Norway's Aker launches new hydrogen company to be listed on Euronext Growth

OSLO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Norway’s Aker group on Friday launched a new hydrogen-focused company which it plans to list on Oslo small-cap market Euronext Growth, it said, as it seeks to capitalize from rising demand for green energy.

Aker Clean Hydrogen (ACH) aims to reach net 5 gigawatt (GW) installed capacity of emissions-free hydrogen production by 2030, with net 1.3 GW already under development, Aker Horizons AKH-ME.OL, Aker's renewable energy arm, said.

The plans include a 450 MW hydrogen production facility at Yara’s ammonia plant in Norway, supplying hydrogen to replace coal in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, as well as potential projects in Chile and Uruguay.

“With the launch of ACH, Aker Horizons is... addressing a massive market poised for global growth, with an opportunity to have an impact on significant CO2 reductions,” Aker Horizons’ Chief Executive Kristian Roekke said.

Emissions-free hydrogen could be produced by splitting water molecules with an electric current generated by renewable energy sources, or by “reforming” natural gas in combination with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage facilities (CCS).

Hydrogen is seen as an energy source which could replace natural gas in power generation, fuel long-haul transport and help decarbonize such industries as chemicals and steel.

Most of the hydrogen in the world is produced from natural gas, but the process emits CO2 and is not sustainable. Production of so-called “green” hydrogen from water however has been more expensive.

Aker Horizons said ACH’s goal was to reduce the production cost of clean hydrogen to $1.5 per kilogram by 2030, a level competitive with gas and coal, compared with around $5 per kilogram today. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Victoria Klesty and Jan Harvey)