MOSCOW (MRC) -- Norway’s Equinor said that it collaborated with France’s Engie to develop a project designed to produce low-carbon hydrogen from natural gas in Belgium, according to Kemicalinfo.
The announcement of the H2BE project - which aims to produce hydrogen from natural gas using autothermal reforming (ATR) combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) - follows a memorandum of understanding between the two companies signed in February.
The Belgian government released its hydrogen strategy in October and Equinor said the H2BE project would help Belgium deliver on the strategy.
Equinor is a major supplier of Norwegian gas to Belgium, with deliveries sent into the Zeebrugge receiving terminal.
It said the ATR technology allows for decarbonization rates above 95% and for producing hydrogen at large scale at “competitive” cost levels.
Equinor and Engie now plan to launch a feasibility study to assess the technical and economic suitability of a site in the Ghent area to produce the hydrogen.
“Commercial talks with potential hydrogen offtakers, predominantly large, hard-to-abate industries, continue simultaneously,” Equinor said.
Discussions are also ongoing with North Sea Port on integration with port infrastructure, it said, while Belgian grid operator Fluxys is also joining the project.
All partners aim to start operations well before 2030 in order to contribute to Belgium’s 2030 interim decarbonization targets.
As MRC informed earlier, there were serious breaches of regulations at an Equinor methanol plant that caught fire last year, Norway's petroleum safety watchdog (PSA) said in June 2021, ordering the company to improve maintenance practices and documentation.
In October 2017, Mongstad suffered a two-week outage caused by a naphtha leak, and in December 2018 Equinor halted parts of the refinery's gasoline output following a spill of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,047,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 17% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,226,530 tonnes in January-October 2021, up by 26% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding stat-copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.