The Walloon government has just approved the implementation of two projects of common European interest (IPCEI) on hydrogen, namely the John Cockerill Hydrogen project and the Columbus project, for which Engie and Carmeuse have combined their powers. A budget of over 88 million euros and the hiring of 250 FTEs are projected.
The IPCEI is a coordinated process for requesting state aid among its member states. These cutting-edge innovations were chosen by the European Commission to advance technological leadership and boost competitiveness relative to other nations in key sectors. According to the regional executive, the Columbus project will concentrate CO2 from a novel form of lime kiln, mix it with green hydrogen, and create synthetic methane, a renewable gas that can be put into the gas network or used in the transportation or industrial sectors.
By using extra heat to serve a local district heating network, recovering oxygen, and helping to maintain network balance, this project’s adoption might prevent up to 162,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. As a result, Wallonia and Belgium would become a global leader in carrier technologies. It would also enable the execution of future, larger initiatives in the lime sector and their replication in other CO2-intensive industrial sectors. based on CCU energy (Carbon Capture and Utilization). Concerning the John Cockerill Hydrogen project, France and Belgium will work together to complete it.
The production will be split into two units, one in Seraing for the piling (stacking) of the parts produced in Aspach with the membranes, the seals, and the assembly parts, and the other in Aspach for the individual manufacture of electrolysis cells (cutting, welding, nickel plating) of large diameter parts.