Belgian Offshore Wind-to-Hydrogen Project to Reach Final Investment Decision This Year

A final investment decision (FID) on the Hyoffwind project in Belgium, which entails linking offshore wind power production to a hydrogen production facility, is expected to be made this year, after the project consortium receives a permit for which it applied in 2021.

The permit application process started in late 2021 and the consortium – consisting of Virya Energy (parent company of Parkwind) and Fluxys – said it expected to receive the permit by mid-2022 and to make the final investment decision in the course of 2022.

The final investment decision is also subject to the granting of subsidies by the Flemish government under the recovery plan, the consortium noted. These subsidies amount to EUR 23 million, which the Flemish Ministry for Economy and Innovation will provide under the Flemish recovery plan via the European call for IPCEIs, whose first series of projects must now be approved by the European Commission.

This will follow a grant awarded to Hyoffwind in 2020, when the Flemish government allocated EUR 8 million in strategic ecological aid to the project.

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Hyoffwind involves industrial-scale conversion of electricity produced by offshore wind to green hydrogen with injection in the natural gas transmission grid.

The project will build a facility that can convert 25 MW of electricity into green hydrogen in Zeebrugge, which will act as an energy hub and also has the potential to become a logistics hub for hydrogen-linked applications, according to the developers.

Hyoffwind’s feasibility study states that Zeebrugge is the ideal location for power-to-gas because the electrical cables from offshore wind farms arrive on land there. Therefore, the installation will be located near the source of renewable electricity and will be able to facilitate the further integration of renewables in the energy mix.

The project is planned to be built in two phases. The first phase will comprise the 25 MW electrolyser, which the partners aim to scale up to 100 MW in the second phase.

Last month, the Hyoffwind consortium, which has also partnered with Parkwind and Eoly Energy, signed an agreement with John Cockerill and BESIX to design and build the project’s green hydrogen production unit in Zeebrugge.

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Photo: Illustration; Northwester 2 offshore wind farm; Photo: Parkwind