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Oulu Energy to build 100-MW green hydrogen plant in northern Finland

| By Mary Bailey

Oulu Energy is planning to build a 100 megawatts (MW) hydrogen production plant in Oulu, northern Finland. When completed, the plant would be a big step towards clean energy production and thus a natural part of Oulu Energy’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Partner for the project planning is the Finnish P2X Solutions, which is currently constructing a hydrogen production plant in Harjavalta, western Finland.

According to the preliminary plan, the whole project planned in Laanila industrial area, would include an electrolysis plant with a capacity of up to 100 MW, a carbon capture plant, a hydrogen and carbon dioxide storage, and a further processing plant whose final product could be methane or methanol, for example.

This will be Oulu Energy’s first hydrogen project and significant even on the scale of Europe. The project will increase the vitality of the Oulu region and the development opportunities for industry as well as create new businesses and jobs.

The products created by the hydrogen plant could be used to replace fossil fuels in road, maritime and air transport. According to the preliminary estimate, approximately 200–400 gigawatt hours (GWh) of heat energy per year would be created as a by-product, which could be transferred to the district heating network, while the oxygen could be recovered for industrial use.

“The heat energy gained would correspond to approximately 10–30 per cent of Oulu’s annual district heating demand. This would enable us to produce heat in an environmentally friendly manner and improve the competitiveness of district heating,” says Kimmo Alatulkkila, development director at Oulu Energy.

In addition, the project aims to investigate the possibilities of recovering the biogenic flue gases from local industry and power plants in the further processing of hydrogen.

The project development phase now being launched is led by P2X Solutions Ltd, a Finnish pioneer in green hydrogen and Power-to-X technology. The company is currently constructing Finland’s first industrial-scale green hydrogen and synthetic methane production plant in Harjavalta in western Finland.

“Oulu Energy is a pioneer in sustainable energy production in northern Finland. It is great to be able to advance a joint project that shows that green hydrogen can also be a solution for cutting emissions from heat production. When completed, the capacity of the Oulu hydrogen plant would be up to 100 megawatts, which makes it very significant also on the scale of Finland. For P2X Solutions, the project would mean a significant scaling up of operations from our facilities in Harjavalta and Joensuu,” says Herkko Plit, CEO of P2X Solutions.

In the project development phase, the feasibility of the plant and location options are examined, and an impact assessment is carried out. The investment decision is estimated to be made in autumn 2025, and the plant could be ready by 2028 at the earliest.