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European hydrogen projects may face delays

UK’s HyNet project is awaiting arrangements for hydrogen pipelines and storage

by Alex Scott
August 31, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 29


A chemical and fuels manufacturing complex at sunseet.
Credit: Shutterstock
The Hynet blue hydrogen project in Stanlow, England, could be delayed by pipeline and storage issues.

All of the key parts of HyNet, the largest clean hydrogen project planned in the UK, are “moving at pace,” but interim arrangements are still needed to ensure that hydrogen pipelines and storage facilities are in place ahead of HyNet’s launch in 2026, warns Vertex Hydrogen, the project’s lead developer. Located in Stanlow, England, HyNet aims to produce 1 GW of so-called blue hydrogen by reforming natural gas and then storing the by-product carbon dioxide underground.

Meanwhile, media reports suggest that a 24 MW green hydrogen facility planned by the industrial gases firm Linde in Leuna, Germany, could be delayed by a redesign of the project. Linde declines to comment. ITM Power, which manufactures electrolyzers that separate water into hydrogen and oxygen, is a supplier to Linde. ITM would not comment on the Leuna project but says overall activity at the company is “going according to the plan” laid out by the firm’s CEO in December.

“We expect pipeline maturation to progress slower than hoped,” says Greig Boulstridge, research associate at the technology consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, of Europe’s hydrogen industry. “Two main reasons for this will be project cost inflation and difficulty in finding offtakers,” he says.

Nevertheless, the region’s hydrogen technology firms remain positive. “The long-term trend toward large-volume use of green hydrogen as an energy carrier in energy-intensive industries worldwide is intact,” says Werner Ponikwar, CEO of the electrolyzer maker Thyssenkrupp Nucera, in a recent press release. The firm is now recruiting to meet the rising demand for hydrogen projects.



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