Plug Power, the US electrolyser manufacturer, is due to build a 100MW hydrogen plant in the Belgian port of Antwerp-Burges using its own electrolyser and liquefaction technology announced on 8 June.
The plant is expected to be operational by 2025 and will likely be one of Northern Europe’s largest as the port plans to be a hydrogen hub for Europe. The project is slated to produce 12,500 tonnes of green hydrogen and is set to provide H2 to the chemical industry.
The hydrogen will also support the decarbonisation of the logistics flow of the port providing fuel for forklift trucks and vans using Plug fuel cells.
Plug Powersigned a 30-year concession agreement to build the plant at the Belgian port, the second largest in Europe. Port of Antwerp sits in a strategic location, at the centre of the largest chemical cluster in Europe and is close to the North Sea. It provides transportation connections to Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, U.K., and France.
The company was unclear about how it would power the 100MW electrolyser. It said it hoped to utilise the grid electricity provided to the port and site-adjacent wind turbines. However, under strict draft EU additionality policies released last month, green hydrogen plants sourcing power from the grid are required to account for hour-by-hour electrolyser consumption to avoid “cannibalising” renewable power used to decarbonise the grid.
The developers plan to put in place a circular plan for water used in electrolysers and is looking for partnerships to that end.
“[The Plug Power] project is exactly what we have in mind when it comes to circular economy,” Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said. “We are giving hydrogen every opportunity as an energy carrier and fuel and are therefore committing ourselves as an active pioneer in the hydrogen economy.”