World’s largest by production capacity
ArcelorMittal, Enagás, Grupo Fertiberia and DH2 Energy will lead development of the world’s largest integrated renewable and competitive hydrogen hub in northwest Spain. Production is due to begin in 2025, with the full-sized project reaching 9.5 GW of solar power and 7.4 GW of installed electrolysers by 2030. By providing an alternative to expensive energy imports, the project partners hope to contribute to Spain’s energy independence by displacing up to 5% of the country’s gas imports.
Enabling green fertiliser at Fertiberia’s Avilés plant
Amongst other uses, green hydrogen from HyDeal España will be used to make green ammonia for Fertiberia’s nearby fertiliser production plant in Avilés. This means that four out of Fertiberia’s ten Spanish production centers – Puertollano, Palos de la Frontera, Sagunto and now Avilés – all have green ammonia projects in progress.
Our participation in this ambitious alliance is a new significant step in our decarbonization roadmap. Based on HyDeal España competitive green hydrogen, the company will invest in a state of the art highly flexible green ammonia plant to cover the needs of our Avilés fertilizer site. Being part of HyDeal España means that the Group’s four large industrial sites in Spain are already immersed in projects to replace fossil-fuel based ammonia with green ammonia in their production processes. This strategic development is another step to position Grupo Fertiberia as the fastest and most aggressive crop nutrition company to decarbonize, enabling us to build for our clients the greenest product portfolio in the industry.Javier Goñi, CEO of Grupo Fertiberia in ArcelorMittal’s press release, 15 Feb 2022
Off-take locked in
ArcelorMittal and Fertiberia have already committed to a significant off-take agreement for the project. The pair have committed to purchasing 6.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen over two decades to produce green steel, green ammonia, green fertilisers and other low carbon products at their nearby plant in As Other hydrogen users are expected to join.
Speaking with Spanish media outlet el Economista, HyDeal España chairman Thierry Lepercq commented that this project development pathway (Spanish) – large, upfront investments and off-take agreements from industrial partners – was preferred to government support. In the case of HyDeal España, the required €13 billion in subsidies presented too much of a capital risk for the partners. Project development has been slow but thorough, with thirty organisations working for the last year on a pre-feasibility study before launching this month.
Lepercq revealed more project details (Spanish) in his interview with el Economista:
- access to the Bay of Biscay and Atlantic shipping routes were important factors in choosing the project location (even though solar irradiation is much stronger in southern Spain).
- to make up the total project, fifteen modular solar farm sites of about 400-600 MW each will be connected through hydrogen pipelines.
- a technology provider for solar panels and electrolysers has not been locked in, but the consortium includes several well-experienced engineering partners. The European Investment Bank will be directly involved in financing the technology contracts.
- ArcelorMittal’s major electricity supplier in Spain (EDPR) is not currently part of the project, but Lepercq expects some collaboration down the road, particularly developing hydrogen-generated electricity applications.
- the project represents the first step towards the EU-wide Hydeal Ambition, so naturally the next phase will be extending into other EU countries. A connection with North Africa is also a possibility.