News / 30.11.2022

Helen's first hydrogen plant is designed by Sweco

Helen has chosen Sweco for conducting the basic engineering of the 3H2 – Helsinki Hydrogen Hub in Vuosaari. With this hydrogen production pilot project, Helen aims to create the necessary capabilities for large-scale Power-to-X production. The 3H2 project aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in transport and district heat production by up to 70,000 tons over the plant's 20-year lifecycle.

3H2 – Helsinki Hydrogen Hub is the first project of its kind, combining zero emissions with the four uses of hydrogen: electricity, transport, heating, and energy storage. A unique feature of the plant is the capability to convert hydrogen back into electricity with a fuel cell (Power-to-H2-to-Power) and by that balance the electricity grid.

"We are excited to enter the design phase of the 3H2 – Helsinki Hydrogen Hub together with Sweco. This is Helen's first Power-to-X project and part of our Clean-Tech Hub vision. The emission reductions enabled the project will be significant and contribute to both Helen's and Finland's carbon neutrality targets", says Sari Mannonen, Senior Vice President, Solutions and Portfolio Development at Helen.

Wind and solar power are used to produce green hydrogen which then enables emission reductions especially in heavy road transport. The first hydrogen refuelling station of the capital area is also planned on the same site, and it would serve heavy transport after the start of hydrogen production and distribution in 2024. Hydrogen can also be supplied in containers for industrial needs.

All waste heat generated by the production process will be recovered and utilised via a heat pump in Helen´s district heating network, which raises the total efficiency of the plant to almost 90 er cent. The plant will be optimised using an automated artificial intelligence system. Helen has applied for investment support for the project from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for new energy technology and large demonstration projects, and its implementation is subject to a positive subsidy and investment decision.

“The hydrogen economy is an opportunity for Finland, as Finland has a relatively low-carbon electricity production mix and a strong power grid. In addition, Finland has huge potential for additional wind power, which could be used for the production of hydrogen and eFuels both for domestic demand and export. We have a real opportunity to be pioneers and speed up the energy transition and sustainable low-emission solutions”, says Mia Andelin, Chief Sustainability Officer at Sweco.

Green, emission-free hydrogen is produced in an electrolysis process from water using electricity and it can be used as transport fuel, heat, electricity, or in energy storage to balance natural fluctuations in electricity production and demand peaks caused by weather conditions.

Green hydrogen and carbon dioxide can also be used to produce synthetic eFuels, such as methane or methanol, for example by utilizing carbon dioxide emissions from a nearby industrial area. Industrial symbiosis reduces the common carbon footprint and offers new business opportunities and more efficient land use.

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Carbon neutrality