Construction of Finland's first green hydrogen plant begins

HELSINKI, Jan 20 (Reuters) - The construction of Finland's first industrial-scale green hydrogen production facility began on Friday, its future operator P2X Solutions said.

So-called green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy to split water by electrolysis, and it is seen as a key power source that can help Europe put an end to its dependency on Russian energy and to reduce carbon emissions.

Numerous countries and companies have recently announced investments in green hydrogen production but few of the plans are in advanced stages.

P2X Solutions, a private Finnish company, said last year it would invest some 70 million euros ($76 million) in the 20 megawatt hydrogen and synthetic methane production plant in Harjavalta, southwest Finland.

"Once completed in 2024, P2X Solutions' plant will open the market for Finnish green hydrogen," the company's chairman Esa Harmala said in a statement.

Finland announced plans last June to build a hydrogen transmission network to help reduce carbon emissions and bolster the long-term security of its energy supplies following its decision to stop using Russian gas due to the war in Ukraine.

"The actual construction of hydrogen projects that begins here is part of the positive change that is ongoing in the energy industry but which has, for now, been overshadowed by the energy crisis," Finland's minister of economic affairs, Mika Lintila, said at the laying of the facility's founding stone.

($1 = 0.9252 euros)

Reporting by Anne Kauranen Editing by Frances Kerry

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