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ENGIE x HyNetherlands

How to create a carbon-free ecosystem thanks to green hydrogen

By ENGIE - 21 October 2021 - 10:00

Located in a region that is home to the chemical industry and that plans to put an end to the extraction of natural gas, the Eems electricity power plant intends to decarbonize its output. Renewable hydrogen from the renewable energy produced by off-shore wind farms, which are the driving force behind long-term sustainable industry and mobility in the Netherlands, is at the heart of the proposal on offer from the HyNetherlands project. 


The ENGIE solution consists of creating a complete green hydrogen value chain that contributes to the decarbonization of industry and heavy mobility in the north-east of the Netherlands. 


The HyNetherlands project, which was launched in 2019 and is due to become operational in 2025, represents a major milestone in the history of renewable hydrogen in the Netherlands. On the site of the Eems electricity power plant, ENGIE plans to build a 100-MW electrolysis unit, which will be five times larger than anything that already exists on the market. The facility will be powered by the renewable electricity produced by the offshore wind farms in the North Sea. ENGIE, and its partner Gasunie, which is tasked with transporting and storing the hydrogen in local salt caverns, will ship the hydrogen to the nearby chemical plants, which will use it as a raw material to decarbonize their output. The hydrogen will also provide fuel for heavy goods vehicles and local passenger trains. 


An ambitious road map

The strength of HyNetherlands lies in the step-by-step deployment of a massive electrolysis unit. By 2025, the electrolysis unit will boast a power of 100 MW, which could grow to 1.85 GW by 2030. This project is also innovating by introducing a renewable hydrogen value chain into the Dutch energy system (primary energy and raw materials). The power plant can rely on the supply of green electricity, in view of the high development potential of the off-shore wind farms. 

A change of scale that will cut costs

Thanks to the scale of the project, ENGIE and its partner are helping to cut the cost of renewable hydrogen, which is currently four to five times higher than the cost of grey hydrogen. This is the essential prerequisite for its development on a large scale, even if it has received strong support from European and national instances, as part of the drive to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The hydrogen economy also creates local jobs, a fact that constitutes an additional argument in favour of the implementation of HyNetherlands, and for the European Union, in view of its ambition to increase its energy independence and to promote short energy circuits. 

“ENGIE has brought together the different skills in the Group required to develop this exceptional project. HyNetherlands will connect the massive offshore wind power resources to domestic industry and heavy transport using the transport capacities and storage capacities in salt caverns of our partner Gasunie.  In this respect, HyNetherlands is the precursor of a future European hydrogen hub.”
Grégory Bartholomé, HyNetherlands Project Manager



Key figures

  • The world’s largest electrolysis unit in terms of capacity (100 MW) (data in September 2021)
  • Capacity to produce 1.85 GW of renewable hydrogen in the future on the site of the Eems electricity power plant.
  • 2025: start-up of the production of 15 ktonnes of renewable hydrogen per year.
  • 2 Mt of CO2 avoided by 2035 in the upstream production of hydrogen and oxygen, or 10% of the national effort required to reach the targets set by the 2050 European Green Deal.