US-based hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power has unveiled plans to build a 35-tons-per-day green hydrogen generation plant at the Belgian port of Antwerp-Bruges, the second largest in Europe.
Plug inked a 30-year concession deal with the port and plans to erect a 100 MW green hydrogen plant, using its own electrolyser and liquefaction technology. The Latham-headquartered company said it will produce up to 12,500 tons per year of liquid and gaseous green hydrogen for the European market.
The wind-powered facility will be built when the permitting procedure is completed, which is expected to be in late 2023. Green hydrogen production is planned to begin in late 2024, with plant commissioning in 2025. An open-access hydrogen pipeline will be built along the site, and Plug has signed a contract with gas transmission system operator Fluxys to engage in a feasibility study to enable a connection to the pipeline, which will be part of a European open-access hydrogen backbone.
The plant will provide Belgium with two-thirds of its 150 MW installed electrolyser capacity target by 2026.
“Due to the strategic location of our ports and the expertise of our companies, research centers and educational institutions, we have all the assets to become the hydrogen hub of Western Europe. An opportunity that we must not miss,” noted Jan Jambon, minister-president of Flanders.
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges intends to become a major hydrogen hub for Europe and is already one of the busiest logistics areas on the continent, handling 289m tons of maritime freight, 24m tons of rail freight, and around 108m tons of barge freight each year.
Plug said it will contribute to decarbonising the logistics flows of the port, with material handling solutions, fuel cell vans through HYVIA – its joint venture with car maker Renault, and stationary power solutions for shore power.
“Plug is already one of the largest investors in the European hydrogen economy, and one of the largest employers in Europe among the hydrogen pure players. Our investment in a green hydrogen production plant in the heart of Europe deepens our commitment to the European market,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug. “Europe is determined to shift from foreign sources of fossil fuel energy to local sources of green energy, and we are helping to deliver on their vision.”
The Dutch port of Rotterdam has also made several early steps in the green hydrogen and ammonia areas, securing a number of terminal development and import deals in recent months.