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EEW, ENGIE and OCI unveil Dutch PtX value chain plans

EEW, ENGIE and OCI unveil Dutch PtX value chain plans
Schematic of the HyNetherlands (HyNL) project (graphic courtesy HyNL).

In the Netherlands, a consortium comprising ENGIE Energie Nederland, a subsidiary of global energy and services major ENGIE SA, OCI N.V., Europe's largest methanol producer, and EEW Delfzijl, a waste-to-energy (WtE) plant belonging to Germany-headed EEW Energy from Waste GmbH, have announced their collaboration with the ambition to deploy the HyNetherlands (HyNL) project.

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The HyNetherlands (HyNL) project aims to develop, build, and operate one of the first large-scale industrial value chains in Europe for the production of e-methanol by combining renewable hydrogen and biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in Groningen province, northern Netherlands.

Hydrogen and e-methanol are sustainable and high-performing energy carriers that match the characteristics of their fossil counterparts: they have a high energy density, they are easy to bunker and transport, and they use existing assets and infrastructure.

Methanol is one of the most effective green hydrogen carriers and will be key to the development of the hydrogen economy in the Netherlands and Europe. The flexibility of OCI’s production assets to switch to green hydrogen can enable expedited and scalable industry decarbonization and will simultaneously help lower Europe’s reliance on imported natural gas, said Ahmed El-Hoshy, CEO of OCI.

The first phase of the project will consist of a new 100 MW electrolyzer facility that will produce hydrogen for e-methanol production and deliver renewable-based hydrogen to the local mobility and industry sectors.

We are delighted to be part of HyNL together with EEW and OCI. The project contributes materially to meeting the CO2 emission reduction objectives on a national scale. The HyNL roadmap paves the way toward an effective European renewable energy hub and will offer a decarbonization solution to multiple industry sectors with a high carbon footprint, said Cedric Osterrieth, Managing Director ENGIE Thermal Europe.

The HyNL project connects individual industrial sites at three different locations:

  • The ENGIE hydrogen production site will be located on the site of the Eems power plant in Eemshaven. The 100 MW electrolyzer will be powered by 200 MW capacity of offshore wind turbines.
  • The EEW carbon capture plant will be integrated with the existing waste-to-energy plant in Farmsum. It will capture biogenic CO2 from the flue gases of the plant’s production lines. CO2 logistics and infrastructure will intentionally be provided by Groningen Seaports.
  • OCI’s BioMCN methanol facility, located in the Delfzijl chemical park in Farmsum, has the capacity to combine hydrogen and biogenic CO2 to produce eMethanol.
  • The plants of ENGIE (production) and OCI/BioMCN (offtake) will be connected to the hydrogen network that Gasunie is developing throughout the Netherlands and Northern Germany. The vast majority of the national network for hydrogen will consist of pipelines currently used for natural gas transportation.

Obtaining the necessary financial support and government approvals for the project are key priorities.

To this end, the project has already applied for grants from European authorities such as the Innovation Fund.

The long-term vision is for HyNL to play an increasingly important role in the decarbonization of industrial and transportation sectors in the region, with plans to scale up electrolyzer production capacity from 100 MW in 2025 to 1.85 GW in the early 2030s.

The project will not only ensure circularity by utilizing biogenic CO2 from non-recyclable waste but will overall avoid 140 kilotonnes of CO2 per year from the end of 2025 by producing e-methanol and hydrogen based on renewables instead of fossil fuels, said Bernard Kemper, CEO of EEW.

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