What challenges did you face during the process of selecting a technological pathway?
H2BE: Large industrial sectors in the Ghent region are both challenging to decarbonize and have very ambitious decarbonization goals. They require a consistent and ample supply of low-carbon hydrogen to accomplish these objectives on time. For these demanding industrial customers, volatile generation is not an acceptable answer, as it is with green hydrogen. Furthermore, the physical connection to the relevant assets & infrastructure is key but also difficult. We need to ensure that the technological components along the whole value chain are operational at the same time and fit with each other.
What are specific measures you took when it comes to successful risk mitigation of your employed technology?
HEAVENN: First, we identified key factors on technological risk mitigation: ensuring the possibility of e.g. fast and reliable maintenance and repairing services from suppliers or from trusted third parties. For that reason, we implemented a reserve fund for the project to be able to react effectively to potential hurdles and delays, such as technical or financial trouble for an essential equipment supplier.
H2BE: Most importantly we choose reforming technology (eg. autothermal reforming (ATR)) in combination with carbon capture and storage (CCS) at a high rate (CO2 capture rate > 95 %) because it is a well-known and proven technology. Through our strong and trustworthy partners, we have many years of first-hand experience when it comes to safe transportation and storage of CO2 in a reservoir. Refineries, the petrochemical sector, and the steel industry find it appealing since the technology is an excellent decarbonization enabler and provides a steady supply of big volumes of dispatchable clean hydrogen.
What learnings can other projects take away from your experience?
H2BE: Particularly in the case of blue hydrogen and CCS technology, it is important to convince all stakeholders at an early project stage that these solutions can also help achieve the goal of decarbonization. Hydrogen valley developers and funding entities should choose technology based on decarbonization goals and net carbon footprint, not color. In addition, a clear target setting and credible partners with deep experience in the technology can help mitigate risks.