Neste, other leading energy companies in Finland join forces to develop industrial hydrogen valley
Neste Corp., Gasgrid Finland Ltd., Helen Ltd., and Vantaa Energy Ltd. are collaborating to start preliminary studies on the development of an industrial hydrogen valley in the Uusimaa region of Finland.
This joint effort is a step forward in driving Finland towards a leading hydrogen economy in Europe that creates industrial investment opportunities and supports Finland’s and Europe’s carbon-neutrality goals. The industrial hydrogen valley would combine infrastructure, storage and transmission of renewable hydrogen, serving both producers and consumers of hydrogen.
In addition, sector-integration opportunities are a key element in the studies.
In connection with renewable hydrogen production, significant amounts of renewable heat is generated that can be utilized in district heating.
Collaboration between companies plays a key role in the hydrogen-economy development in Finland, as also highlighted in the national resolution of hydrogen adopted by the Finnish government in February.
“Today Neste is the biggest hydrogen consumer in Finland,” said Outi Ervasti, vice president of renewable hydrogen at Neste. “We need renewable hydrogen in order to reach our climate commitments [such as] reaching carbon-neutral production by 2035. Hydrogen is an essential part of our processes, and an efficiently functioning hydrogen valley would be a great way to source hydrogen in the future. Building up both the power infrastructure as well as hydrogen storage and distribution infrastructure are key enablers for the hydrogen-economy development. By being open to collaboration and seeking partnerships, we discover new paths and unlock a world of interesting possibilities.”
In order for the Finnish hydrogen economy to be competitive in a global context, cost-efficient solutions for hydrogen transmission and storage are needed.
The feasibility of different hydrogen transmission and storage options will be evaluated as the first steps towards developing a well-functioning hydrogen market.
Hydrogen-transmission infrastructure contributes to the emergence of a competitive hydrogen market.
“Gasgrid Finland promotes the development of the national hydrogen network, international infrastructure cooperation and the hydrogen market in the Baltic Sea region,” said Sara Kärki, senior vice president of hydrogen development with Gasgrid Finland. “Our task is to support industrial investments and develop a hydrogen pipeline that connects hydrogen producers and consumers.” Sari Mannonen, the senior vice president of portfolio development and business solutions at Helen, added, “Helen has an ambition to become a major player in the hydrogen economy and is planning large-scale hydrogen production at Helen’s Vuosaari power-plant area in Helsinki alongside with the 3H2 demonstration project that is waiting for a funding decision from the ministry of economic affairs and employment. Helen is also studying the possibility of carbon capture, utilization and storage in the new Vuosaari bioenergy heating plant. Hydrogen, biobased carbon dioxide and large-scale wind and solar power production are the key building blocks for various carbon-neutral solutions.”
Kalle Patomeri, the business director for Vantaa Energy, said, “Vantaa Energy aims to become a carbon-negative energy company by 2030, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the circular economy. Renewable hydrogen is a key enabler for new processes such as carbon capture and utilization that are needed to harness unavoidable emissions, for example, from our waste-to-energy business operations to further use. In addition, hydrogen production next to the district-heating network enables waste-heat utilization and contributes to the decarbonization of the Helsinki metropolitan area by reducing emissions of district heating.”