Floene demonstrates green hydrogen blending in Portugal

Floene demonstrates green hydrogen blending in Portugal
Project launch. From l. Nuno Nascimento, Head of Strategy and Energy Transition, Floene, António Costa, Prime Minister, Paulo Silva, Mayor of Seixal, Duarte Cordeiro, Minister of Environment and Climate Action.

Portuguese gas distribution system operator has launched a demonstration of green hydrogen blending into the natural gas network.

Floene, the country’s largest gas operator with a 70% market share, is transporting green hydrogen through its newly constructed hydrogen pipeline to inject into the existing natural gas network and distributing it to a customer base at around 80 residential, commercial and industrial locations, including a public building.

The project site is in Seixal in the Lisbon metropolitan area, close to Floene’s headquarters.

The green hydrogen utilised is produced by the local company Gestene through solar powered electrolysis. The electrolyser is a 60kW installation with a production of 10m3 per hour.

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Floene plans to increase the injection ratio up to 20% during the two-year demonstration period to test its use in appliances such as water heaters and stoves.

In addition, the demonstration is planned to include tests of 100% green hydrogen.

Already the bulk of Portugal’s natural gas network is comprised of polyethylene pipeline and therefore is hydrogen ready.

“This is a real laboratory for us to test this process,” says Gabriel Sousa, CEO of Floene.

“When we move from here to an entire city, the technology will be the same – the mixing station will be different with greater capacity but the technology is exactly the same.”

With several other hydrogen blending projects pending, and primarily dependent on funding, Sousa anticipates that full-scale projects will launch during the current year.

Floene, comprised of nine regional gas companies, distributes gas to over 1.1 million customers in Portugal.

Marubeni stake

Marubeni Corporation, which has a shareholding in Floene through a joint venture with Toho Gas, reports positioning its ‘Green Strategy’ as one of its basic policies for the mid-term.

In addition to the Floene initiative, the company is promoting a green hydrogen blending pilot with the Chilean gas distribution company Gasvalpo to over 2,000 residential and business customers in Coquimbo Province to the north of Santiago.

In an exclusive interview at Enlit Europe 2022, Jonathan Spencer Jones talked to Gabriel Sousa from FLOENE about the company’s rebranding and its decarbonisation journey.