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Ørsted to develop one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen plants

Christian Fernsby |
SeaH2Land is an ambitious vision, linking GW-scale electrolysis to the large industrial demand in the Dutch-Flemish North Sea Port cluster through an envisaged regional cross-border pipeline.

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Topics: ØRSTED   

The SeaH2Land vision includes a renewable hydrogen production facility of 1 GW by 2030 to be developed by Ørsted. If realised, the electrolyser, which will produce the renewable hydrogen, can convert about 20 % of the current hydrogen consumption in the region to renewable hydrogen.

With 580,000 tonnes per year, the North Sea Port cluster is one of the largest production and demand centres of fossil hydrogen in Europe today. Driven by decarbonisation efforts, industrial demand in the cluster could grow to about 1,000,000 tonnes by 2050, equivalent to roughly 10 GW of electrolysis.

Ørsted proposes to connect the GW electrolyser directly to a new 2 GW offshore wind farm in the Dutch North Sea. This will enable the large-scale supply of renewable electricity required for production of renewable hydrogen and fits well with the ambitions of the Dutch authorities for an accelerated offshore wind roll-out in line with increasing electricity demand. The offshore wind farm could be built in one of the zones in the southern part of the Dutch exclusive economic zone that has already been designated for offshore wind development.

The industrial players in the region, united in the Smart Delta Resources (SDR) industry partnership, will continue the dialogue with TSOs for them 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).

The GW electrolyser is proposed to link to the envisaged regional pipeline system connecting large-scale consumption and production in the cluster. Yara, in consortium with Ørsted, and Zeeland Refinery have each announced plans for mid-size renewable hydrogen production at their sites, while Dow has been exporting hydrogen to Yara since 2018 through the world's first conversion of a gas pipeline into hydrogen.

The network can be extended further south to ArcelorMittal as a short-term no-regret and further north, underneath the river Scheldt, to Zeeland Refinery, as a crucial link to create a unique regional ecosystem of hydrogen exchange with significant carbon reduction in the manufacturing processes of ammonia, chemicals, and steel and a significant contribution to the European Green Deal.

Moreover, the cluster strategy proposes to extend the 380 kV high-voltage network for the electrification needs of the industry south of the river Scheldt. This would enable GW-sized electrolysis and offshore wind landing zones on both sides of the river, turning the cluster into a true energy hub.


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