Electricity

NIS to produce green, blue hydrogen near its refinery in northeast Serbia

NIS will produce green and blue hydrogen at refinery in Banat region

Photo: NIS

Published

March 23, 2023

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Published:

March 23, 2023

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Serbian oil and gas company NIS has extended the public call for the design and technical documentation development for the construction of a hydrogen production plant near the Elemir refinery near Zrenjanin. With the production of green and blue hydrogen, NIS would join companies that envision the technology as the solution for the decarbonization of industry and transport.

NIS is seeking a contractor for the design and development of technical documentation for the construction of a hydrogen production facility. The deadline for submitting bids has been extended until April 7.

The plant would be located in the vicinity of its Elemir gas refinery, NIS said.

The bidder should develop solutions for the whole facility and the hydrogen exploitation line near the Elemir gas refinery

The project aims for decarbonization and blue and green hydrogen production, the tender documentation reads. The selected company would be tasked with developing the project design for the whole facility and a hydrogen exploitation line at the refinery, which is near Zrenjanin in the Banat region in Serbia’s northeast, as well as for storage and equipment. The contractor is envisaged to perform technical analyses, too.

NIS makes turn to blue and green hydrogen

Green hydrogen is produced through an electrolysis process by splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. It’s called green hydrogen if the facility is powered by electricity from renewable sources.

A solar power plant would be built on site to supply the unit, according to NIS.

Blue hydrogen would be produced by methane steam conversion. The type is obtained from fossil gas while carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) is used in the process, otherwise it is called gray hydrogen.

The blue hydrogen delivery capacity needs to be at least 275 cubic meters per hour compared to a minimum 20 cubic meters for green hydrogen.

The blue hydrogen production system should be connected to the existing electricity supply system and make the most of the existing infrastructure. NIS intends to sell hydrogen or use it as an energy source for its plants and transport.

Hydrogen production in Serbia seen starting in 2025

In 2025, Serbia should start producing green hydrogen, which is also a solution for storing excess energy from solar power plants and wind farms.

According to the draft Hydrogen Strategy of the Republic of Serbia, production launch is set to occur by 2035 at renewable power plants with a total capacity of about 100 MW – 80 MW of wind power and 20 MW of solar power. The goal is to produce 5,100 tons of hydrogen annually. It should provide about 270 GWh of electricity, about 1% of total electricity produced in Serbia.

Last year, Serbia and Hungary signed a memorandum of understanding for the production, storage, and transport of green hydrogen and joint projects.

Cross-border cooperation for hydrogen supply

Elsewhere in Southeastern Europe, Croatian oil and gas company INA also intends to start producing green hydrogen from solar energy at its Rijeka oil refinery.

Germany has said it would participate in the construction of two international green hydrogen pipelines. One, with a length of 400 kilometers, would be installed under the North Sea.

The country intends to join the H2Med project, implemented by Portugal, Spain, and France, and extend the proposed pipeline to its border. It would transport two million tons of green hydrogen annually from Barcelona to Marseille. The amount should cover 10% of Europe’s hydrogen consumption.

Last month the European Commission proposed to allow hydrogen produced using nuclear energy to be considered green, which prompted controversies.

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