INEOS Olefins Belgium joins Fluxys project for H2 network

Chemical company INEOS Olefins Belgium is the first industrial player to sign an agreement with Fluxys to participate in the feasibility study for the development of an open access H2 network in the port of Antwerp. The cooperation follows the market consultation initiated by Fluxys last year to match supply and demand for H2 in the Belgian industrial clusters.

Project ONE is potentially one of the largest customers connecting to the H2 grid. INEOS Olefins Belgium joins Fluxys market consultation in Antwerp to build open-access H2 network for the decarbonization of the industry. As a potential customer of 100,000 tpy of H2, Project ONE could be decisive for the scope of the infrastructure.

The European Commission considers H2 essential for becoming carbon neutral. When H2 is used as a fuel, it is carbon-free and essentially only water vapor is emitted. It is also an important raw material for the chemical industry.

Important catalyst

Project ONE, the investment project for the construction of an ethane cracker on the right bank in the port of Antwerp, could play a significant role in the dimensioning of the H2 network in Antwerp. Depending on the future transition to net-zero emissions and the scenario chosen, the plant has the potential to take around 100,000 tons of H2 off the grid.

Ralf Gesthuisen, Technology Manager of Project ONE said, "We have identified several technological paths for Project ONE that would allow us to further reduce our emissions and achieve the transition to climate neutrality. One of them is to use more H2 as a fuel for our cracker's furnaces and steam boilers. From day 1 of the start-up of our plant, we have been able to meet 60% of the heat demand with the high volumes of H2 from the cracking process. If we gain access to more low-carbon H2 in the future, we can increase this to 100% and bring the emissions of Project ONE to net zero. Our participation in Fluxys' feasibility study brings us one step closer to making this a reality."

Raphaël De Winter, Director Business Development & Innovation at Fluxys said, "With Fluxys we are fully committed to helping develop a well-functioning market for H2 quickly. This requires an open access grid to which everyone can connect on an equal footing so that supply and demand can find each other smoothly. We are working on infrastructure proposals in the various industrial clusters in Belgium, providing connections between the clusters and to neighboring countries, and working on import possibilities. In Antwerp, the interest shown by INEOS Olefins Belgium is an important step in the development of the infrastructure needed by industry. The train is leaving now: with the interest of all the companies combined, we will complete the studies for the grid in Antwerp early 2023 and conclude contracts in the first half of 2023 to be able to build."