The Dutch government has this week awarded a 3.6 million euro subsidy to the PosHYdon project, dubbed the world’s first offshore green hydrogen pilot on a working platform. 

With this subsidy, the companies which are part of the PosHYdon, can start up all activities for this pilot. The remaining budget will be funded by the consortium partners.

The following partners have joined the PosHYdon consortium: Nel Hydrogen, InVesta, Hatenboer, IV-Offshore & Energy and Emerson Automation Solutions. Nexstep, TNO, Neptune Energy, Gasunie, Noordgastransport, NOGAT, DEME Offshore, TAQA, and Eneco joined this group last year already.

PosHYdon seeks to validate the integration of three energy systems in the Dutch North Sea: offshore wind, offshore gas, and offshore hydrogen and will involve the installation of hydrogen-producing plant on the Neptune Energy-operated Q13a-A platform. The Q13a-A is the first fully electrified platform in the Dutch North Sea, located approximately 13 kilometers off the coast of Scheveningen (The Hague). 

René Peters, Business Director Gas Technologies TNO and initiator of the North Sea Energy Program: “PosHYdon is the ultimate example of system integration in the North Sea. In many studies, hydrogen is considered the missing link in the energy transition, with many talking about all the opportunities. 

“But here, right off the coast of Scheveningen, it will actually take place. PosHYdon will teach us a lot about the next steps that need to be taken towards safe, large-scale green hydrogen production at sea. Offshore green hydrogen production will enable large-scale wind farms to be developed far out at sea. Wind energy is then directly converted to green hydrogen and can be transported through the existing gas infrastructure. As a result, offshore wind projects can be realized faster at significantly lower costs for society. I am therefore very happy that we can now progress with PosHYdon.”

‘Brainstorming session’

Jacqueline Vaessen, Managing Director of Nexstep, the national platform for re-use and decommissioning: “Together with a number of operators and TNO, this idea arose about two years ago from a brainstorming session of the ‘Re-purpose’ working group within Nexstep. We looked at what the best location would be to host this pilot and then arrived at Neptune Energy’s Q13a-A, since that platform is already fully electrified using green electricity. Then the pioneering and search for suitable consortium partners began. This award is a crown on the preparatory work. I am therefore extremely proud PosHYdon is now ready for this important next phase.”

Electricity generated by offshore wind turbines will be used to power the hydrogen plant on the Q13a-A platform, converting seawater into demineralized water, then into hydrogen via electrolysis. The aim of the pilot is to gain experience of integrating working energy systems at sea and the production of hydrogen in an offshore environment. In addition, in this project the efficiency of an electrolyzer with a variable supply from offshore wind will be tested, and at the same time knowledge and insights on the costs for the offshore installation as well as maintenance costs will be obtained. 

The green hydrogen will be mixed with the gas and transported via the existing gas pipeline to the coast. The 1 MW electrolyzer will produce a maximum of 400 kilograms of green hydrogen per day.

‘Exciting future for Dutch North Sea’

Neptune Energy’s Managing Director for the Netherlands, Lex de Groot, said: “We welcome the award of this subsidy and look forward to progressing with this exciting project on our Q13a-A platform. PosHYdon will provide the insights necessary to develop large-scale green hydrogen production at sea. 

“The Dutch North Sea sector has an exciting future as a ‘new energy hub’ and can play a leading role in largescale green hydrogen production for northwestern Europe, given its infrastructure that connects offshore with onshore. The integration of energy systems supports net-zero goals in a smart, efficient, and cost-effective manner and without disturbing existing sea ecosystems.

“The extensive infrastructure network is connected to international grids and can easily accommodate wind farms further out at sea by converting the production of green electricity into green hydrogen and transporting it to the grid onshore. PosHYdon will be the key to making this happen and we are excited to consider future opportunities that the pilot can help unlock.

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