The firm, which makes fertilizers, animal feed, and agricultural fuels among other things, aims to employ hydrogen to eliminate CO2 from its manufacturing chain. For this, the original Egyptian business now employs gray hydrogen. The manufacture of gray hydrogen is done with natural gas.
OCI has joined the North2 collaboration in order to claim green hydrogen. Equinor, RWE, and Shell, as well as Groningen Seaports and Gasunie, are working together to investigate the potential of large-scale hydrogen production at Eemshaven utilizing North Sea wind energy.
Dutch manufacturing reduces CO2 emissions
By 2030, NortH2 hopes to create 4 gigawatts of hydrogen. As a result, a fourth of this will go to the OCI factories. The chemical company may make a large portion of its output CO2 neutral by using green hydrogen. OCI’s usage of green hydrogen reduces CO2 emissions by 900,000 tons per year or around 4% of the entire reduction target for the Dutch industry.
Green hydrogen is common among ammonia and methanol manufacturers. This uses around half of all gray hydrogen generated on the planet. This is because ammonia and methanol are basic raw ingredients utilized in a wide range of industries, including furniture, clothes, and cosmetics, as well as fuel. Ammonia is also a vital component of fertilizer. Because ammonia and methanol makers already utilize hydrogen, the transition from gray to green hydrogen is simple and rapid.
Fertilizer with hydrogen
As a result, OCI isn’t the only company to seek to make the changeover. For example, fertilizer maker Yara stated in 2020 that it will collaborate with energy firm Orsted to establish a big hydrogen production in the Netherlands. The electrolyzer will create green hydrogen using power from the Borselle 1 and 2 wind farms, which will be able to replace the gray hydrogen that Yara now uses to make fertilizer. The facility is expected to open in 2025, however, the final choice will be made based on available funding.
The green hydrogen that OCI plans to buy from NortH2 will be produced in Eemshaven and transported by pipeline to the OCI plants. The hydrogen plant in Eemshaven will be connected to important industrial clusters in the Netherlands, such as Chemelot, Rotterdam/Rijnmond, North Sea Canal Area, Zeeland, and the Northern Netherlands, via this so-called hydrogen backbone that Gasunie is building.
Large-scale hydrogen manufacturing feasibility
OCI’s involvement in NortH2 is a significant boost for the project, which has been looking into the viability of large-scale hydrogen generation for some time. NortH2 can make the Dutch industry more sustainable to a great extent, with a goal capacity of 800,000 tons of green hydrogen per year. It saves 8 to 10 megatons of CO2 per year from the creation of sustainable power to storage in empty salt caverns to the industrial end-user. Mega wind farms with a capacity of 3 to 4 gigawatts, and 10 gigawatts in 2040, will be required to provide sustainable power in the North Sea.
However, we aren’t quite there yet. The group has completed the second part of the feasibility study, demonstrating that an integrated strategy – from offshore wind farms to production, storage, and distribution, and finally to the use of green hydrogen – is technically and economically viable. However, the actual implementation of NortH2 is contingent on government decisions about the construction of wind farms in the North Sea, as well as essential project subsidies.
Eneco joins NortH2
Eneco, a Dutch energy firm, has joined the NortH2 collaboration, which aims to manufacture green hydrogen in significant quantities in the Northern Netherlands.
“In the energy sector and in industry, green hydrogen is a viable alternative to natural gas.” Eneco CEO As Tempelman states, “We would want to engage with the partners in the NortH2 consortium to make this promise a reality.” Shell, Equinor, RWE, Gasunie, and Groningen Seaports are now part of the consortium.
NortH2 is still looking into the viability of its proposals. A second phase of the analysis, according to Eneco, demonstrates that the project is technically and economically feasible if the government cooperates in a timely manner. It is critical, among other things, that it promptly clarify where the necessary wind farms will be built and how the generated power will be delivered to shore.