Offshore hydrogen production gets a boost with new partnership

Jack up rig with electrolyser. Credit: Aquaterra Energy

Offshore engineering company Aquaterra Energy has partnered with green hydrogen producer and supplier Lhyfe and offshore drilling contractor Borr Drilling to develop a novel concept for offshore green hydrogen production in the North Sea.

The organisations will develop an industrial-scale offshore green hydrogen production concept, through the deployment of an electrolyser system on a converted jack-up rig.

James Larnder, Managing Director at Aquaterra Energy, said: “Our unique value here is that we are multilingual in terms of the engineering and operational needs of oil and gas assets, and green energy processing systems. We’re looking forward to taking this from concept to reality.”

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Reliable winds far out in the North Sea are an exceptional renewable resource, yet remote locations create challenges around grid connectivity and intermittency of supply.

This challenge will be solved by providing an off take for the electricity produced in the immediate vicinity of the windfarm and aims to use existing platforms, pipelines, terminal infrastructure, and offshore equipment leveraging the existing infrastructure to reduce costs.

This concept offers an alternative deployment of existing assets that provides both a source of green hydrogen and enhances the commercial feasibility of remote offshore wind projects, according to the Aquaterra Energy statement.

Darren Sutherland, Director of Operations at Borr Drilling, said: “With our expertise in complex offshore operations and fleet management, Borr Drilling will leverage its core capabilities to evaluate the adoption of this alternative energy source in an environment with a large untapped potential.

Borr Drilling, Aquaterra Energy and Lhyfe team onboard the jack-up

“While we will continue to work in our traditional drilling market, this project reinforces our ambition to continuously improve the sustainability of our activities and align our service offering with the changing expectations of our customers and stakeholders.”

Matthieu Guesné, CEO at Lhyfe, said: “Lhyfe is already producing renewable hydrogen in industrial quantities onshore, with a direct connection to renewable energy, pumping seawater and purifying it to feed the electrolysis process.

“This is hence a production process already considering offshore harsh conditions. Over the last few years, we have also been working on different projects to deploy our production process offshore.

“Offshore wind offers the greatest potential for sustainable hydrogen production because of the cost-effectiveness that can be achieved through scalability and technological innovation. The market is yet to deliver a flexible solution that benefits from the existing infrastructure in the North Sea and Lhyfe wants to be at the forefront of this change by creating a world-first green hydrogen production of this kind.”

While the concept is still in its early stages, the consortium welcomes any interested parties to submit inquiries.

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