Wärtsilä and Capwatt work on green hydrogen blending in Portugal


Portugal – Wärtsilä will work with the Portuguese company Capwatt to test a green hydrogen and natural gas blend fuel for the Capwatt power plant in Maia.

The project will begin in Q1 2023 and will test blends containing up to 10% green hydrogen. A Wärtsilä 34SG natural gas engine currently powers the combined heat and power plant that supplies energy to Sonae Campus and the national grid. This will be one of the first times that green hydrogen will be used to reduce the carbon footprint of a Wärtsilä power plant that currently runs on gas.

The Wärtsilä engine on-site is already capable of running on gas containing up to 3% hydrogen. Modifications to the engine, as well as its control system and plant automation system, will be made to reach the targeted level of 10% blending to meet Capwatt’s specific needs. Capwatt plans to use a renewable-energy-powered electrolyzer to produce green hydrogen.

Hydrogen capacity

The project is in line with the country’s National Hydrogen Strategy, which aims to increase hydrogen’s share of total energy consumption in industry by 5% by 2030. The goal is to have 2.0 to 2.5 GW of installed hydrogen-producing capacity by the end of the decade, with 10 to 15% hydrogen injected into the natural gas grid.

Capwatt has nearly 160 MW of cogeneration plants in its portfolio that can benefit from this project’s know-how, which will play a significant role in decarbonizing thermal energy demand and enabling energy transition for its industrial clients.

Wärtsilä engines can run on hydrogen/natural gas blends containing up to 25% hydrogen, and the company is working on a pure hydrogen engine and power plant concept for 2025.