Ineos and French power company Engie have announced a pilot project to partially replace natural gas feed with hydrogen at Ineos’s phenol plant in Doel near Antwerp, Belgium. No investment figure has been given.
Hydrogen will be used in a commercial-scale cogeneration plant designed to generate electricity and heat from natural gas. About 10% of the cogeneration plant’s gas feed will initially be replaced by hydrogen, with this to then be increased to 20% in a gradual process. This is the first time that such tests have been carried out on an industrial scale in Belgium, says Ineos. The cogeneration plant at the phenol site “has the ideal profile to realize this test,” it says.
Engie will be responsible for the design, installation, and operation of the technology at the site in Doel, says Ineos, which adds that its phenol business “has experience in handling hydrogen as a raw material for its production processes and also has the necessary permits for the hydrogen project.” The project will provide practical insights and data in the use of hydrogen in industrial facilities, including monitoring efficiency and measuring emissions during combustion.
Ineos and Engie are both already participating in a potential power-to-methanol project consortium at Port of Antwerp, which aims to produce green methanol by reusing captured carbon dioxide (CO2) in combination with sustainably generated hydrogen. Ineos subsidiary Inovyn plans to operate an 8,000-metric tons/year demonstration plant at the company’s Lillo manufacturing site in Belgium, with the unit operational by 2022.
Ineos currently produces 300,000 metric tons/year of hydrogen as a coproduct of its chemical processes. The hydrogen is used largely as a low-carbon fuel and raw material in the company’s production processes, it says. The pilot project at Doel will “demonstrate the potential for conversion of existing installations to hydrogen, as a springboard for further industrial upscaling,” it adds.
By Mark Thomas
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