Engie and Equinor, two energy corporations, have unveiled the H2BE initiative, which intends to promote low-carbon hydrogen production from natural gas in Belgium.
In late October, the Belgian federal government unveiled its Hydrogen Policy, and the H2BE initiative will assist Belgium in implementing the strategy. Using autothermal reforming (ATR) technology and carbon capture and storage (CCS), the project seeks to produce hydrogen from natural gas.
The ATR technology enables decarbonization rates of more than 95% as well as large-scale hydrogen production at reasonable costs. The captured CO2 will be transferred in liquid form and stored permanently and safely at a place in the North Sea’s subsurface.
Engie and Equinor have begun a feasibility study to determine the technical and economic viability of a location in the Ghent area. Commercial discussions with potential hydrogen off-takers, primarily huge, hard-to-abate industries, are ongoing at the same time.
Furthermore, talks with North Sea Port for integration with port infrastructure are ongoing. The H2BE project complements North Sea Port’s newly released strategic plan, “Connect 2025,” by speeding up the transition to carbon neutrality and the building of the necessary hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure.
The partners want to begin operations well before 2030 in order to help Belgium meet its intermediate decarbonization targets set for 2030.
In addition, Engie and Equinor collaborated on the project with Fluxys, a Belgian independent gas transmission system operator. Fluxys will be in charge of integrating supply and demand across industrial clusters in Belgium and adjacent countries with hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure.