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CO2 captured from the hydrogen production process would be stored in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea.

By Daniel Graeber

Norwegian energy major Equinor and French company ENGIE said December 16 they were moving forward with plans to develop blue hydrogen in the Belgian market.

The partners said they would work to developed the so-called H2BE project, which will utilise an autothermal reforming (ATR) process in coordination with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

“The ATR technology allows for decarbonisation rates above 95% and for producing hydrogen at large scale at competitive cost levels,” the Norwegian company explained. “The captured CO2 is planned to be transported in liquid form and to be permanently and safely stored at a site in the sub-surface of the Norwegian North Sea.”

The two energy companies said they would launch a feasibility study to assess site locations in Belgium. Commercial talks, meanwhile, are ongoing with potential hydrogen customers, including those in hard-to-abate industrial sectors.

“Together with our partners we have developed a foundation that has the potential to deliver reliable low-carbon hydrogen from natural gas to enable large-scale decarbonisation of industries, including continuous and flexible electricity production,” Grete Tveit, Equinor’s senior vice president for low carbon solutions, said. “Equinor believes that hydrogen and CCS are vital to succeed with the energy transition and to reach net-zero ambitions.”

As part of the development plan, both ENGIE and Equinor teamed with Belgian gas transmission operator Fluxys, which is already planning on building up the hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure in the country.

All parties to the H2BE project aim to have the facility operating before 2030.