Renewables

Hellenic Hydrogen to install electrolyzer of up to 100 MW in Greece’s coal region

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Published

May 2, 2023

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Published:

May 2, 2023

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The latest project for the economic transformation of the Western Macedonia region in Greece envisages an electrolysis unit of as much as 100 MW for the production of hydrogen. Public Power Corp. (PPC) and Motor Oil are developing it through their joint venture Hellenic Hydrogen.

Greek companies are among the most active in Europe when it comes to energy transition planning, with a particular focus on low-carbon and green hydrogen. Hellenic Hydrogen is adding a project to the stack, Energypress reported, quoting anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

PPC, controlled by the government through a minority stake, is responsible for running coal-fired power plants and phasing them out by 2028. Fuel refiner Motor Oil is planning to commission renewable electricity capacity in the gigawatts. Their joint venture Hellenic Hydrogen is preparing a preliminary feasibility study for a large-scale electrolysis system in Western Macedonia, the country’s main coal hub, according to the article.

The region in Greece’s north hosts a range of energy transformation projects and initiatives to help workers and the population in general overcome the challenges from the upcoming coal exit. The local authority joined the Hydrogen Europe association last month as a stakeholder.

Electrolyzer scheduled to be commissioned by 2027

The hydrogen production facility is said to be planned at as much as 100 MW. Currently it would be the largest in Europe, though dozens of massive projects are under development. The electrolyzer would take two years to be installed and it could come online by 2027, the media outlet learned.

Hellenic Hydrogen revealed it is working on the financial frame as well and that it counts on the European Union’s Innovation Fund. The valuation is up to EUR 130 million. The hydrogen would be used mostly for power production and truck fuel, alongside possible utilization in industrial production. The firm is about to assess potential demand. According to earlier reports, there were discussions about district heating, too, and mixing hydrogen with fossil gas in a planned regional pipeline.

Hellenic Hydrogen is developing hydrogen valley partnership

At the same time, Hellenic Hydrogen is planning the creation of a so-called hydrogen valley with 27 partners, the article adds. The concept implies the creation of the entire value chain from production and storage to distribution to consumption.

Hydrogen valleys are essential elements of the six hydrogen corridors throughout the continent.

In the European Union, state aid is available for green hydrogen, obtained through electrolysis using renewable electricity, and low-carbon hydrogen overall, which includes the utilization of nuclear power. Hydrogen valleys are essential elements of the six hydrogen corridors seen developing throughout the continent.

Two smaller hydrogen valley projects in Greece, for an annual capacity of at least 500 tons each, were both selected for EUR 8 million each in European funding. One is in Crete and the other, in Corinth, is being developed by Motor Oil. Under the Blue Med project, the company plans to make a hydrogen production unit in its refinery and equip it with a carbon capture system to minimize emissions. Such product is called blue hydrogen. The company would also supplement the plant with an electrolyzer for green hydrogen.

Two Greek projects made it to IPCEI list

As for other similar endeavors in Western Macedonia, Public Gas Distribution Networks (DEDA) earlier said it would convert an urban district into a “hydrogen village” to test production, transmission and consumption.

Domestic gas, oil and construction companies and their partners have failed to include their massive White Dragon plan in the EU’s important projects of common European interest (IPCEI). The endeavor was supposed to involve electrolyzers powered by several gigawatts of renewable electricity and a hydrogen research center. It was valued at over EUR 8 billion.

Two other projects did make it to the IPCEI list: H2CAT, launched by B&T Composites, and Advent’s Green HiPo.

Motor Oil’s competitor HELLENiQ Energy, formerly Hellenic Petroleum, intends to build a pilot facility for green hydrogen. Gas producer Linde has already started to produce green hydrogen at its plant in Mandra in Attica.

Greece and Bulgaria recently presented two major joint hydrogen projects to the European Commission. ICGB, the operator of the gas pipeline connecting the two countries, is analyzing the options to mix in a share of hydrogen.

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