Inauguration of the world’s first offshore hydrogen platform
French hydrogen company, Lhyfe, has cracked a bottle of champagne on the ‘world’s first’ offshore hydrogen platform.
Intended to produce green hydrogen, the platform will receive all its energy from a nearby offshore wind farm.
Launched from Saint-Nazaire on the west coast of France, the “Sealhyfe” platform is beginning an 18-month experimental period at the quay and then off Le Croisic, on an offshore test site operated by the Centrale Nantes engineering school. .
Together with its partner Plug Power, Lhyfe has developed the first chlorinator capable of operating on a floating platform.
Lhyfe first perfected the act of producing hydrogen from seawater at its onshore facility based in Bouin.
Here, seawater is pumped through the plant and purified before being broken down into H2 (hydrogen) and oxygen.
This site is also powered by the wind, in this case the energy is received from nearby onshore turbines.
This site currently produces 300kg of H2 per day and sells its product to a nearby gas station to fuel hydrogen cars and buses, a Lidl supermarket to fuel forklifts and other undisclosed buyers.
Out of Putin’s Pocket
During the inauguration of the offshore platform, the managing director of Lhyfe, Matthieu Guesné, said: “Putin has the price of electricity and gas in his hands”.
Guesné went on to explain the importance of reducing energy imports from France, something the UK can relate to as prices soar.
The Lhyfe boss claimed that although France only takes over 4% of European maritime space, if it was used for hydrogen production, the country would produce enough to replace Russian gas.
Technical direction, strategic partnerships at Lhyfe, Thomas Créach declared: “The demonstrator is only the first step to prove what we can do.
LIFE aims to produce 3 GW of hydrogen energy by 2030.
The region from where the Sealhyfe is about to dock appears to be becoming one of the main producers of hydrogen.
During the inauguration, it was explained that the city of Saint-Nazaire is a city built on industry and that the region hopes to use hydrogen production to create new jobs.
Guesné also added: “At Lhyfe, we have only one goal: to leave a more breathable planet for our children. This is why we once again wanted to take up a major technological challenge, to prove – by producing hydrogen at sea for the first time – that it is possible to do so today. By paving the way for the massive production of renewable hydrogen at sea, Sealhyfe is fully in line with the EU’s strategy of deploying an offshore hydrogen chain, and wishes to contribute to building the energy sovereignty of countries.
Bringing the UK to Lhyfe
The French company has recently expanded into the UK by setting up shop in Newcastle.
This new team will be led by Colin Brown, a geordie with a passion for bringing hydrogen energy to his hometown.
When asked if Lhyfe’s offshore hydrogen technology could be used in the UK, he said: “This [Saint-Nazaire] This is where offshore renewable smelting begins, but you can’t go from nothing to a huge rig, you have to start somewhere.
“If you look at the UK, the amount of offshore generation potential and the number of offshore wind farms currently being developed in the UK, they can’t all be connected to the grid, so we need to provide as much green electricity on the grid as much as we can, but we can also use what is not on the grid to produce green hydrogen.
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