A Catalan company leads a European project for the creation of hydrogen-producing offshore platforms

The project’s aim is to design maritime platforms able to produce hydrogen, generated with the help of green energies. The platforms could be used to provide service to oil tankers or to fix even fish farming, among others potential uses.

CNA / María Belmez

January 20, 2012 10:55 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan company AWS Truepower, located in the University of Barcelona’s Scientific Park, leads the European project H2OCEAN, an initiative that studies the creation of offshore platforms able to produce hydrogen on site. The platform could be used to load tankers, locate fish farms or marine radars, among other purposes. The project will last 3 years and it has a budget of 6 million euros co-funded by the European Commission in the context of the 7th Framework Programme. In addition, researchers from five other different European countries will also cooperate in the plan’s development. The platform does not exist at the moment because the project’s objective is to first design it and then study which specific uses it could have and where should it be located to benefit from the wind and swell’s capacity of power generation.

The H2OCEAN project was officially presented on January 19th at Barcelona’s Scientific Park (Parc Científic). The event was attended by the Catalan Government’s Secretary for Environment and Sustainability, Josep Enric Llebot, who stated that this initiative proves that Catalan research is able to produce interesting projects.

A multidisciplinary platform

One of the most outstanding features of the project is the platform’s ability to include different activities from diverse economic sectors in the same space. The initiative will also study the use of renewable energy generated at sea and how it is stored so it can be transported to the shore. This would avoid the need to use cable for power transportation, a system that generates a high economic cost and makes the final energy price more expensive.

The Vice-president of AWS Truepower, Joan Aymaní, explained that the platform will be designed along three years. And he added that in 4 or 6 years, in a second phase of the project, “there will be a possibility to create a prototype and install the actual platform”.

He stated that this energy could be used, for example, to load ships that can work with hydrogen in the future or to load the hydrogen inside batteries so they can be transported to the shore and be used in electric vehicles. In the alimentary area, he pointed out that the generated energy could be used in fish farming.