GW-scale | Giant green hydrogen project in Denmark secures green light for construction
H2 Energy’s 1GW project in Esbjerg could produce 90,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year from late-2025
A 1GW green hydrogen project in the Danish port city of Esbjerg has been granted environmental approval, bringing it a step closer to reaching a final investment decision (FID).
The plant’s developer H2 Energy plans to install 50 proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers supplied by US manufacturer Plug Power and start operations in the second half of 2025.
Assuming 5,000 production hours a year, H2 Energy expects to produce around 90,000 tonnes of hydrogen annually.
While H2 Energy cites the Esbjerg site’s proximity to offshore wind farms as a point in its favour, it has not clarified exactly how it will source electricity to power its green hydrogen plant, although a 400kV ground cable will be built to connect the project to a substation in Endrup.
However, according to the environmental impact report, the H2 produced at Esbjerg will not be used within the city.
Instead, it will be piped out to the village of Egtved and then on to a distribution hub at Taulov in the municipality Fredericia, around 80 kilometres away from the point of production. There, H2 Energy’s hydrogen will be fed into pipelines to meet industrial demand or compressed for use as a transport fuel.
H2 Energy, which is majority-owned by commodities trader Trafigura, in 2022 announced a partnership with oil firm Phillips 66 to develop a network of up to 250 filling stations across Denmark, Austria, and Germany, although the two firms have been quiet on the initiative since.
While the Esbjerg facility is set to be built without subsidies, H2 Energy had at the time admitted the refuelling network with Phillips 66 would depend on government support.
H2 Energy estimates that its Esbjerg facility will consume one million cubic metres of water a year, which it will source from utility DIN Forsyning’s sewage treatment plants in Esbjerg.
“This will significantly reduce the strain on drinking water and groundwater resources, further advancing our mission towards sustainable development,” said Mark Pedersen, operations manager at H2 Energy Europe.
The facility will also supply waste heat to the district heating network in Esbjerg.
“The environmental approval granted to the upcoming hydrogen plant by H2 Energy Europe is of immense significance for Esbjerg, positioning it as a leading green business city in Europe,” said mayor of the municipality, Jesper Frost Rasmussen.
However, he noted that “there remains a need for clarity” when it comes to the exact placement of a proposed hydrogen pipeline reaching into Germany, which is expected to start operations from 2028.