Pilot project to see natural gas replaced with hydrogen in Belgium


INEOS and ENGIE are to gradually replace natural gas with hydrogen at an industrial plant in Belgium.

On 25 February, INEOS confirmed that in a first for Belgium, hydrogen will be used in a commercial scale cogeneration plant designed to generate electricity and heat from natural gas. Initially, 10% of the gas feed will be replaced by hydrogen and provided this is successful, it will be increased to 20%. The project will provide insight and data to ENGIE and INEOS on using hydrogen in industrial facilities such as monitoring efficiency and measuring emissions during combustion, something that will be key when it comes to developing a next generation of burners.

The CHP plant at the INEOS Phenol site in Doel will be used for the tests, with INEOS Phenol already having experience in handling hydrogen as a raw material for its production processes and having the necessary permits for the project as well.

Hans Casier, CEO of INEOS Phenol, said: “This test is fully in line with INEOS’ strategy to avoid CO2 emissions at source. It marks a further step for INEOS Phenol in Doel, where 20% green steam is already being purchased via the connection to the Ecluse network. Today, INEOS already produces 300,000 tons of hydrogen on an annual basis as a ‘co-product’ of its chemical processes. This hydrogen is largely used as a low-carbon fuel and as a raw material in its own production processes so that fewer fossil raw materials have to be used. INEOS recently started a new business activity that focuses on the development of ‘clean hydrogen capacity’. For this, INEOS can rely on the expertise of INOVYN, which, as a chlorine and PVC producer within the group, specializes in electrolysis, an important technology for producing hydrogen.”