Ineos, Engie Work on Hydrogen Power
Petrochemicals firm Ineos is working with French Engie on a project to swap natural gas with hydrogen in a commercial combined heat and power plant in Antwerp, Belgium, they said February 25.
Initially, hydrogen will account for a tenth of the mix, rising to a fifth, which will be a first for an industrial site in Belgium. Hydrogen is expected to become an important link in the transition towards climate-neutral energy, with applications in the power, heat and metallurgical sectors.
One possible evolution in the coming decades is the gradual replacement of natural gas by hydrogen and in time ‘green hydrogen’ generated from renewable energy via electrolysis. This will gradually reduce the CO₂ emissions of current processes based on natural gas. Last year Ineos concluded two major contracts for the purchase of offshore wind energy, including the largest Belgian industrial contract ever with Engie.
Engie will be responsible for the design, installation and operation of the technology. Ineos Phenol has experience in handling hydrogen as a raw material for its production processes and also has the necessary permits for the hydrogen project.
Both partners will gather data, monitor efficiency and measure emissions during combustion, which is essential in the development of a next generation of burners.
Engie and Ineos are also joining forces on the power-to-methanol project in Antwerp. Both companies sit on the consortium with other partners to produce green methanol by reusing captured CO₂ in combination with sustainably generated hydrogen.
Ineos already produces 300,000 metric tons/yr of hydrogen as a 'co-product' of its chemical processes. This hydrogen is largely used as a low-carbon fuel and as a raw material in its own production processes so that fewer fossil raw materials have to be used.