On Monday, energy infrastructure group Fluxys Belgium launched its pilot project ‘BE-HyStore’ in Loenhout (Belgium). The project is intended to investigate the feasibility of hydrogen storage in the Loenhout subsurface.
With 40 years of underground natural gas storage expertise, Fluxys will explore the possibilities of storing hydrogen in an underground aquifer. Federal Minister of Economy and Work Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) and Federal Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen) attended the presentation.
Unique geological structure
The underground Fluxys site in Loenhout, in the province of Antwerp, has a unique geological structure suitable for storing gaseous molecules. Natural gas has been collected and stored here since 1985.
Fluxys, in collaboration with Geostock, a world authority in underground storage, has been investigating the feasibility of this project over the past three years. Now, the company wants to analyze sustainable options for this unique subsurface further based on practical tests. BE-HyStore, as the pilot project is called, is supported by Ghent University and the Federal Energy Transition Fund.
Future hydrogen supplier?
Today, the site in Loenhout plays an essential role in securing the natural gas supply in Belgium. Maybe this will also become possible for hydrogen in the future. Loenhout has a potential H2 storage capacity of 2,4 TWh, the equivalent of 30 million electric cars.
Tinne Van der Straeten: “Hydrogen is essential to green our industry and achieve our climate goals. Just like 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 in Loenhout.”
Pierre-Yves Dermagne: “Such experiments, together with the rollout of the hydrogen backbone and energy projects on the coast and in the ports, are indispensable for realizing the green transition and ensuring our prosperity in the future.”