Dutch storage company Vopak has teamed up with Germany-based Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies to create a joint venture specializing in hydrogen storage, transportation and supply.
At the heart of the 50-50 joint venture called LOHC Logistix will be Hydrogenious’ Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier technology, the duo said, adding that the move will pave the way for the implementation of large-scale pilot projects.
LOHC technology uses benzyltoluene thermal oil as liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC-BT), which is already well established in the industry as a heat transfer medium and has ideal properties for safe handling in ports.
Due to its properties as a flame retardant and non-explosive carrier with high volumetric energy density, Vopak said, benzyltoluene can be handled like a liquid fossil fuel within existing infrastructure, carriers and vehicles at ambient pressure and temperature.
The company added that this would make it fit naturally with the existing port infrastructure, fleet of ships, rail cars and tanker trucks.
After hydrogen release (dehydrogenation), LOHC can be reused for hydrogen bonding several hundred times.
The two partners committed to accelerating construction of the planned LOHC storage plant in Chempark Dormagen (Germany / North Rhine-Westphalia), which will be launched in 2021, as well as a launch plant in Rotterdam with an issuance capacity of 1.5 tons of hydrogen per day.
The intention of both parties is to speed up the scale-up process.
Worldwide there is a huge capacity of storage tanks, marine vessels, inland tankers and tanker trucks for storing and transporting liquid fossil fuels.
Hydrogenious wants to turn all of this valuable infrastructure into the hydrogen infrastructure of the future using our LOHC technology.
Since Vopak’s investment in our company, we’ve worked very closely together on developing and creating clean hydrogen value chains, said Daniel Teichmann, founder and CEO of Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies.
“With the accumulation of LOHC plants in Chempark Dormagen and Rotterdam, we will create a green hydrogen supply chain that we see as a blueprint for a more inclusive future across Europe, the Middle East and beyond.”
This investment aligns well with Vopak’s strategy to accelerate its portfolio investments towards new energies and sustainable feedstocks.
Dick Reichel, Chairman and CEO of Vopak, added that we believe that different types of hydrogen logistics need to be developed to be able to facilitate the needed future flows of hydrogen carriers.
Vopak became involved as a strategic investor in Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies in 2019, with a stake of about 10%.
The final step is related to Hydrogenious’ investment” as well as Vopak’s first equal investment in the new joint venture and a convertible loan from Vopak to Hydrogenious that can be converted into an equity stake following future financing rounds by Hydrogenious in the coming years.
Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies has sold LOHC systems on a pilot scale to partners in many countries such as Finland, Germany and the United States over the past years and implemented the first complete LOHC supply chain for hydrogen transportation this summer.
Hydrogenious also supplies hydrogen to the Erlangen refueling station in Germany via LOHC.
Incorporation of the joint venture is subject to the usual closing conditions.