Zenith Energy and EI-H2 have announced plans for a joint venture to develop a 3.2 gigawatt (GW) green energy facility at Bantry Bay to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia. The project will involve the engagement of key stakeholders in conducting a detailed feasibility study to explore the project’s full potential.
The new facility, when fully operational, has the potential to reduce Irish carbon emissions by 2.4 million tonnes per year, which represents the equivalent of the carbon emissions of a quarter of all Irish homes. It will operate alongside Zenith Energy’s existing Bantry Bay Terminal, and will be one of the largest of its kind in the world. This development will see Ireland secure a place as a global leader in the generation and export of green energy. Bantry Bay was strategically chosen as the location for a facility of this scale given its proximity to some of the most productive off-shore locations for wind-generated electricity.
The first phase of the project will see the construction of a scalable green hydrogen production facility, up to 2.7 GW in capacity. The second phase involves the construction of a 500MW green ammonia facility, using the green hydrogen from the first phase. The green energy produced by the facility will be used both domestically and internationally, providing carbon free alternatives to help reduce the country’s carbon footprint, and to put Ireland on the green energy export map.
Ellen Ruhotas, Managing Director of Zenith Energy, said, “We are pleased to be involved in this exciting, new joint venture. This partnership is an excellent opportunity for our Bantry operations, for the local community and for Ireland as a country. For many years now, our Whiddy Island operation has supported the security of Ireland’s energy supply. This new joint venture will see Zenith Energy take a pioneering role in the development of a new green energy industry for Ireland. Critically, our green hydrogen and green ammonia production plans align with Government and EU policy for meeting the region’s 2050 climate action goals.”
Pearse Flynn, founder of EI-H2, said, “Ireland is on the cusp of a genuine green revolution. Instead of waiting for someone else to decarbonise our country, we are looking to develop domestic ways of making a real difference. With a renewable source of off-shore wind and water, we can produce real fuel alternatives to help industry and commercial customers reduce their carbon footprint. The expertise of Zenith Energy, and their existing facility at Bantry Bay, makes for an ideal partnership as we begin this journey. Ireland needs to think big to realise its green potential, and this project is of the scale required to develop this new industry.”
Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Technical Competency and Standards, Liam Nolan, said, “Hydrogen will play a key role in meeting Ireland’s climate action targets. Our national gas network is considered one of the safest and most modern gas networks in Europe, reliably powering more than 30% of Ireland’s total primary energy needs, 40% of our heating and 50% of all our electricity generation. Gradually replacing natural gas with renewable gases, such as locally produced biomethane and hydrogen, is vital to ensuring Ireland’s long-term energy security and net-zero ambitions in an affordable and sustainable way, in line with Irish and European policy. The national gas network is ready to play its role in Ireland’s cleaner energy future by transporting and storing new fuel sources such as hydrogen.”
Zenith Energy and EI-H2 have commenced a year-long feasibility study before an application for planning permission will be made. The new facility could be operational by 2028, by which time sufficient wind generation from off-shore sources will be available to meet the proposed scale of the project.
Zenith Energy is a world-class midstream company that owns and operates over 5 million cubic metres of renewable fuels, crude oil, petroleum products, chemicals and vegetable oil storage across North American, Europe and Latin America through its subsidiaries Zenith International and Zenith U.S. The Company’s focus is on building a sustainable, independent liquid storage terminals business that provides safe and reliable solutions for its customers in the years to come. The entities share a common management team and headquarters in Houston, as well as core values, including Safety First and Environmental Protection. For more information, please visit www.zenithterminals.com
EI-H2 is owned by Cork businessman, Pearse Flynn. EI-H2 recently announced plans for Ireland’s first Green Hydrogen facility in Aghada, County Cork, which when operational will remove 63,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually from Irish industry and power generation. Upon completion, the site will be one of the biggest green energy facilities of its kind in the world. To help with the project, Pearse Flynn has been working closely with Energy Services, an energy consultancy which has a long experience in grid connections and energy markets operation. The newly appointed CEO of EI-H2 is Tom Lynch, who has an extensive track record in the energy sector both in Ireland and overseas. Pearse Flynn is originally from Ballycotton in Cork. He has had numerous success in financial services, property, football, hospitality and now energy. His newest venture is Green Rebel Group Limited, which was established to service the future needs of offshore wind farms. Tom Lynch founded Energy Services, a Cork-based power and energy consultancy, in the nineties, and has an extensive track record in leading and developing renewable energy and associated infrastructure projects in many parts of the world.
It’s envisaged that the new facility at Bantry Bay will use electricity generated from renewable offshore wind to produce hydrogen. This is done through a simple process of electrolysis, where an electric current is passed through water thereby breaking it down to its constituent elements of hydrogen and oxygen.
This green hydrogen is a carbon free fuel source, which can be added to existing natural gas supplies to decarbonise them on behalf of industry, helping to significantly reduce their carbon footprint. (See https://www.gasnetworks.ie/vision-2050/). Finally, it’s hoped that the facility will also produce green ammonia, which can be safely exported by sea from Bantry Bay, to destination markets for a multitude of uses, including for the manufacture of fertilizers and as a “carbon-free” transportation fuel.