Sweco designs Helen’s first hydrogen plant

Helen has chosen Sweco to handle the 3H2 – Helsinki Hydrogen Hub’s foundational engineering in Vuosaari.

Helen’s goal with this hydrogen production pilot project is to build the capacities needed for large-scale Power-to-X production. Over the course of the plant’s 20-year existence, the 3H2 project seeks to cut carbon dioxide emissions from transportation and district heat production by as much as 70,000 tons.

The first initiative of its kind, 3H2 – Helsinki Hydrogen Hub combines zero emissions with hydrogen’s four uses: electricity, transportation, heating, and energy storage. The facility has the ability to balance the electrical grid by converting hydrogen back into electricity using a fuel cell (Power-to-H2-to-Power).

“Together with Sweco, we are eager to start the design phase of the 3H2 – Helsinki Hydrogen Hub. This Power-to-X initiative, which is a component of our Clean-Tech Hub strategy, is Helen’s first. The project’s large emission savings will help Finland and Helen reach their respective carbon neutrality goals “, claims Sari Mannonen, Helen’s Senior Vice President of Solutions and Portfolio Development.

Green hydrogen is created using wind and solar energy, which subsequently makes it possible to reduce emissions, particularly in large vehicle transport. In the same location, the first hydrogen refueling station for the capital region is also being developed. It will service heavy transport once hydrogen production and distribution began in 2024. For industrial uses, hydrogen can also be provided in containers.

The whole waste heat produced during the manufacturing process will be collected and used via a heat pump in Helen’s district heating system, increasing the plant’s overall efficiency to over 90%. An automated artificial intelligence system will optimize the plant. The project’s implementation is dependent on a favorable subsidy and investment decision. Helen has filed for investment support for the project from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for new energy technology and major demonstration projects.

“Finland has a strong power system and a relatively low-carbon energy production mix, which makes Finland a good candidate for the hydrogen economy. Furthermore, Finland has a significant amount of untapped wind energy that might be exploited to produce hydrogen and electric fuels for both local consumption and export. According to Mia Andelin, Sweco’s Chief Sustainability Officer, “We have a genuine chance to be leaders and accelerate the energy transition and sustainable low-emission solutions.

Hydrogen is created cleanly and without emissions by electrolyzing water with electricity. Hydrogen can be used as a fuel for vehicles, a source of heat or power, or as a kind of energy storage to counteract seasonal variations in electricity consumption.

Synthetic eFuels like methane or methanol can also be created using green hydrogen and carbon dioxide, for instance by using the carbon dioxide emissions from an industrial sector nearby. Industrial symbiosis lessens our collective carbon footprint while presenting us with fresh commercial prospects and more effective land usage.