Equinor and Linde to jointly develop 1GW blue hydrogen project in the Netherlands
Duo sign ‘project development agreement’ to begin producing low carbon H2 in 2028
Norway’s Equinor is planning to jointly develop a 1GW blue hydrogen project in the Netherlands with industrial gas firm Linde, shortly after Germany's state-owned gas company stated its ambition to buy 'giga-scale' volumes of blue H2 from the Norwegian firm.
H2M Eemshaven would produce around 235,000 tonnes of blue hydrogen made with fossil gas per year, much of which would be delivered to customers in steel production, chemicals and power production, Equinor said.
Gas for the scheme in the northern Netherlands would be sourced from Norway, with production scheduled to begin in 2028.
Equinor and Linde would joint own the hydrogen and CCS facilities, with Linde building and operating the blue hydrogen production and carbon capture plants, and Equinor shouldering the transport and storage of carbon dioxide under the seabed of the Norwegian continental shelf.
The pair expect to achieve a 95% carbon capture rate from the plant — although research from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has found that there is “no evidence” of any existing commercial-scale carbon capture projects capturing “anywhere close” to 95% of CO2.
The Norwegian company would also be responsible for marketing blue hydrogen, some of which would be fed into onshore hydrogen pipelines planned for the Netherlands and Germany.
Last month Germany's state-owned gas supplier signed a letter of intent to take delivery of up to 5TWh per year of blue H2 from Equinor in 2029 (around 127,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to just over half Eemshaven's capacity), shortly after H2M Eemshaven is scheduled to begin production.
However, it is not yet clear what the “project development agreement” signed by Equinor and Linde today (Monday) actually entails, and the duo has not released any details of how much capex will be required, what reforming technology it plans to use or what the schedule is for final investment decision.
Hydrogen Insight reached out to Equinor but the company had no one available to answer questions at the time of publication.
If realised, the H2M Eemshaven would rank alongside some of the biggest blue H2 plants in the Netherlands, which is emerging as a low-carbon hydrogen hub, close to Europe's industrial heartlands.
“The H2M Eemshaven project is part of our strategy to develop hydrogen production in three to five major industrial clusters in Europe by 2035,” said Grete Tveit, senior vice president for low carbon solutions in Equinor. “Linde’s experience with the safe development, execution and operation of hydrogen and carbon capture plants complements Equinor’s .experience and competence within energy marketing and CCS.”
Germany's Onyx Power is also planning a 1.2GW blue hydrogen plant in Rotterdam, while Shell’s nearby Pernis refinery is aiming to produce one million tonnes of H2 per year, four times the output of H2M project’s blue, according to data from the International Energy Agency.
And Equinor is also developing the GW-scale H2BE blue hydrogen project in Belgium with France's Engie.
Linde is spending $1.8bn to build a new blue hydrogen production plant in Beaumont, Texas, that will deliver H2 to OCI for its nearby blue ammonia plant in 2025.