Utilities Mull Converting Dutch CCGT to Hydrogen
Three European utilities are attempting to convert a Dutch power plant from gas to hydrogen, they said July 7.
Norway's Statoil, Sweden's Vattenfall and Dutch transmission system operator Gasunie have signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the possibilities of converting one of the three 440-MW units at Vattenfall’s combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) Magnum power plant in Eemshaven, in the northern Netherlands.
The potential emission reduction is 4mn metric tons of CO2/year – equivalent to emissions from more than 2mn cars – if all three are converted.
The units are operated by the Vattenfall's Dutch subsidiary Nuon. Gasunie will investigate how to transport and store the hydrogen.
The scope of the MoU also includes exploring how to design a large-scale value chain where production of hydrogen is combined with CO2 capture, transport and permanent storage (CCS) as well as considering potential business models. With low carbon prices, there has not yet been any economic rationale for investing the billions that CCS costs.
Statoil said that as with "all pioneer projects there are uncertainties that need to be addressed. But the potential CO2 emission reduction is significant.” The results of the feasibility studies will form the basis for a decision on further progress.
In 2016, the Norwegian government initiated a new national CCS project. Studies confirmed the feasibility of storing CO2 on the Norwegian continental shelf, with high storage capacity and the potential to expand the facilities to manage additional CO2 volumes beyond the initial demonstration project.
If the Norwegian CCS demonstration project is realised, this may open up for future CO2 storage from other projects, including the joint Vattenfall, Gasunie and Statoil project.
Statoil said that as the upstream facilities required to reform natural gas into hydrogen need to be large scale, there is a significant scope for economy-of-scale by introducing additional markets to the energy system.