H2 Energy hydrogen plant pilot project

As part of the consortium behind the ambitious Greensand project, Ramboll is supporting a pilot test funded by the EUDP. If successful, the project has the potential to become Europe’s largest carbon capture & storage project.
Esbjerg harbour

The effort to limit global warming calls for decarbonisation and replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy. In many sectors, electrification is the answer. However, some sectors like heavy-duty transportation, shipping and aviation cannot be electrified. These sectors require fuels in a liquid or gaseous form. For these sectors, green hydrogen as well as green ammonia and other e-fuels are the solution.

Multiple hydrogen production plants are in the works in Denmark, and the plans for the very first hydrogen plant in the gigawatt class are now being realised just outside Esbjerg, Denmark. With its immense capacity of 1GW, the construction of the H2 Energy hydrogen plant will accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to green fuels. The design of the plant will be standardised to build more similar or larger plants in Denmark and across Europe.

In the longer term, the plant will produce hydrogen using power primarily generated from wind farms to support the energy transition, reduce petroleum use, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution. It will also contribute to a more diverse and efficient energy infrastructure by enabling the widespread commercialisation of hydrogen. The plant will operate around the clock using the full power available, and at nominal capacity it will be able to generate up to 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen annually.

Ramboll was appointed to provide support for all project phases from early start-up of permitting activities, engineering, contracts and contract strategy development, construction planning and execution, and plant commissioning assistance.

Decarbonising the transport sector

H2 Energy Europe, the Swiss company behind the production plant, is a joint venture of the trading and logistics company Trafigura and the hydrogen-centred business H2 Energy. It is currently producing green hydrogen in Switzerland and has 50 hydrogen-fuelled trucks on the road, expecting another 1,600 to be delivered within the next five years.

The hydrogen produced at the plant in Esbjerg will be used to fuel heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Its capacity of 1 GW of hydrogen production will make it possible to supply green hydrogen corresponding to the annual fuel consumption of more than 15,000 trucks, equalling more than one third of all trucks in Denmark.

Connection to existing infrastructure

The plant will deliver hydrogen either to high pressure containers, that can be loaded on trucks and transported to the regional filling stations, where hydrogen cars and trucks can tank, or directly to a pipeline. Current plans include a pipeline to connect the production site to the existing pumping station in Egtved, Denmark, about 50 kilometres east of Esbjerg. This is part of a general programme to connect Denmark hydrogen infrastructure to the industrial area of Heidenau, Germany. Alternative solutions for use of hydrogen capacity in excess to the portion destinated to mobility are under consideration, for example to feed other industries in the same area.

In addition to hydrogen production, the plant will also produce about 260 MW thermal power that can be directed to regional district heating, with additional economic and environmental benefit. The goal is to reach the full 1 GW production by 2025 with a grid connection.

“H2 Energy is committed to make strong contributions to the decarbonisation of the energy sector on the basis of green hydrogen. We are excited to have Ramboll onboard as they not only have the wide range of competencies needed, but also the capacity and local insight to ensure that we succeed with this landmark project"

Clifford zur Nieden
Director at H2 Energy

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