Engie, which is a French multinational electric utility company, last week agreed with Equinor, a Norwegian energy company, to conduct scoping for a potential blue hydrogen plant in Belgium, the Netherlands and France.
The Engie-Equinor project is currently at a prospective phase, “nothing is determined yet, but we are looking in the gigawatt-scale [equivalent],” Engie representative told H2 Bulletin.
“We believe that the hydrogen market will first appear in specific industrial clusters. However, it is a very promising market, so we believe at Engie that it will expand quickly in the future to look like the gas market does today,” Engie added.
This makes sense from the current hydrogen market perspective and shares the same traits with other announced projects worldwide.
Engie further added that as the market grows, we see the Hydrogen backbones built by the current gas TSOs will link the clusters, which will facilitate the market emergence in the European territory.
The company has been trying to reduce carbon emission. Blue hydrogen is not entirely green as it produces from natural gas. In a separate project, Engie is also planning to build France’s largest green hydrogen production plant with Total, another French multinational dealing in oil and gas.
Engie-Equinor project is “currently studying both greenfield and brownfield projects,” Engie added. Last week Equinor told H2 Bulletin that as the project is in a very early stage, no CO2 storage site is decided yet, but the focus is currently on permanent offshore storage in the North Sea.
The carbon footprint can be further reduced during hydrogen production by using renewable energy. Engie can play upon its broad portfolio of renewable power capacities. It aims to double its installed renewable energy production capacity to 16 GW by 2025.