GZI Next: Plan for construction of hydrogen plant in Emmen. Parties sign letter of intent
EMMEN – Today, 18 July 2018, representatives of the municipality of Emmen, the province of Drenthe, NAM, EMMTEC services, Gasunie and the New Energy Coalition signed a letter of intent. In this letter of intent, the parties agree to investigate the feasibility of a hydrogen plant on the site of the former gas purification plant (GZI) in Emmen. This joint research will bring the sustainable future of the GZI site forward and will enable the region to implement the National Climate Agreement.
After years of service, NAM decommissioned the GZI at Phileas Foggstraat in Emmen and a large proportion of the gas production sites in the region connected to GZI early 2018. This frees up a unique piece of land: 30 hectares with an industrial destination and an existing connection to the regional and rural energy infrastructure. With this in mind, NAM’s GZI site can play an important role in contributing to the objective of CO₂ reduction, accelerating the energy transition in the Emmen region and thus set an example for the rest of the Netherlands. This is the ‘GZI Next’-project. Research has shown that the site and the available infrastructure are very suitable for a so-called energy hub with a mix of sustainable energy sources, such as hydrogen, biogas and solar energy.
By signing the letter of intent, the parties agree to explore the possibilities of:
- The production and use of hydrogen as an energy source, and the potential future upscaling on the basis of renewable energy sources (wind and solar energy).
- Wider research into synergy with EMMTEC services in order to make energy demand more sustainable.
- The installation of an hydrogen filling station.
- A ‘demonstration field lab’ in collaboration with educational and knowledge institutes.
Energy Emmen for the future
For the municipality of Emmen, it is important to continue to make the best possible use of the GZI site in the future. Alderman Bouke Arends of the Municipality of Emmen: “We want to be a frontrunner in the energy transition. With the presence of the oil fields in Schoonebeek and the gas fields around Emmen, we have been a significant region in terms of energy supply for decades. In the near future, we will also see a more sustainable role here, while at the same time wanting to preserve employment in our region”. In this way GZI Next can make a regional contribution to the energy transition, but also serve as an example for other regions.
Renewable energy cooperation
The challenge for large energy consumer EMMTEC services to look for alternatives for Groningen gas is an important reason to take the initiative, together with the other parties, for GZI Next. Hendrik van der Ploeg of EMMTEC services: “At the emmtec Industry & Business Park, we supply energy to large companies with a combined heat and power plant. This power station is now running on Groningen gas, and that is what we want and must get rid of. This can be done with high-calorific gas, but we also want to seize the opportunity to switch entirely to renewable energy sources. We can explore these possibilities in the GZI Next context. That is why we are very pleased with this cooperation”.
The feasibility study for the hydrogen plant is the first concrete step in the GZI Next project. In the short term, NAM also wants to conclude agreements with other parties for the feasibility of biogas production and a solar farm. In this context, it will also be important to look at the synergy between the different energy sources; this integration of energy sources is the basis of an energy hub.