The Netherlands/Belgium – Ørsted is developing one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen plants, SeaH2Land, to be linked to industrial demand in the Netherlands and Belgium.
SeaH2Land is linking GW-scale electrolysis to the large industrial demand in the Dutch-Flemish North Sea Port cluster through a regional cross-border pipeline. The green electricity required to produce the renewable hydrogen is proposed to come from the build-out of additional large-scale offshore wind.
Electrolysis for renewable hydrogen
The SeaH2Land vision includes a renewable hydrogen production facility of 1 GW by 2030 to be developed by Ørsted. If realized, the electrolyser, which will produce the renewable hydrogen, can convert about 20% of the current hydrogen consumption in the region to renewable hydrogen.
GW electrolyser – 2 GW offshore wind farm connection
Ørsted proposed 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. 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.
Smart Delta Resources industry partnership
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 an energy hub.
Subject to a regulatory framework being in place, the regional network will unlock the first phase of SeaH2Land, which comprises 500 MW of electrolyser capacity. The second phase of SeaH2Land which scales the electrolyser capacity to 1 GW will require the possibility to connect to a national hydrogen backbone, providing additional flexibility and storage.
The partnership will now move forward and engage in dialogue with the regulatory authorities on the framework and policies needed to support the development of renewable hydrogen linked to large-scale offshore wind, the regional infrastructure, and conduct a full feasibility study of the project.