Hydrogen factory to be built in Galati

Alina Oprea
A hydrogen plant will be built in Galati, on the platform of the Siderurgic Combine, an investment for the future. The project is coordinated by the Galati County Council, in partnership with Liberty Steel Galati, the Navrom navigation company, the Grampet railway operator, the Galati City Hall, and the "Lower Danube" University. Also, partners from nine EU member countries are involved in the project. The investment amounts to €32 million. The Galati unit would have a capacity of 20 MW, which would ensure the production of 2,500 - 3,000 tons of hydrogen per year.

The project that would be developed in Galati is part of a larger plan through which the European Commission aims to create a European "ecosystem" of hydrogen, from research and innovation to production and infrastructure. The target would be for hydrogen to play a major role in reducing carbon emissions, as part of the European Green Deal strategy, respectively the "Fit for 55" package of measures.

"It is a complex project, which means economic development, innovation, new jobs, and a less polluted environment. Moreover, partners from nine European countries also participate in this project, which will be financed from European Union funds. Thus, Galaţi will become a center of national importance in the field of hydrogen production, distribution, and use", says the president of the Galati County Council, Costel Fotea.

For his part, MEP Dan Nica, member of the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) of the European Parliament and rapporteur on the main European research and innovation program, "Horizon Europe", says that Galațiul will become a regional center for the production of " green hydrogen".

Hydrogen is seen as an alternative to fossil fuels, but at the same time, the EC proposes that the new type of fuel, produced by the electrolysis of water, be obtained exclusively through the use of renewable energy. Such a local "ecosystem" for the production of "green hydrogen" is what would be called a "Hydrogen Valley". In Europe there are already several such "ecosystems", but their multiplication and development are desired.

In January, the European Commission announced the opening of a call for proposals, within the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, in which a financial tranche of €195 million was made available, in an unprecedented action that will support the projects with cutting-edge hydrogen technology. Funds will be granted through "Horizon Europe" - the Framework Program for Research and Innovation, the deadline for submitting projects on this call being April 18.

"Now, as we speak, the team coordinated by the president of the Galați County Council, Costel Fotea, is working intensively on this project, in order to fulfill the conditions for submitting it by the deadline. The intention of the European Commission is to have as many projects of this type as "Hydrogen Valley", but an advantage of Galatiu is that it has a potential for large-scale production and consumption of this type of fuel. And this project, unique in its kind, will put Galatiul on the European "map" of new energy resources ", MEP Dan Nica explained to us.

According to the technical indicators of the project, out of the total value of 32 million euros, the European Commission grant would provide funding of 20 million euros, the difference to be provided from other sources, such as the Territorial Program for a Just Transition, also coordinated by CJ Galați, or the funds made available through REPowerEU.

The source of renewable energy would be ensured with the help of the photovoltaic park that Liberty Galati wants to build on the current site of the slag dump. Also, the Siderurgic Combine set out to adopt hydrogen-based technologies and achieve climate neutrality in production processes by 2030.

After submitting the "green hydrogen" production project in Galati, the evaluation and approval period is two to three months. That would mean that sometime in August, implementation would begin, with each member of the consortium having its role in the project, which would become operational in about two years.

"The hydrogen production unit from Galati would also cover the distribution and storage components. The potential users of hydrogen are, for example, The Galati Combine - because hydrogen is a very good substitute for methane gas for high-burning technological processes; those who are in rail traffic, because hydrogen-powered locomotives develop greater power and can replace traditional locomotives that use diesel or other types of fuels; public transport - Galati City Hall, for Transurb, is part of this project, thus so that we have buses that are fueled with hydrogen. Also, naval transports are interested in this new type of fuel", explained the rapporteur of the European Parliament on the program "Horizon Europe", Dan Nica.

Among the external partners that could participate in the investment from Galati are important names in the field of "green hydrogen" or renewable energy. Among them are Linde, from Germany, the world's largest company in the field of industrial gases, the gas supply company (DEPA) from Greece, the consulting company HINICIO from Belgium the marine classification company RINA, from Italy. HEAVENN - New Energy Coalition (Netherlands) or Green Hysland - Enagaz Renovable (Spain) would also be partners. Partners from Lithuania and Bulgaria would also participate in the project, not excluding the participation of partners from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

The strengths of this type of consortium are the impact at the regional level - social, economic, and geopolitical - in South-Eastern Europe, given the further possibilities of expanding the project. Also, the Galati project will facilitate the exchange of information, replication, and connection between "Hydrogen Valley" projects at the European level, as well as provide concrete models for the use of new technologies.

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Green Forum  |  17 May, 2024 at 9:00 AM