Neste has become the first Finnish company to be granted IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) status by the European Commission, which enables national public funding for Neste’s clean hydrogen projects at Porvoo refinery.
The Commission’s approval is part of the EU’s first wave of IPCEIs on hydrogen, which aims to develop and accelerate the production and use of clean hydrogen in Europe.
On 15 July 2022, the European Commission approved 35 companies in 15 EU Member states for IPCEI status for public funding of clean hydrogen research and innovation projects. Coordinated in Finland by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Business Finland, Neste was the first Finnish company to be selected in the EU application. The final funding decisions in Finland will be made by Business Finland.
EU IPCEIs promote the EU’s strategic objectives and the common interests of Europeans by supporting innovation projects in the different Member States. IPCEIs are subject to a separate set of state aid rules, which allow for additional flexibility in the way the state can subsidize companies.
Neste projects approved by the Commission develop solutions for the production and utilization of clean hydrogen in Neste’s refinery processes.
“The hydrogen projects at Porvoo refinery will become an integral part of the European value chain for the production and use of clean hydrogen. The production of clean hydrogen will play a key role in developing responsible, commercially viable solutions for low-carbon traffic and industry,” says Lars Peter Lindfors, Senior Vice President, Innovation at Neste.
The EU target is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 emissions. To achieve this target, significant amounts of emission-free, reliable, and cost-competitive energy are needed. The joint hydrogen IPCEI projects aim to produce 10 million tonnes of clean hydrogen in the EU by 2030.
IPCEI status also contributes significantly to Finland’s climate goals and is an important part of Neste’s commitment to reaching carbon-neutral production by 2035.
Outi Ervasti, Vice President, Renewable Hydrogen, Neste, said, “Hydrogen economy requires close collaboration with partnerships across the value chain to make it a reality. IPCEIs are a great supporter of such collaboration. We are very pleased that with the status granted by the European Commission, Neste’s hydrogen projects are recognized as flagship projects of the hydrogen economy across Europe. The decision also supports our ambition to make Neste’s Porvoo refinery the most sustainable refinery in Europe by 2030.”