Helen and the other leading energy companies in Finland join forces to develop an industrial hydrogen valley
Helen Ltd, Neste Corporation, Gasgrid Finland Ltd, and Vantaa Energy Ltd have in collaboration started preliminary studies on the development of an industrial hydrogen valley in the Uusimaa region, Finland. This joint effort is a step forward in driving Finland towards a leading hydrogen economy in Europe that creates industrial investment opportunities and supports Finland’s and Europe’s carbon neutrality goals.
The industrial hydrogen valley would combine infrastructure, storage, and transmission of renewable hydrogen, serving both producers and consumers of hydrogen. In addition, sector integration opportunities are a key element in the studies. In connection with the renewable hydrogen production, significant amounts of renewable heat is generated that can be utilised in district heating.
Collaboration between companies plays a key role in the hydrogen economy development in Finland, as also highlighted in the national resolution of hydrogen adopted by the Finnish Government in February 2023.
“Helen has an ambition to become a major player in the hydrogen economy and is planning large-scale hydrogen production at Helen’s Vuosaari power plant area in Helsinki alongside with the 3H2 demonstration project that is waiting for a funding decision from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Helen is also studying the possibility of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage in the new Vuosaari bioenergy heating plant. Hydrogen, bio-based carbon dioxide and large-scale wind and solar power production are the key building blocks for various carbon neutral solutions,” says Sari Mannonen, Senior Vice President, Solution Business and Portfolio Development at Helen.
In order for the Finnish hydrogen economy to be competitive in a global context, cost efficient solutions for hydrogen transmission and storage are needed. The feasibility of different hydrogen transmission and storage options will be evaluated as the first steps towards developing a well functioning hydrogen market. Hydrogen transmission infrastructure contributes to the emergence of a competitive hydrogen market.
“Gasgrid Finland promotes the development of the national hydrogen network, international infrastructure cooperation and the hydrogen market in the Baltic Sea region. Our task is to support industrial investments and develop a hydrogen pipeline that connects hydrogen producers and consumers,” says Sara Kärki, SVP, Hydrogen Development of Gasgrid Finland.
“Today Neste is the biggest hydrogen consumer in Finland. We need renewable hydrogen in order to reach our climate commitments, e.g. reaching carbon neutral production by 2035. Hydrogen is an essential part of our processes and an efficiently functioning hydrogen valley would be a great way to source hydrogen in the future. Building up both the power infrastructure as well as hydrogen storage and distribution infrastructure are key enablers for the hydrogen economy development. By being open to collaboration and seeking partnerships we discover new paths and unlock a world of interesting possibilities,” says Outi Ervasti, Vice President, Renewable Hydrogen at Neste.
“Vantaa Energy aims to become a carbon negative energy company by 2030 taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the circular economy. Renewable hydrogen is a key enabler for new processes such as carbon capture and utilisation that are needed to harness unavoidable emissions e.g. from our Waste to Energy -business operations to further use. In addition, hydrogen production next to the district heating network enables waste heat utilisation and contributes to the decarbonisation of the Helsinki metropolitan area by reducing emissions of district heating,” states Kalle Patomeri, Business Director of Vantaa Energy.