Orsted, a major global offshore wind developer, in partnership with major companies in the North Sea Port cluster, proposed to install a 1 GW hydrogen production plant by 2030, H2 Bulletin reports. The 1 GW electrolyser would be linked to 2 GW of new offshore wind capacity.
The project will run in two phases. In the first stage, 500 MW will be installed upon receiving the required regulatory permissions and once development of the regional hydrogen network allows. In the second phase, which is expected before 2030, an additional 500 MW would be developed with additional flexibility and storage. The consortium has identified several sites on the north and south of the river Scheldt for electrolysis.
To support the 1 GW electrolysis, a new 2 GW offshore wind farm will be built in one of the zones in the southern part of the Dutch exclusive economic zone, which is designated for offshore wind development.
The project is labelled as the SeaH2Land and is supported by Yara (the world’s leading ammonia producer), ArcelorMittal (the world’s largest steel producer outside China), Dow Benelux (one of the biggest material science companies in the world), Zeeland Refinery (a joint venture between oil companies Total (55%) and Lukoil (45%)), North Sea Port, Smart Delta Resources, Province of Zeeland and Province of Oost-Vlaanderen. The green hydrogen from the project will be used to make steel, ammonia, ethylene and fuels.
Zeeland Refinery’s which also plan to install 150 MW electrolyser separately in the cluster, would also be connected to the network.
The hydrogen is proposed to be supplied through a pipelines network. The Smart Delta Resources (SDR) industry partnership is proposing to develop a regional open-access pipeline network of about 45 km, stretching across the North Sea Port area from Vlissingen-Oost (NL) to Gent (BE). SDR is a transnational partnership of large energy and resource-intensive companies in the Schelde-Delta region with active support from the provinces of Zeeland and East Flanders, the North Sea Port cross-border port company and ‘NV Economic Impuls Zeeland’. Dow has been exporting hydrogen to Yara since 2018 through the world’s first conversion of a gas pipeline into hydrogen.
The hydrogen pipeline network would be extended to ArcelorMittal and further north, underneath the river Scheldt, to Zeeland Refinery.
The 380 kV high-voltage network is also planned to be extended for the electrification needs in the industry south of the river Scheldt. Anton van Beek, Chairman of the Board, Dow Benelux, said, “A 380 kV connection to Zeeuws Vlaanderen will be critical to support large-scale direct electrification of Dow’s world-scale ethylene plants in Terneuzen.”
Martin Neubert, Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy Group CEO, Orsted, said, “The SeaH2Land project outlines a clear vision and roadmap for large-scale renewable hydrogen linked to new offshore wind capacity. With the right framework in place, the Netherlands and Belgium can leverage the nearly unlimited power of the offshore wind to significantly advance renewable hydrogen as a true European industrial success story.”
Manfred Van Vlierberghe, the CEO of ArcelorMittal Belgium, said that it would also focus on using hydrogen, both in our existing processes and in novel technologies. It also plans to build a hydrogen pipeline between Dow in Terneuzen and ArcelorMittal in Ghent.
Currently, the North Sea Port cluster is one of the largest hubs for generating and using fossil hydrogen in Europe, producing 580,000 tonnes/year of hydrogen. The demand in the cluster is expected to reach 1 million tonnes annually by 2050, which is equivalent to around 10 GW of electrolysis. The SeaH2Land project can potentially convert about 20% of the current hydrogen consumption in the region to renewable hydrogen.