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Another green hydrogen investment for Herøya - this could be big

group of nine persons in the snow in front of blue container

"All in": HydrogenPro goes "all in" at Herøya with a test center in two 40-foot containers, and engineering students from the University of South-Eastern Norway. In front from left engineering students Benjamin Syrrist, Jørgen Teigen Søgård and Stefan Senic. At the back, standing from left, engineering students John Andreas Ytrelid and Andre Wright Knutsen. Next, Hanne Marie Evensen, Jan Fredrik Garvik, Tor Danielsen, all from HydrogenPro and Asgeir Knutsen, Herøya Industripark AS.

Hydrogen investments are increasing at Herøya. HydrogenPro is establishing a test center, while NEL is in the process of building a fully automated facility for the production of catalysers.

Yara announces that it has plans to use green hydrogen in ammonia production. Hydrogen investments are happening all over the country, also at Herøya.

HydorgenPro is moving its test center with two 40-foot containers, from Germany to Herøya. They enter into a collaboration with the University of Southeast Norway (USN) engaging five bachelor engineering students. And a stone's throw away, NEL is in the process of building new electrolysis production.

Bringing together hydrogen technology companies

"It is quite extraordinary that Norway has two companies with different hydrogen technologies, and that both are gathered here at Herøya," says Asgeir Knutsen, business developer at Herøya Industripark AS. "Norway is a small country, and even though HydrogenPro and NEL are competitors, there is a hub for the hydrogen environment in this region now, and I am confident they will benefit from this. We are pleased that HydrogenPro will be a driving force and participate in the industrial cluster Greentech to develop the hydrogen environment together with other relevant companies in the area.

four persons out in the snow dressed in bid work clothes and helmets

Confident: The partners from left. Tor Danielsen, Hanne Marie Evensen, Jan Fredrik Garvik, alle representing HydrogenPro and Asgeir Knutsen, Herøya Industripark AS, are all confident in the possibilities of developing pure hydrogen from Herøya.

Jan Fredrik Garvik, marketing manager / business developer at HydrogenPro, supports the need to gather the hydrogen businesses.

"Yes, we need to gather forces," says Garvik. "Even though we have a large industrial partner, Mitsubishi, it is still the case that we are far away from the markets. The growth is expected to come from outside Norway. And if we are to have a chance to come out with our products, they must be on the top shelf. It must be good products."

Collaboration with industry and university

"We believe that the test project we are running now, teaming up with industry partners and the USN, will be something to build on and develop further, and that the authorities will want to continue collaborating with us and the industrial park," says Garvik.

What is the plan for collaboration with the USN?

"It is quite clear that we believe the region, in collaboration with HydorogenPro, can have a rare opportunity to build a broader environment with specialized expertise in large-scale electrolysis plants, through on-site learning from the industry itself. Several are located here, and we believe that this can work together. The faculty at USN was immediately interested when we contacted them."

Specialized electrolysis expertise at USN

Garvik believes there will be a need for many people with specialized electrolysis expertise in the future. "This industry will increase in the decades to come, and HydrogenPro and other hydrogen companies will need students who are educated in this field."

man dressed in red jacket red helmet blue background

Jan Fredrik Garvik, HydrogenPro 

Does USN have the skills you are looking for, or are you going to develop this together?

"Informatics and Automation are part of the university's curriculum, but we need to develop together this unique knowledge that we have here. The USN is excellent at hydrogen safety, I actually think they are one of the best in the country," says Garvik.

Security system provided by students

The collaboration that HydrogenPro has initiated with USN starts right now as five bachelor engineering students are developing and delivering safety systems for the process plant in the research containers.

"The security system delivered by the students, will be implemented and used in the process," says Hanne Marie Evensen (in the middle at the back of the top photo). She is a client and student contact from HydorgenPro.

We asked the students if they are nervous about the task given, making equipment to work in the process.

"Of course there is a little pressure when we get outside the university and into the industry. The system should be safe, and it should preferably work. But we believe that we will be able to deliver what they require," the students answer optimistically.

The students are currently starting with drawings and later programming to test and prepare the security system by May. They all believe hydrogen industry has a great future.

Will need a lot of personnel for production

"We will need a great number of qualified and competent people in the future," says Garvik. "Yara and other companies may also need large amounts of hydrogen in the future, and can also see themselves benefiting from being a driving force and helping to educate the skills we need." Recently, the fertilizer giant Yara launched a huge project using pure hydrogen that can cut the company's and Norway's annual CO₂ emissions by 800,000 tonnes from 2026. (source E24, Norwegian only).

Building unique expertise

"If this collaboration grows larger, there are opportunities for this region to hold and take back a unique position," Garvik believes.

"It started in Rjukan a long time ago, and has proud traditions in Telemark," he explains. "If we manage to build an education related to electrolysis competence for the production of pure hydrogen, then I actually think we could be the only ones in Norway to do so."

Testing technology that reduces power consumption

What will you be testing in the containers at Herøya?

"We will be testing on a larger scale a new electrode arrangement and coating developed by a Danish company we took over last year. If we succeed as we hope, we will reduce energy consumption by 12 - 15 percent, and we could have one of the market's best electrolysers for the production of green hydrogen."

HydorgenPro's 40-foot research containers will be placed at the hydrogen station outside the entrance to Herøya Research Park.

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