HyNetherlands: One of Europe’s largest green hydrogen plants to accelerate the journey to carbon neutrality

15 Jul 2021

In the race against the clock to decarbonize energy production on a global scale, hydrogen is an important vector of the energy transition. Tractebel is involved in the technical specifications of HyNetherlands, a strategic green hydrogen gigawatt-scale project in the Dutch province of Groningen.

The possibilities of hydrogen are limitless. Its vast potential across sectors as a lower-carbon energy alternative makes it a pivotal fossil fuel replacement in the fight against climate change. As a game changer for reducing emissions, green hydrogen projects are on the rise worldwide.

Tractebel to perform functional specifications in GW-scale green hydrogen value chain HyNetherlands

Tractebel’s multidisciplinary experts were initially called upon by the ENGIE teams in 2019 to perform the feasibility study for a 100 MW green hydrogen plant, the first phase of the GW-scale HyNetherlands project. Our hydrogen experts are now supporting ENGIE further by optimizing the facility design to satisfy functional requirements at the lowest lifecycle costs and developing the functional specifications for tendering.

The site, located at Eemshaven in the Dutch province of Groningen, will derive electricity for hydrogen production from nearby renewable power sources such as offshore wind. The commercial operation date (COD) of the first 100 MW is planned for 2025 and HyNetherlands is expected to be scaled up to GW capacity in the future.

Fossil fuels gone with the wind in the Netherlands

HyNetherlands is among the first green hydrogen plants of this magnitude to be developed in Europe. The energy it produces is earmarked in part for the transport sector, namely to replace diesel with hydrogen fuel cells in the northern Netherlands’ passenger rail network. Plans are in place to store energy for use when renewable sources like wind are not producing sufficient electricity: hydrogen can be stored in the grid (linepack) or in salt caverns in Zuidwending, Groningen.

What is hydrogen and why is it so important?

ENGIE has positioned itself as a major player in renewable hydrogen and operates along the entire length of the hydrogen value chain – from production of renewable energies to end uses:

Green hydrogen is an essential component of the energy mix. It can be used to decarbonize industrial activities, to store energy and make it available when renewables are not producing electricity and to develop more sustainable forms of mobility.

Green hydrogen, which is mainly produced by water electrolysis using renewable electricity, is one of the levers that will speed up the transition to a carbon-neutral future: development of green mobility, decarbonization of large-scale industrial activities (fertilizers, refineries, chemicals, etc.), improved integration of intermittent renewable energies into the energy system and massive storage of the surplus electricity generated.

Usable in addition to all green energies to satisfy and decarbonize many activities, hydrogen can become the pillar of 100% renewable regions.


“Tractebel has proven to be a trusted partner from the onset, when it performed the feasibility study of the first phase of this important project. Due to its deep expertise and our excellent collaboration, Tractebel was the logical choice to carry out the functional specifications. We look forward to continuing our work together towards our common goal of decarbonizing the energy matrix.”

Afkenel Schipstra, Senior Vice President Hydrogen Business Development, ENGIE Generation Europe


“Tractebel is proud to contribute to one of Europe’s first GW-scale green hydrogen projects alongside our multidisciplinary, cross-border colleagues and our partners. The HyNetherlands project will replace a significant amount of fossil fuel energy with green hydrogen, an important step in the fight against climate change and a key driver of our propose of engineering a carbon-neutral future.”

Sven Goethals, Tractebel Business Development Director in Belgium


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The Eems power plant, site of the HyNetherlands hydrogen project.


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