprehensive network across Europe and the Middle East and beyond.

“This investment is well in line with Vopak’s strategy to accelerate its portfolio investments towards new energies and sustainable feedstocks. We believe that different types of hydrogen logistics need to be developed to be able to facilitate the needed future flows of hydrogen and hydrogen carriers,” Dick Richelle, Chairman Executive Board and CEO Vopak, added.

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Vopak became involved as a strategic investor in Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies in 2019, with a shareholding of around 10%. The latest move is connected with Hydrogenious’ as well as Vopak’s first equal investment in the new joint venture and a convertible loan by Vopak to Hydrogenious which can be converted into an equity stake following future funding rounds by Hydrogenious in the upcoming years.

Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies has sold pilot-scale LOHC systems to partners in several countries like Finland, Germany and the US over the last years and has implemented the first full LOHC supply chain for hydrogen mobility this summer. Hydrogenious also supplies the Hydrogen Refueling Station Erlangen in Germany via LOHC.

The incorporation of the joint venture is subject to customary closing conditions.