Refiners in Europe are taking decisions on new renewables projects.
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Shell has taken a final investment decision to build the 200-MW Holland Hydrogen I electrolysis plant, on course to be Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen facility once operational in 2025.
The electrolysis plant will be capable of producing 60,000 kg/day of hydrogen from its base on the Tweede Maasvlakte at the Port of Rotterdam.
“Renewable hydrogen will play a pivotal role in the energy system of the future and this project is an important step in helping hydrogen fulfill that potential,” Shell Executive Vice President, Emerging Energy Solutions, Anna Mascolo, said.
Feedstock electricity for the plant will come from the under-construction 759-MW Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind farm. Crosswind, a consortium of Shell and Rotterdam utility Eneco, was awarded the HKN concession under a zero-subsidy contract.
Hydrogen from the new plant will supply Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam via the new HyTransPort pipeline, replacing some of the grey hydrogen used in the refinery, formerly known as Pernis. That would partly decarbonize production of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, Shell said.
Meanwhile, sustainable aviation fuel production is in focus in Europe.
The UK has laid out plans for its aviation sector to be net-zero by 2050, reaffirming existing targets for 10% of jet fuel demand in the country to be met by sustainable aviation fuel two decades beforehand.
Under a ‘Jet Zero strategy’ announced by the transport ministry, the government also committed to having at least five commercial-scale SAF plants under construction in the country by 2025. As part of the target, it said it wanted UK domestic aviation and airports to be net-zero and zero-emission, respectively, by 2040.
Portugal’s Navigator Company and Hamburg-based P2X-Europe are to join forces to create P2X-Portugal, an industrial-scale production facility for SAF. A final investment decision for the up to Eur600 million ($612 million) project is planned for mid-2023 with an integrated production site at Navigator’s Figueira da Foz site to produce up to 40,000 mt/year of synthetic products from 2026, it said.
The project, granted “Project of National Interest” status by the Portuguese government, leverages Iberia’s highly competitive renewable energy with “several hundred MW of new renewable energy capacity” and biogenic CO2 captured in Navigator’s biorefinery using sustainable forests, it said.
Elsewhere, PKN Orlen, Poland’s largest refiner, is to acquire part of Basell Orlen Polyolefins’ LDPE production business. PKN will acquire assets including LDPE production capacity of 100,000 mt/year as well as its sales and customer service on the Polish market.
As a result, PKN will be the sole producer of LDPE in Poland covering roughly one third of the country’s annual 300,000 mt demand. LDPE is used in the production of films, bags, canisters and food packaging.