BE-HyStore: Fluxys explores possibility of underground hydrogen storage at Loenhout
Loenhout – 23 October 2023 – Infrastructure partner Fluxys Belgium today unveiled its BE-HyStore pilot project to store hydrogen in the underground in Loenhout, at an event attended by Federal Minister of the Economy and Employment Pierre-Yves Dermagne and Federal Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten. With 40 years of expertise in underground natural gas storage, Fluxys is now testing the possibilities of storing hydrogen in an underground aquifer.
More than a kilometre beneath the surface at the Fluxys Loenhout site in the province of Antwerp, there is a unique geological structure suitable for storing gaseous molecules. Since 1985, it has been used to store and subsequently retrieve natural gas.
Fluxys has been studying the feasibility of this project for the past three years, in collaboration with Geostock, a world leader in underground storage. Based on field tests, Fluxys now wants to further analyse sustainable storage options at this unique underground site, in partnership with Ghent University. The joint project, named BE-HyStore, is supported by the federal government's Energy Transition Fund.
Currently, the Loenhout site plays a vital role in the security of Belgium's natural gas supply. It goes without saying that Fluxys wishes to continue to perform this role for hydrogen in the future. Moreover, hydrogen is a molecule that can offer a very high level of security of supply for renewable energy, even during winter periods when there is little wind or sunshine. With a potential H2 storage capacity of 2.4 TWh, equivalent to 30 million electric vehicles, the Loenhout site could play an integral role here.
Alexander De Croo, Belgian Prime Minister: "As a country, we are taking a new step every day to produce our own energy and drive down the price for our citizens and businesses. Energy from sun and wind is largely dependent on weather conditions.
By storing the energy produced as hydrogen on land, demand can be better met. Here in Loenhout, gas has been stored for decades.
Now we are starting to test storage of non-fossil energy sources. Our hydrogen strategy does not remain just fine declarations but is being put into practice."
Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Federal Minister of the Economy and Employment: "I welcome Fluxys' launch of a major hydrogen storage pilot project in Loenhout.
Our green transition and sustainable prosperity depend on such experiments together with the development of the hydrogen backbone and the energy projects on the coast and in the ports.
Innovation in the energy sector will support the economy and the employment, and enable Belgium to position itself as a leader in new markets.”
Tinne Van der Straeten, Federal Minister of Energy: "Hydrogen is essential to greening our heavy industry and meeting our climate goals. As with offshore wind, we are making Belgium a leader in green hydrogen: a few months ago with the construction of the first hydrogen pipelines and today with hydrogen storage at Loenhout. This highly innovative concept has emerged from a research project supported by the Energy Transition Fund. Our energy strategy is aimed at taking our energy future into our own hands through renewable energy and accelerating our energy independence. We are paving the way to a sustainable and climate-neutral future for our country."
Pascal Baylocq, CEO of Geostock: "This pilot is a world first for injecting hydrogen into an aquifer. The test has the potential to confirm our initial feasibility studies. We would like to congratulate Fluxys on being the first to take this step and are delighted to be working with the company on this project. The results of this test could provide access to vast hydrogen storage capacities across Europe in the future, supporting the challenges of the energy transition."
Louis Sileghem, Ghent University Hydrogen Platform Manager: "We are pleased to be able to continue the long-standing collaboration between Fluxys and Ghent University on hydrogen research through the BE-HyStore project, supported by the Belgian federal government. This new project will make it possible to bridge the gap between academia and industrial applications. We are proud to be leading the way in pioneering research into underground hydrogen storage, which has the potential to revolutionise how we store renewable energy."
Pascal De Buck, CEO of Fluxys: "Storing energy in the form of hydrogen molecules is key to providing flexibility and security for our energy system in the future. With this pilot project, we are demonstrating our determination to support and speed up the energy transition by leveraging all the advantages of our infrastructure."
Fluxys Press Team: +32 471 95 00 24 • email@example.com
About Fluxys Belgium
Fluxys Belgium is a Euronext listed subsidiary of infrastructure group Fluxys headquartered in Belgium. With 900 employees the company operates 4,000 kilometers of pipeline, a liquefied natural gas terminal totalling a yearly regasification capacity of 104 TWh and an underground storage facility.
As a purpose-led company, Fluxys Belgium together with its stakeholders contributes to a better society by shaping a bright energy future. Building on the unique assets of its infrastructure and its commercial and technical expertise, Fluxys Belgium is committed to transporting hydrogen, biomethane or any other carbon-neutral energy carrier as well as CO2, accommodating the capture, usage and storage of the latter.
About Geostock group
Created close to 60 years ago from the need to secure France’s hydrocarbon reserves, Geostock has over the years become a world reference in underground energy storage. Driven by the requirement to ensure a continuous and controlled supply of energy and being convinced that the earth is the most suitable storage space, Geostock has acquired advanced expertise in all underground storage techniques (salt and mined caverns, or porous reservoirs) and unique know-how in the construction of safe, economical and environmentally friendly infrastructures. Working in the fields of consulting, engineering, construction and operation, Geostock‘s 500 experts thus support their customers in all phases of the life of an underground storage facility and thus contributes to the security of energy supplies.