Energy

Brazilian green H2 plant to (briefly) be world's biggest CO2 reducer

Brazilian green H2 plant to (b...
Enegix's Base One project in Brazil promises to be the world's largest green hydrogen production facility when it opens in 2025
Enegix's Base One project in Brazil promises to be the world's largest green hydrogen production facility when it opens in 2025
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Enegix's Base One project in Brazil promises to be the world's largest green hydrogen production facility when it opens in 2025
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Enegix's Base One project in Brazil promises to be the world's largest green hydrogen production facility when it opens in 2025
Base One will hydrolize renewable wind and solar energy from the North-East coast of Brazil, then store the hydrogen in LOHC for export
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Base One will hydrolize renewable wind and solar energy from the North-East coast of Brazil, then store the hydrogen in LOHC for export
Base One's location makes it ideal for North American, European and African exports
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Base One's location makes it ideal for North American, European and African exports
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Singaporean/Australian company Enegix Energy is moving forward with plans to build a huge clean hydrogen plant on the northeast coast of Brazil. The US$5.4-billion Base One project is intended to transform solar and wind power into more than 600 million kg of green H2 annually.

A 1,200-acre (485-ha) site has been scoped on commercial land in the Port of Pecém, in the state of Ceara, and earmarked for what Enegix describes as the world's single largest carbon emission reduction project. With 3.4 GW of solar and wind power already contracted from Enerwind, Base One is expected to go live within three to four years.

Its location, so close to a deep-sea port, will facilitate international exports. Tankers carrying Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC), which stays liquid under ambient temperature and pressure, will be able to reach the east coast of the United States within eight days, Europe within nine days, or Africa within five days. Exporting to the Asian market will take more than a month.

Base One's location makes it ideal for North American, European and African exports
Base One's location makes it ideal for North American, European and African exports

Local conditions near the site are advantageous for renewables; Enegix says Base One can potentially expand from its initial 3.4-GW energy supply to more than 100 GW, and with an appropriate expansion of hydrolysis facilities, the plant could eventually generate more than 30 times as much hydrogen as it will initially.

This development – currently at the feasibility study and capital raising stage, with MoUs signed with an engineering and construction firm, an energy supplier and the State Government of Ceara – would be 20 times larger than the biggest green hydrogen plant in operation today – Air Liquide's 20 MW hydro-to-hydrogen operation, which has just opened in Quebec.

If Base One is up and running at 3.4 GW by 2025, it may indeed be the world's largest such facility. Or it might not; China has the ability to deploy massive capital and build giant projects at an extraordinary pace, and Beijing Jingneng Power Co. announced last March that it was starting construction on a 5-GW wind-and-solar-to-hydrogen-and-storage facility in Mongolia, set to open in 2021. Where that project sits is unknown; even Bloomberg can't get Jingneng on the phone.

Either way, there are other whoppers in the pipeline. Saudi Arabia has announced a 4-GW project for its $500-billion "future megacity" of Neom, scheduled to open in 2028, NortH2 is working on a massive 10-GW offshore-wind-to-H2 project off the Dutch coast for 2040, and they could all be dwarfed by the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a Western Australian project with more than 26 GW of generation capacity that will open sometime after 2030, exporting hydrogen and ammonia to the Asian region.

Base One will hydrolize renewable wind and solar energy from the North-East coast of Brazil, then store the hydrogen in LOHC for export
Base One will hydrolize renewable wind and solar energy from the North-East coast of Brazil, then store the hydrogen in LOHC for export

It's hard to evaluate Enegix's claim that this will be the world's biggest atmospheric carbon reduction project, but the company says Base One has the potential to reduce CO2-equivalent emissions by as much as 10 million tonnes per year, depending of course on the global uptake of hydrogen energy use projects, and exactly what that hydrogen is used to replace at the customer end.

Ten million tonnes a year certainly sounds like a lot, but to give you a sense of the scale of the problem, human activity is currently responsible for the greenhouse equivalent of about 50 billion tonnes of CO2 each year – a figure that's set to rise fast in the coming decades without serious action. A pioneering project the size of Base One, then, has the potential to offset about 1/50th of one percent of the problem – 1/5,000th of all human emissions – if deployed optimally.

Such is the colossal challenge the world faces if it's to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and stave off some of the worse case climate scenarios expected if things continue unabated.

Source: Enegix

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15 comments
15 comments
Worzel
What are; ''CO2-equivalent emissions,''?
Emissions either are or are not CO2, how can they be equivalent?
FB36
Hyrogen burns clean but it is also very dangerous to use as fuel or energy storage because it is explosive!
& there is actually no need for it!
All heavy diesel vehicles just need large scale production of biodiesel fuel & for energy storage there are already battery solutions of all sizes!
TechGazer
Sorry, but I can't accept their claim to be a CO2 reducer. The renewable energy sources providing power for this plant qualify, but there presently isn't a demand for this form of stored energy that will switch from fossil fuels to H2. It provides an option for switching from fossil fuel to renewable, but there are other options. Whether this is the best option is unclear.
Cryptonoetic
Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC)?! So, to transport the "H2", it's attached to a carbon-based molecule. Say, isn't that like, oh, oil? I'll go with methane as that is the most effective "H2" carrier known.
Username
Using Diesel tankers to transport their clean hydrogen?!
Karmudjun
Nice write up Loz, and I can see that it may well be the largest CO2 emission reduction facility in the works - to the free world's knowledge. Yes, China may top it. Coupled with the Air-Liquide's Quebec plant it will mark a turning point for alternate energy production.

Worzel - "CO2 Equivalent emissions" may seem a conundrum. You are literally correct: "CO2" and "No CO2" are not equivalent, but the literal article discussed the replacement of literal hydrocarbon fuels thereby reducing CO2 emissions by an definable amount - an Equivalent amount. Just like steam engines with a horsepower equivalent that had no actual horses.
Nelson Hyde Chick
Whatever this thing does to mitigate climate change will be a very small fraction of Brazil cutting down the Amazon.
riczero-b
Instead of the LOHCs the plant could synthesize methanol ( from hydrogen and dissolved CO2) , which is easier to transport and can be easily modified into diesel-like fuel.
Mike Trites
As people have mentioned, there are difficulties with things like this, such as the fact that the hydrogen will have to be shipped by diesel freighters, but if you build hydrogen powered freighters first, you'd just say, "But producing the hydrogen requires fossil fuels to power the hydrogen production facilities!"

One of these things has to come first. After hydrogen production gets going, then you can focus on building the diesel freighters. (Of course, some people are already trying to do this, and there is competition from non-hydrogen power sources, but the point remains that building a large network of supportive infrastructure has to start somewhere, and you can't expect the whole thing to get up and running at once.)
TomLeeM
I think hydrogen is the future. I think it is better than battery electric vehicles. It is just my opinion.

Hydrogen is explosive but so is gasoline / diesel fuel. I saw a hydrogen leak in a car (video) and the flames went straight up while the gas leak in a gas car spread flames where ever the gas went (coated the ground under and around the car).
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