The World’s First Green Offshore Hydrogen Pilot Explained

In July, Neptune Energy’s Q13a-A offshore platform was selected for the world’s first offshore green hydrogen pilot, now called PosHYdon. The partners involved have now released a video which explains how this pilot will work.

PosHYdon integrates three energy systems in the North Sea: offshore wind, offshore gas and hydrogen. The pilot is an initiative of Nexstep, the Dutch Association for Dismantling and Reuse (Nederlandse Vereniging voor ontmanteling en hergebruik) and TNO in close cooperation with the industry. Its aim is to gain experience with the use of an electrolyser at sea and to test the integration of various energy systems.

Electrolyser in a Sea Container

The plan is to place a one megawatt electrolyser in a sea container on the platform. The platform, the Q13a-A, is very suitable for this. It is the first fully electrified offshore platform in the Dutch part of the North Sea and it is located about thirteen kilometres off the coast of Scheveningen. This electrification with green electricity saves 16.5 kilotons of CO2 per year. This is comparable to flying 115,500 times from Amsterdam to Paris.

In order to produce green hydrogen, seawater on the platform will be converted into demineralised water. Wind power will be used to produce the green hydrogen. The hydrogen is then transported to land using the existing gas infrastructure, which has more than enough capacity. Without the need for new infrastructure, future operational and maintenance costs can be shared between hydrogen and gas producers.

The engineering and design phase is currently taking place. The first actual hydrogen production is expected in the course of 2021. The aim of the pilot is to gain experience in the production of hydrogen in an offshore environment and to see how salt affects the electrolyser.

North Sea Energy Programme

The pilot is a spin-off from the North Sea Energy programme: a public-private research consortium of more than thirty parties from or related to the energy sector. The aim of this programme is to develop relevant knowledge to allow for a new, flexible and integrated energy system to be in place by 2030. Smart connections between current and future forms of energy production in the North Sea can help save time, costs and space and reduce CO2 emissions. The North Sea Energy programme aims to maximise the synergy benefits resulting from the integration of existing and new energy systems.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.