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Comment Sustainability

Consortium to evaluate green-hydrogen industrial cluster in Portugal

By Mary Page Bailey |

Portuguese energy company Galp joins EDP, Martifer, REN, Vestas and several other European partners to assess the feasibility of the H2 Sines project, which aims to implement an industrial cluster for green hydrogen production based in Sines. The project has an important international dimension, both because of its export component, and because of the inclusion of partners with vast experience in the hydrogen value chain.

The project aims to leverage the competitive advantages of endogenous renewable natural resources, contributing to the industrialization of the Portuguese and European economies on a more sustainable basis, as well as to even the trade balance.

Globally, many organizations are developing sustainability and energy initiatives centered around hydrogen, including projects in Canada, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Chile, Spain, China and Japan

The production of green hydrogen covered by the H2 Sines project integrates and optimises the entire value chain, including the generation of renewable electricity, the production of hydrogen, and its distribution, transportation, storage, marketing and export.

As part of this pan-European project, an international MoU was signed to assess the feasibility of creating a value chain for the export of hydrogen from Sines to Northern Europe. In addition to the export component, green hydrogen could be used nationally in the industrial and transport sectors, as well as for injection into the natural gas grid, contributing to the decarbonisation effort of the economy and strengthening the competitiveness of national tradable goods in the European area.

To ensure the financial balance of the project, hydrogen production volumes should develop gradually, in line with expected consumption, and taking into account the cost competitiveness of the technologies involved. At an early stage the installation of a pilot project of 10MW of electrolysis is planned, which, according to economic and technological criteria, can evolve up to 1GW of electrolysis capacity over the decade, supported, in the long term, by the capacity to generate around 1.5GW of renewable electric power to supply the electrolysers.

The project responds to the challenge issued by the Portuguese Government within the framework of the National Strategy for Hydrogen, particularly due to its export aspect, but also because of its potential contribution to the transition of Portugal’s industrial fabric into a sustainable energy matrix. It thus meets all the criteria to apply for the status of Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI).

The entry of additional partners is based on statements of interest from companies with an international presence in the energy sector, as well as from technology producers for the hydrogen value chain. The technological collaboration aspect is essential to improve the competitiveness of the project, which is still at a preliminary stage, indispensable for the evaluation of the respective framework conditions and cost-efficient viability under market conditions.

The project also entails the creation of an industrial component for the production of value-added equipment for hydrogen projects and the development of an internationally renowned R&D+I cluster, which has already received the support of more than 20 national companies, institutes and universities.

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