Howden to provide compressors for Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen plant

26 January 2023

The plant is expected to produce up to 60,000 kilograms per day of hydrogen.

Shell has chosen Howden to deliver two reciprocating compressors for its Holland Hydrogen 1 facility in Rotterdam. When complete, this project will be Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen plant.

The 200MW plant will be powered using renewable energy from the offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust (noord) and is expected to produce up to 60,000 kilograms per day of hydrogen. Howden will supply two reciprocating compressors, enabled with Howden Uptime.

Howden’s unique Free Floating Piston system feature uses a cushion of process gas to support the piston, eliminating rider ring wear and greatly extending intervals between maintenance. Each compressor will handle 50% of the total hydrogen capacity. The hydrogen compression system will run without standby capacity meaning that highest availability and reliability of the compressors are key to the success of the project.

“This flagship project is a vital step forward towards the development of a global hydrogen economy and cleaner energy future. Our longstanding collaboration with Shell demonstrates Howden’s capabilities in developing and delivering state-of-the-art hydrogen compression solutions,” said Salah Mahdy, global director of renewable hydrogen at Howden. “Reliability is an absolute prerequisite for this project. By understanding the projects’ goals, working collaboratively with Shell, Worley and Conpacksys to design and provide the optimal solution, our compression technology will compress and handle renewable hydrogen safely and efficiently.”

Prior to this contract award, Howden was selected last year to supply compressors to Shell’s biofuels facility located in the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park. Once built, the facility will be among the largest in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel produced from waste. Howden focuses on helping customers increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their air and gas handling processes enabling them to make sustainable improvements in their environmental impact.

In July 2022, Shell announced plans to build Holland Hydrogen I, which will be Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen plant once operational in 2025.

The renewable hydrogen produced will supply the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, by way of the HyTransPort pipeline, where it will replace some of the grey hydrogen usage in the refinery. This will partially decarbonise the facility’s production of energy products like petrol and diesel and jet fuel. As heavy-duty trucks are coming to market and refuelling networks grow, renewable hydrogen supply can also be directed toward these to help in decarbonising commercial road transport, Shell announced..

“Holland Hydrogen I demonstrates how new energy solutions can work together to meet society’s need for cleaner energy. It is also another example of Shell’s own efforts and commitment to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050,” said Anna Mascolo, Executive Vice President, Emerging Energy Solutions at Shell. “Renewable hydrogen will play a pivotal role in the energy system of the future and this project is an important step in helping hydrogen fulfil that potential.”

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