TES focuses on accelerating bankable hydrogen-ready terminals in Europe

Entrepreneurial startups, working with Europe’s historic utilities, hold the key to accelerating the establishment of a hydrogen economy, described as “the best business opportunity I’ve ever seen” by Tree Energy’s Marco Alverà Solutions.

TES is developing a green energy hub in the German port of Wilhelmshaven, including a green hydrogen import terminal (up to 20 million tonnes), storage facilities and an oxy-fuel power plant. LNG imports will transition to synthetic methane made from renewable hydrogen over time.

The company has plans for similar hubs in other European ports and will expand renewable hydrogen production in solar-rich countries.

“I’ve never seen anything like this as an opportunity. We need to roll up our sleeves and get the projects started,” Alverà told S&P Global Commodity Insights.

TES has just launched Open Season to gauge customer interest in gas import capacity at Wilhelmshaven. Its business case has attracted more than 25 interested parties, with a majority interested in a full transition to green gas imports before 2043.

Although a new startup, TES founders Marcel van Poecke and Paul van Poecke will be familiar to the investment community, as will Alverà.

Marcel van Poecke founded AtlasInvest and manages Carlyle’s international energy fund while Paul set up the Dragon LNG terminal at Milford Haven in the UK.

Alverà began his career at Goldman Sachs before joining Enel in Italy, then Eni for more than 10 years before a six-year stint as CEO of Snam, one of Europe’s largest energy infrastructure companies.

All of this experience has led to well-defined and bankable plans, Alverà said.
“I left Snam and joined TES to accelerate projects and solutions to get to net zero in time to limit warming to 1.5 degrees,” he said.

The “old companies” would eventually get there, but not fast enough to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, Alverà said.

“The same way Tesla broke the mold and delivered electric vehicles to the world, so we need companies like TES to break the mold and deliver green hydrogen projects as soon as possible,” he said. declared.
Synthetic methane

TES’ Wilhelmshaven Terminal project includes six berths and 2 million cubic meters of onshore storage capacity utilizing 10 onsite tanks (six in stage one).

The terminal will provide access to the gas network, including the Etzel salt caverns and nearby gas network infrastructure in Groningen.

TES will then construct carbon export facilities on site, which will be connected to OGE’s CO2 transport network.

The carbon would be exported overseas and combined with renewable hydrogen from solar sources to make synthetic methane, to be sent back to Europe.

WILHEMSHAVEN: YOUR FACTBOXES

▪ TES has an option to purchase land from Exxon

▪ Triple pipeline access: CH4, CO2, hydrogen networks

▪ Phase 1 2025 FID due Q4 2023

▪ 15.5 meter deep water port with six Suez max berths

▪ 250 TWh/24 Gm3 of green gas arrivals/year

▪ Reduction of 43 million tonnes of CO2/year

Closed loop

The CO2 policy needed to be crystal clear for the project to succeed, Alverà said.

“We’re going to take Germany’s CO2 out of Wilhelmshaven, bring it to Texas, fuse it with hydrogen, and bring it back to Germany. [as synthetic methane] closed loop,” he said.

There would be no CO2 leak “because we will count the CO2 that we absorb and bring back. Think of us as a hydrogen carrier, using CO2 to squeeze hydrogen [in the form of synthetic methane],” he said.

This synthetic methane would then be mixed with fossil methane, “allowing our customers to say that I have 10%, 30%, 100% carbon-free energy solutions over time. We can provide that using their infrastructure, their storage,” Alverà said.

“We offer sunny places to export their sun, transforming it into synthetic methane using hydrogen. The project is so large that it can really shape the way Europe thinks about its energy security and climate change,” he said.
Fast execution

While there is no shortage of political ambition or demand for green products, Alverà said there is a dearth of bankable hydrogen projects with which to bridge the gap between ambition and demand. action of Europe.

A delegated act defining standards for renewable hydrogen would be useful.

“We need to define what green hydrogen is right now. We can make green or blue hydrogen converted into methane, we will follow the rules and benefit from the incentives that will come,” he said.

Hydrogen’s primary energy market share is expected to be between 15% and 35% by 2050 assuming a fully decarbonized energy system by then, Alverà noted.

“Oil is just under 30% today, so at a minimum hydrogen needs to be half the size of the global oil market and potentially bigger, and we need to build it within the next 25 years. That’s trillions of dollars of CAPEX. We do not yet see private finance fully recognizing this opportunity,” he said.

Current fossil fuel costs coupled with geopolitical risk have made hydrogen “a no-brainer”, with a path to $1/kg green H2 seen as viable in the best locations.

“70% of the cheapest gas reserves in the world are concentrated in three countries: Russia, Iran and Qatar. The hydrogen is much more evenly distributed. Africa, Australia, Suez, North Africa, Mexico, United States — the solar belt. My motto is PPWS: put the signs where the weather is nice,” he said.

The Platts Hydrogen Price Wall shows that the world’s cheapest electrolysis-based hydrogen, as assessed by S&P Global Commodity Insights, comes from the United States and the Middle East, Qatar ( alkaline electrolysis) being the cheapest at $2.59/kg for May 2022.
Source: Platts