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Fortum to build hydrogen pilot plant in Finland

| By Mary Bailey

Fortum Oy (Espoo, Finland) will build a hydrogen production pilot plant in Loviisa, Finland. The plant will be located in the Källa area near Fortum’s Loviisa nuclear power plant on a plot owned by the company. The construction of the Kalla test center will begin in the summer of 2024, and the plant is scheduled to be commissioned in late 2025.  

Hydrogen will be produced by electrolyzers, by using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, with a capacity of around two megawatts from the main grid and using local household water in Loviisa. A filling station will be built in connection with the plant for the delivery of hydrogen to industrial customers. The Kalla test center is funded entirely from Fortum’s research and development funds, and the design work is mostly carried out by in-house designers. The Kalla test center is expected to be in operation for around two years between 2025 and 2028. The total R&D cost of the pilot project is around €17 million. According to Fortum’s strategy, the company will stepwise explore hydrogen through small-scale projects in the Nordics. 

“Testing hydrogen production at the Kalla test center on a megawatt scale will provide valuable information not only in terms of the design and operation of potential larger plants, but also of the business opportunities provided by green hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives. The pilot project is the first step towards possible future projects and investments. In addition to the test center, we also have other hydrogen-related studies underway that involve customers and partners from various industries,” notes Satu Sipola, vice president of Power-to-X at Fortum.

Hydrogen produced using clean electricity can replace fossil fuels and raw materials in many industries, such as the manufacture of steel or fertilizers. Thanks to its chemical properties, hydrogen is versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes: it can serve as an energy carrier, replace fossil carbon in steel and iron production, and serve as a sustainable fuel.

“Fortum has a strong position in clean energy production, and we strive to find solutions to help our industrial customers decarbonise their operations. We work to drive the development of clean hydrogen in the Nordic countries, and we engage in active research cooperation with companies in the forest, steel and chemical industries and the transport sector, for example,” shares Sipola.