Lhyfe, in collaboration with its partners, has successfully secured a substantial €20 million grant from the European Commission for the Hydrogen Offshore Production for Europe (HOPE) project. This ambitious initiative aims to facilitate the implementation of large-scale offshore manufacturing of renewable hydrogen.
Over the course of five years, the HOPE project will involve the development, construction, and operation of a pioneering 10MW production unit in the North Sea, located off the coast of Belgium. The primary objective is to demonstrate the technical and financial feasibility of this offshore endeavor, as well as the viability of pipeline transportation to supply onshore customers.
The funding for this groundbreaking project has been provided by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, an organization co-founded and co-financed by the European Union. It signifies a significant step forward in Europe's pursuit of sustainable energy solutions.
Lhyfe took its initial stride in 2022 with the inauguration of Sealhyfe, a pilot production plant for offshore hydrogen. Sealhyfe successfully incorporated Plug's PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) technology and utilized a 1MW floating wind turbine for power generation.
With the HOPE project, the consortium partners are now accelerating their efforts towards commercialization. The 10MW electrolyser, a key component of the initiative, will have the capacity to produce up to four tonnes of green hydrogen per day at sea. This hydrogen will then be transported to the shore through a composite pipeline, compressed, and delivered to customers in industries and the transportation sector.
The HOPE installation will be positioned 1km off the coast, in the offshore testing area near the port of Ostend. The port has been a driving force in the project's development since its inception and aims to establish itself as a crucial link in Belgium's hydrogen supply chain.
The production site will be powered by electricity obtained through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), ensuring a renewable energy source. To facilitate electrolysis, seawater will be pumped from the North Sea, desalinated, and purified.
The production site will consist of three main units: production and compression at sea (at medium pressure), export via composite pipeline, and subsequent compression (at high pressure), storage, and onshore distribution.
The hydrogen generated by the HOPE project will cater to the mobility requirements of Belgium, northern France, and the southern Netherlands, encompassing a radius of approximately 300km. Furthermore, it will serve the needs of small industries operating within this region.
The European Commission's grant, spanning a duration of five years, will provide the necessary financial support for various project aspects. This includes funding the design phases, procuring equipment, executing construction work, and conducting research, development, and innovation activities. The primary focus of these endeavors will be optimizing technological solutions and ensuring efficient operation of this type of infrastructure. Additionally, the project will involve a techno-economic analysis of offshore renewable hydrogen production solutions on a larger scale.
HOPE will capitalize on the expertise and knowledge of its nine partner organizations, covering the entire value chain of renewable hydrogen production. Among these partners are Lhyfe, Plug, EDP NEW, and Strohm, each contributing their unique insights and capabilities.
The installation of the 10MW PEM electrolyser, one of the pioneering elements of the project, will mark a significant milestone as it becomes one of the first of its scale to be deployed offshore. The electrolyser, along with other system components, will be hosted on a recycled barge, showcasing a commitment to sustainability throughout the project.
The successful collaboration between Lhyfe and its partners, combined with the support of the European Commission, highlights Europe's dedication to driving forward the renewable hydrogen industry. The HOPE project is set to revolutionize offshore hydrogen production and contribute to the continent's transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.