Ronny Haufe about Northern Lights and ripple effects for Ågotnes

CCB Energy Holding and its subsidiary, H2 Production AS, are in the process of establishing the country’s first commercial plant to produce hydrogen at the Energy Park in Øygarden municipality, outside Bergen.

At the Energy Park, where Northern Lights is in the process of establishing the national plant for receiving and storing CO2, the site is currently being prepared for a hydrogen plant that is to be in place already in 2022. The plant is a pilot project supported by Enova. The next phase includes plans of upscaling to large-scale hydrogen production in Øygarden.

Using Norwegian developed technology from Zeg Power, H2 Production will produce blue hydrogen from natural gas. The pilot plant will be the first of its kind to capture CO2 integrated as part of the production process.

The captured CO2 may then be transported back to the seabed for permanent storage, and the result will be clean and commercially available hydrogen in a process that includes carbon capture and storage (CCS).

– We believe that being able to use natural gas in a sustainable way has the potential to make an important contribution in achieving Norway’s climate goals, says CEO of H2 Production, Ronny Haufe. Climate-neutral hydrogen from natural gas will be a competitive contribution in replacing fossil fuels. With the plant from Zeg Power we will be the first to offer the market climate-friendly hydrogen, produced from gas.

Kollsnes in Øygarden has been central to Norway’s industrial gas history. With the current establishment of the CO2 deposit at the Energy Park, as part of the authorities’ major climate initiative, Longship, the conditions are right for the Energy Park to become a central hub for CO2 management, hydrogen production and other climate-friendly establishment.

Read more about this case here: https://www.ccbeh.com/news/norways-first-hydrogen-production-plant

We talked to Ronny Haufe, CEO of H2 Production, about the ripple effects for the local community on Ågotnes.

Ronny Haufe

Ronny Haufe
CEO at CCB Energy Holding and H2 Production

Can you tell us a little about hydrogen production and your collaboration with ZEG?

We have established a collaboration with ZEG Power which is a technology company that holds a patent for hydrogen production with integrated CO2 capture. Together with them, we have applied to Enova for support to build a pilot plant to demonstrate, prove and document the technology and patents in practice. We have ambitions that go far beyond the pilot plant if this turns out to be in line with expectations. Then large-scale development could take place at the Energy Park.

What do you think about the ripple effects for the local community through such an initiative?

The hydrogen investment, but also the other establishments we are trying to achieve, will be very important for Øygarden municipality as well as Vestland county. It will be very important in the future to create new arenas for sustainable jobs and restructuring. Climate-friendly industry are these types of investments.

We work together with Øygarden municipality and their ambitions for business development and have taken the role as a first mover in several areas. Our previous business experience, where we have contributed to the construction of an industrial center at Ågotnes, shows that we can become an important contributor also through the development of the Energy Park.

Which disciplines are involved, and how do you envision using existing suppliers from the traditional oil and gas assignments

This is related to the previous question, but yes, we obviously want to contribute to creating new arenas for suppliers from oil and gas. We believe that there will be a need for various disciplines and deliveries related to the design, installation and operation of climate-friendly industries. It will also provide a basis for activity for other types of support industries as a result of increased activity in general. Both disciplines that the StS group already has or can develop will be possible.

Is there anything in particular that we as suppliers should focus on to get in a position to deliver services to this project?

As of today, we are in an early phase and believe we have good knowledge of what suppliers can offer, but I would like to challenge suppliers to familiarize themselves with this type of industry in a climate-friendly direction.

It will be important to be able to point to understanding and knowledge in one’s own value chain in order to be stronger as a supplier. The oil and gas industry is facing new challenges with taxonomy and predictions that there will be fewer new licenses and commercially viable discoveries. Then one must also consider what it takes to appear with the right focus and perhaps demonstrate this in how the company is run.

In the CCB companies, we have established, among other things, climate accounts, and established KPIs and objectives that are intended to reduce our carbon footprint.

What challenges do you envision in order to succeed with such an initiative?

There’s probably a lot to list here. One must remember that we are in an immature industry in many ways. Hydrogen and carbon capture are at an early stage. Here, there may be governmental barriers and tax challenges that are not adapted to these new industries. There may also be pedagogical challenges, as not everyone understands what is meant by green climate change or, for that matter, climate-friendly industry. In the future, there will be a need for new and sharpened competence, also within this industry.

It will also always be a financial challenge for new industries, especially in an early phase and a partly immature market where there is a high risk related to commercial gain. Today’s support programs from the state are not always aimed at infrastructure and value chain activity. This is necessary to get started. Other things that are also actively worked on are, of course, power supply, infrastructure and interaction with other industries and environments.