The HOPE (Hydrogen Offshore Production for Europe) project, which aims to develop, build and operate the first 10 MW offshore hydrogen production unit in the North Sea, off the coast of Belgium by 2026, has received a €20 million (around $21.8 million) grant from the European Commission (EC).
The HOPE project consortium and the EC signed the €20 million grant agreement following the positive evaluation of the proposal submitted by the partners in response to the call for proposals issued by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, co-founded and co-financed by the European Union (EU).
The HOPE project is being coordinated by Lhyfe (France) and implemented by eight European partners: Alfa Laval (Denmark), Plug (the Netherlands), Strohm (the Netherlands), EDP NEW (Portugal), ERM (France), CEA (France), POM-West-Vlaanderen (Belgium) and DWR eco (Germany).
The grant agreement comes on the back of Lhyfe’s inauguration of Sealhyfe in 2022, the world’s first pilot production plant for offshore hydrogen powered by a 1 MW floating wind turbine. The platform began producing its first kilograms of offshore hydrogen on 20 June 2023.
With HOPE, the project partners are now moving up a gear and aiming for commercialisation.
As disclosed, the large-scale project (10 MW) will be able to produce up to four tonnes a day of green hydrogen at sea, which will be exported to shore by composite pipeline, compressed and delivered to customers for use in industry and the transport sector.
HOPE is said to be the first offshore project of this size in the world to begin actual implementation, with the production unit and export and distribution infrastructure due to come on stream in mid-2026.
It will be located one kilometre from the coast, in the offshore testing area in front of the port of Ostend, Belgium, which aims to be the central link in the hydrogen chain in Belgium and has contributed to the development of the project since its inception, the partners said.
Powered by electricity supplied under Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) contracts that guarantee its renewable origin, the production site will comprise three units: production and compression (at medium pressure) at sea, export by composite pipeline, then compression (at high pressure), storage and distribution onshore.
The grant awarded by the EC for the HOPE project covers a period of five years. This includes three years to develop the demonstrator, and then two years to demonstrate the technical reliability and commercial viability of the model. The commercial operation of the hydrogen production, export and distribution infrastructures developed in this context is intended to continue beyond the duration of the project.
The €20 million grant will be used to finance the design phases, the supply of equipment and the construction work, as well as research, development and innovation work, focusing mainly on optimising technological solutions and the operation of this type of infrastructure. The techno-economic analysis of offshore renewable hydrogen production solutions on a much larger scale will be another area of work.
Hydrogen solutions and development will be showcased at Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) 2023 in the dedicated Hydrogen Area.
Taking place on 28 and 29 November at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam, the OEEC 2023 gathers around 400 exhibitors, showcasing their experience and expertise in the offshore wind, oil and gas, marine energy, hydrogen sector and more.
Book your ticket with the Early Bird discount now and join the Hydrogen Area!