Ikea group plans one of the world's biggest offshore wind-to-hydrogen hubs to 're-oxygenate' Baltic waters




Ingka Investments and OX2 file permit application for 370,000 tonnes of annual green H2 production capacity


Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ikea owner Ingka Group, and Nordic developer OX2 have submitted a permit application to build the 3.1GW Neptunus offshore wind farm in Sweden, along with adjacent hydrogen production of up to 370,000 tonnes a year.


The planned array, to be sited in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone off the coast of Blekinge County, will feature 207 wind turbines of around 15MW capable of churning out an estimated 13-15TWh of green power per year — which corresponds to the total electricity consumption of Sweden’s southern Blekinge and Skåne regions.


OX2 has suggested that the hydrogen could be used in industry, transport, energy storage, or further refined into e-fuels, although no provisional offtake agreements have been signed to date.


The developer and retail duo has also applied for a pilot project to oxygenate the Baltic Sea. Oxygen is a by-product of hydrogen production and can be used to oxygenate the waters surrounding the project, thereby contributing to restoring marine life in an area with oxygen deficiency.


“The energy hub Neptunus is one of the first of the next generation of wind farms. By producing renewable energy and hydrogen, Sweden will be able to secure energy for sectors that can’t be electrified,” said Emelie Zakrisson, head of offshore wind development in Sweden at OX2.


“The oxygen from the hydrogen production can also be used to oxygenate the bottom water in the Baltic Sea and improve biodiversity.”


Hydrogen project developers to date have given little focus to oxygen by-production, which could represent either an opportunity to reoxygenate so-called “dead zones” in the ocean or an additional revenue stream.


While Danish company Everfuel is one of the few to have signed a conditional offtake agreement for the O2 and French firm Lhyfe announced last month its participation in a project to inject oxygen into the Baltic Sea, most seem content to vent it into the atmosphere.


Neptunus is still in an early development phase and only 1.9GW of its offshore wind capacity is included in OX2’s project development portfolio, which by the end of the third quarter of 2023 had reached 34GW.


Ingka Investment and OX2 are jointly developing six offshore wind farms in Sweden – Galene off the west coast, Triton and Neptunus off the south of Sweden, Aurora between the islands of Öland and Gotland, and Pleione and Ran off the east coast of Gotland.


OX2 and Finnish limestone products maker Nordkalk are studying the possibility of using power generated by Neptunus and Aurora projects for the production of e-fuels.



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