Dutch paints and chemicals maker AkzoNobel and gas infrastructure company Gasunie New Energy have joined forces to investigate the possibility of building Europe’s largest green hydrogen (H2) production plant.

The installation would use a 20MW water electrolysis unit, the largest in Europe, to convert sustainably produced electricity into 3,000 tonnes of green H2 a year – enough to fuel 300 H2 buses – at the proposed facility, which is to be built in the Netherlands. A final decision on the project is expected in 2019.

Infographic   lifa 1201x628   akzonobel and gasunie jointly scaling up 0

A press release said both companies want to play an active role in the transition to a CO2-neutral economy, and the project is in line with their respective initiatives in renewable energy – including H2.

“Achieving the Netherlands’ CO2 reduction targets and the corresponding transition in the energy system will be a huge challenge,” explained Ulco Vermeulen, member of Gasunie’s Executive Board. “This requires not only vision, but also immediate action and concrete collaboration.”

“We see ‘power to gas’ not only as a promising technology, but also as one that will be necessary to achieve a fully sustainable energy mix by 2050. H2 also plays a crucial role in achieving the emission reduction target set by the Dutch government for 2030, i.e., a reduction of CO2 emissions by 49% compared to 1990. To make sure we have enough hydrogen in 2030, we will need to take steps now to validate the technology at different scales.”

Marcel Galjee, Energy Director at AkzoNobel, added, “Industry is important for the economy, but is also responsible for a large percentage of CO2 emissions. Only with far-reaching change of its industrial activities can the Netherlands achieve the international climate targets. During this transition, new value chains and revenue models can emerge across sectors through collaboration between companies.”

“The vast majority of the more than 800,000 tons of H2 used by Dutch industry each year is produced using natural gas. Replacing this by sustainably produced hydrogen will reduce CO2 emissions by seven million tons. However, the real potential is in large-scale production as the basis for green chemistry.”