In June of 2023, the world's first floating offshore hydrogen production pilot (known as Sealhyfe) began producing its first kilograms of offshore green hydrogen. The Sealhyfe floating platform, installed 12.4 miles off the West Coast of France, can produce up to 400 kilograms of hydrogen per day - an equivalent to 1 MW of power.
Sealhyfe is connected to the SEM-REV offshore testing hub and powered by the FLOATGEN floating wind turbine from BW Ideol. The
project is headed by France-based hydrogen producer Lhyfe, which
introduced the world’s first industrial-scale green hydrogen facility
linked to a wind farm in 2021.
Sealhyfe is designed to perform all stages of hydrogen production at sea which include converting the electrical voltage from the floating wind turbine,
pumping, desalinating and purifying seawater, and breaking the water
molecules via electrolysis to obtain renewable green hydrogen. Additionally, Sealhyfe must endure effects on the system from the platforms motion (list, acceleration, and swinging movements), environmental stress, and operating in an isolated environment (automation, without physical intervention of an operator, except for scheduled maintenance periods).
The HOPE (Hydrogen Offshore Production for Europe) project is slated to produce the world's first green hydrogen at sea that will be exported to shore via a composite pipeline to supply the needs of the regional ecosystem. HOPE will be located in the North Sea, off the Port of Ostend, an an offshore testing center designed to be center of the green hydrogen industry in Belgium.
This project of unprecedented scale (10 MW - up to 4 tons of green hydrogen produced daily) was selected by the European Commission, as part of the European Clean Hydrogen Partnership, to receive a €20 million grant. HOPE aims to demonstrate the technical and financial viability of this offshore project, as well as the pipeline transport of green hydrogen for the onshore customers.
The production site will be comprised of three units - production and compression (at medium pressure) at sea, export by composite pipeline, then compression (at high pressure), storage, and distribution onshore. HOPE's first kilograms of hydrogen, which could be produced as early as 2026, will supply mobility needs and small industries in Belgium, northern France, and the southern Netherlands, within a 300 kilometer radius.