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Automation technologies under development for ‘world’s first’ green offshore green hydrogen production process
© Emerson

Automation technologies under development for ‘world’s first’ green offshore green hydrogen production process

Brand-new software and systems will support the safe and efficient operation of what is believed to be the world’s first offshore green hydrogen production process on an operational gas platform, located in the Dutch North Sea.

US manufacturing company Emerson today (Jan 11) confirmed that it is working to develop the new technologies, which will manage the desalination and electrolyser units, gas blending and balance of plant equipment, for the PosHYdon project.

A landmark project, PosHYdon hopes to validate the integration of offshore wind power and offshore natural gas and hydrogen production at sea on the Neptune Energy-operation Q13a-A platform, believed to be the first fully electrified platform in the Dutch North Sea.

The platform will convert seawater into demineralised water, then into green hydrogen via electrolysis. Once produced, the hydrogen will then be blended with the natural gas and transported to the coast, via an existing gas pipeline, and fed into the national gas grid.

The 1MW electrolyser, provided by Nel ASA, is expected to produce up to three tonnes of hydrogen per week.

Read more: Nel electrolyser to produce up to 500kg of hydrogen daily for the PosHYdon project

Mark Bulanda, Executive President of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business, said, “Hydrogen is regarded as the ‘fuel of the future,’ but with ambitious decarbonisation and net zero emission targets, it is essential to expand production capacity and accelerate the transition to hydrogen produced using sustainable energy.

“Through the PosHYdon project, we – together with the consortium partners – hope to provide a pathway to large-scale offshore green hydrogen production and make a significant contribution to the energy transition process.”

Emerson’s technology in focus here is the DeltaV™ distributed control system, DeltaV safety instrumented system and DeltaV Live operator interface software, which will enhance safety, process uptime and operational efficiency.

The solution will ensure the existing natural gas operations remain unaffected and blended gas meets its required specification. Integration with the existing offshore systems and communication with onshore operations will maximise process visibility and prevent unforeseen issues.

Bulanda continued, “The PosHYdon project creates a unique opportunity to develop the steps required to ensure safe, large-scale green hydrogen production at sea. Emerson’s experience across the hydrogen value chain, wind power and offshore energy industries will help achieve successful project execution, and our proven technology will ensure safe and efficient operations in this first of a kind application.”

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