Engie and Equinor have announced the H2BE project aiming to develop low-carbon hydrogen production from natural gas in Belgium.
The H2BE project is built upon the previously announced MoU between the companies, signed in February for jointly developing low carbon hydrogen projects. The H2BE project aims at producing hydrogen from natural gas using autothermal reforming (ATR) technology combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The ATR technology has an over 95% decarbonisation rate. The captured CO2 is planned to be transported in liquid form and to be permanently and safely stored at a site in the sub-surface of the Norwegian North Sea.
Both companies will now study the technical and economic suitability of a site in the Ghent area. Commercial talks with potential hydrogen off-takers, predominantly large, hard-to-abate industries, continue simultaneously.
Discussions are also ongoing with North Sea Port on integration with port infrastructure. The project fits within ‘Connect 2025’, the recently published strategic plan of North Sea Port.
Both companies also joined hands with Fluxys (Belgium’s independent gas transmission system operator). Fluxys Belgium plans to connect supply and demand across industrial clusters in Belgium and neighbouring countries. The collaboration of the H2BE project with Fluxys will hence create synergies with other hydrogen and CO2 capturing projects, lowering the overall costs.
All partners aim to start operations well before 2030 to contribute to Belgium’s 2030 interim decarbonisation targets.
Edouard Neviaski, an executive at Engie, said, “We are convinced that our project is a strong tool for a successful implementation of the Belgian hydrogen strategy released by the federal government end of October.”
Grete Tveit, Senior VP at Equinor, commented, “Equinor believes that hydrogen and CCS are vital to succeed with the energy transition and to reach net-zero ambitions.”