Vopak and Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies will form an equal joint venture under the name LOHC Logistix for the storage, transport and delivery of hydrogen based on Hydrogenious' LOHC (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier) technology. This is one of the key steps recently agreed by both companies to advance LOHC market solutions and large-scale pilot projects.
Hydrogen is expected to play a crucial role in future energy systems. When it comes to handling volatile hydrogen, the LOHC technology developed by Hydrogenious has the potential to decisively advance the development of the international hydrogen market. The LOHC pioneer from Germany uses the thermal oil benzyltoluene as a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC-BT), which is already established in industry as a heat transfer medium and has ideal properties for safe handling in ports.
Due to its characteristics as a flame retardant and non-explosive hydrogen carrier with a high volumetric energy density, benzyl toluene can be handled like a fossil liquid fuel in the existing infrastructure, as well as in tankers and other vehicles at ambient pressure and temperature. Thus, it can be easily integrated into existing port infrastructure as well as transported in fleets of vehicles with ships, railway wagons and tankers. Once the hydrogen has been released (dehydrogenated), the LOHC can be reused many hundreds of times to recombine hydrogen.
Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies has sold pilot-scale LOHC systems to partners in various countries such as Finland, Germany and the USA in recent years and this summer realised the first full LOHC supply chain for hydrogen mobility: Hydrogenious supplies the hydrogen filling station in Erlangen, Germany using LOHC, which is a global first.
The joint venture LOHC Logistix GmbH, based in Germany, will support both parties in their efforts to supply customers with green hydrogen using LOHC transported by ship, train, tanker, etc. The formation of the joint venture is subject to customary closing conditions. For transport and supply, the joint venture will purchase both hydrogenation and dehydrogenation services from/with the respective LOHC plant operators and organise further transport.
In addition, the partners have committed to accelerate the construction of the LOHC injection plant planned at Chempark Dormagen (North Rhine-Westphalia), for which the go-ahead has been given in 2021, as well as the construction of a release plant in Rotterdam with a capacity of 1.5 t of hydrogen per day. Both parties intend to push the expansion further.
Vopak has been a strategic investor in Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies since 2019 (with around 10%). Today's announcement is in the context of Hydrogenious and Vopak's first equal investment in the new joint venture and a convertible loan from Vopak to Hydrogenious, which may be converted into an equity investment following future rounds of financing by Hydrogenious in the coming years.