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VoltH2 will start building the first green hydrogen factories after the summer
By: André Oerlemans
VoltH2 will start building its first two green hydrogen factories in Vlissingen and Terneuzen after the summer. In the coming years, the Dutch company wants to build six factories in the Netherlands and Germany that will eventually be able to produce more than 40,000 tons (500 megawatts) of green hydrogen.
The factories will use green energy from offshore wind farms. Just before the summer, VoltH2 wants to make the final investment decision for Terneuzen. After the summer for Vlissingen. Construction will start approximately a quarter later. The factories should be operational and supply the first green hydrogen by early 2026. Both installations will be located in a port area and will initially produce 2,000 tons (25 megawatts) of hydrogen, but can be scaled up to a maximum of 10,000 tons (125 megawatts).

Modest production
That seems like a lot, but it is not, says VoltH2 director André Jurres. “Production is still quite modest. For comparison: the Netherlands alone uses 1.5 million tons of gray hydrogen per year. So the contribution of green hydrogen will be quite small in the beginning. It is an important step because we are paving the way for others to also make investments, but still modestly,” he says.

Delfzijl and Germany
After Vlissingen and Terneuzen, VoltH2 wants to build a third, larger factory in Delfzijl in 2025, in the port and industrial area of ​​Groningen Seaports. From the start, it has a capacity of 4,000 tons (50 megawatts). Furthermore, three factories are planned in Germany, the first of which will be built in Essen in the Ruhr area in 2025. It will supply hydrogen to filling stations. Green hydrogen in the Netherlands will initially be supplied to local industry, the mobility sector, shipping, the construction sector and the food sector. “There are plenty of potential customers. In the beginning we will have too little green hydrogen, not too much,” says Jurres.
500 megawatts
Hydrogen (H2) is both a fuel (including for transport and the steel and paper industry), a raw material (including for fertilizer and refining) and an energy carrier (for storage and generating green electricity). Industry already uses large amounts of hydrogen, but it is mainly made from natural gas. This releases a lot of CO2. That's called gray hydrogen. VoltH2's factories will produce demineralized water via electrolysis. Then only water and oxygen are released and no greenhouse gases are emitted. The Netherlands needs green hydrogen to get rid of fossil fuels by 2050 at the latest. According to the Climate Agreement, electrolysers in the Netherlands should be able to produce 8 gigawatts of green hydrogen by 2032. VoltH2 expects to be able to build 500 megawatts of green hydrogen factories in the coming years. That is equivalent to 40,000 tons of green hydrogen.

Never enough
Founder André Jurres has been in the sustainable energy market for more than twenty years. He founded Essent Belgium, where he was the first to market green energy in 2003. As co-founder of NPG Energy, he built an infrastructure for biogas, wind and solar energy from 2007 onwards. He sees hydrogen as an important building block for the transition to a sustainable energy system. “Hydrogen is a more versatile animal than sun and wind. It's big and it's going to get much bigger, even if we're never going to produce enough hydrogen to meet all our needs. We use 102 million barrels of oil per day in the world. It is quite a challenge to replace it with hydrogen, but that is the ambition. The main goal remains to move away from oil and gas and become CO2 neutral,” says Jurres.
Wind at sea
VoltH2's headquarters are in Bergen op Zoom, Brabant. It started in 2020 and was the first company to receive a sizeable SDE++ subsidy for the production of green hydrogen. According to Jurres, its development has accelerated in recent years because more and more wind farms are being built in the North Sea. Just before New Year's Eve, Minister Jetten announced that these parks can already generate 4.7 gigawatts of electricity. “Green hydrogen has now gone industrial because of the success of offshore wind,” says Jurres. “To make green hydrogen you need enormous amounts of green energy. That is only possible if there is too much of it. We are now quickly moving towards that.”

Yin and yang
He is referring, among other things, to the increasing occurrence of negative electricity prices when too much wind or solar energy is generated. According to Jurres, these surpluses will only increase. By 2050, there will be 300 gigawatts of wind farms in the North Sea. You can make a lot of green hydrogen from that. VoltH2 purchases that wind energy for its factories. Jurres: “Hydrogen and wind are like yin and yang. It is one whole, even though they may not always be physically in the same place. Even if my factory is in Vlissingen and my wind farm is in IJmuiden, I am still one whole.”
Connect to hub
Thanks to VoltH2, industrial companies in the port areas can replace their gray hydrogen with green hydrogen to make their processes and activities CO2 neutral. In the coming years, a cluster for the production of advanced biofuels will be established in Terneuzen, in which green hydrogen can play an important role. A hydrogen hub is being developed around Delfzijl with offshore wind farms, Gasunie transport pipelines and a connection to TenneT's high-voltage grid. VoltH2 can connect to that. In Delfzijl the company can also sell its residual oxygen product to purify water. The supply of oxygen to companies in the medical and food sectors is also possible. In Terneuzen, the residual heat from the electrolysers can be supplied to nearby greenhouses. “We want to use all the flows we have as usefully as possible,” Jurres explains.

German buses
In Germany, VoltH2 was the first Dutch hydrogen company to receive a subsidy of 15 million euros from the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia. This is intended for the construction of two green hydrogen factories in Essen and Gelsenkirchen. Together, the electrolysers will produce 1,600 tons of green hydrogen annually for buses, trucks and other forms of freight traffic. The subsidy was presented last November in the presence of King Willem-Alexander, who visited the HyPerformer program for hydrogen technologies in the region. A third factory in Germany is being built in Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea. “That is an industrial project that will amount to 100 megawatts at the start and will have a longer development time,” says Jurres. “We already have a lot to offer.”

https://youtu.be/3Va8tRlF-Vc


  • Munene Mugambi

    12 w

    Certainly a great step in exploitation of hydrogen power. This will lead to hydrogen power use in more fields like aviation, transport and production

    3
    • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

      12 w

      It's exciting to see VoltH2 taking significant steps in the development of green hydrogen infrastructure, especially with plans to build two factories in Vlissingen and Terneuzen after the summer. The commitment to using green energy from offshore wind farms aligns with the growing trend of integrating renewable sources for hydrogen production. The planned expansion with six factories in the Netherlands and Germany, producing over 40,000 tons of green hydrogen, underscores the company's ambitious contribution to the transition away from fossil fuels. The focus on scaling up production gradually, starting with installations in port areas and an initial output of 2,000 tons, demonstrates a strategic approach to meet increasing demand.

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