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Helen to invest in Helsinki’s first green hydrogen production plant

Helen to invest in Helsinki’s first green hydrogen production plant
An artist's rendering of the 3H2– Helsinki Hydrogen Hub pilot plant project (image courtesy Arkkitehtitoimisto Virkkunen & Co).

In Finland, municipal energy utility Helen Oy has announced that it will build a green hydrogen production plant in Vuosaari, Helsinki. This is Helen’s first hydrogen project with which the company will increase its expertise to meet the needs of large-scale hydrogen production and enhance the flexibility to the entire energy system. This is also the first green hydrogen production plant to be built in Helsinki.

The capacity of 3H2 – Helsinki Hydrogen Hub pilot plant project – will be approximately three MW. The produced hydrogen will primarily be used through a hydrogen filling station to be built in connection with the plant mainly intended for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs).

It will also be possible to deliver hydrogen to customers in containers. The plant will be located near Helsinki’s district heating network and the busy Vuosaari Harbour.

The residual waste heat generated in the production process will be utilized in Helen’s district heating network, which means that the overall energy efficiency of the plant is over 90 percent.

The 3H2 project is the first of its kind in the world, combining four different sectors: electricity, transportation, heating, and hydrogen as well as flexibility between them. Hydrogen is an essential part of Helen’s new strategy and we are committed to investing in the development of the hydrogen business. We are excited to start building Helsinki’s first green hydrogen production plant, said Dr Sari Mannonen, SVP of New Business and Hydrogen at Helen.

Granted support

The aim is to launch the hydrogen production in the new plant in 2026 and open the filling station in 2027. The project will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 3,700 tonnes per year.

The amount has been calculated taking into account the replacement of fossil fuels in heavy traffic and the utilization of waste heat in the district heating network.

The project has been granted an investment aid of EUR 8.25 million for large-scale demonstration projects on new energy technology by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

In addition, EUR 292,500 of Environmental Penny funds were used for the containers to be obtained for the storage and transport of hydrogen.

Green hydrogen is emissions-free

In the 3H2 plant, hydrogen will be produced with renewable electricity, which means that production is emission-free whereas conventional hydrogen produced with fossil fuels causes significant CO2 emissions.

Emissions reduction makes green hydrogen an attractive alternative especially for heavy transport, but also for other sectors in which electrification is challenging.

The project aims to pilot green hydrogen production and optimize production in terms of the demand for hydrogen, renewable electricity production, and the electricity market.

In addition, green hydrogen production ensures that the new hydrogen technologies are functional. One important goal is to maximize energy efficiency and increase flexibility in the energy system.

Helen is planning to launch large-scale hydrogen production in the Vuosaari power plant area after the construction of this pilot plant and has commenced preliminary studies on the development of an industrial hydrogen valley in Uusimaa in collaboration with Neste Oyj, Gasgrid Finland Oy, and Vantaan Energia Oy.

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