A new project that aims to transport green hydrogen from Sweden to Germany using a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) has been unveiled, but with no supplier lined up to produce the renewable H2.

The announcement about the Northern Green Crane project by German LOHC producer Hydrogenious says that up to 8,000 tonnes of green hydrogen will be transported from a yet-to-be-decided location in northern Sweden to Lingen, Germany, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands by 2026.

The hydrogen will be added to an LOHC called benzyl toluene — an easy-to-transport barely flammable substance that is a liquid at room temperature — with the hydrogen later extracted at its final destination using high-temperature heat.

Up to 24 tonnes of hydrogen per day would be added to the benzyl toluene, with approximately 40 shiploads a year needed to transport the 8,000 tonnes, Hydrogenious says.

“For realizing the LOHC supply chain, it’s not really important from whom we get/buy the green hydrogen,” a spokesperson for Hydrogenious tells Recharge.

When asked if the LOHC supplier was in talks with a specific supplier, the spokesperson replied: “Yes, we are in talks.”

Whether or not LOHC would be an economic method of transporting hydrogen is still up for debate.

In a report last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) said LOHCs would only ever have a small niche role, due to their “low hydrogen content, inherent high energy consumption for reconversion to hydrogen, small market size and high inventory cost”.

“These factors restrict their role in 2050 unless technological breakthroughs occur that change the landscape.”

But last month, consulting firm Rethink Energy published a report arguing that LOHCs would be the most cost-effective method for transporting hydrogen across distances of more than 7,000km — presuming that hydrogen had to be extracted from ammonia.

The Northern Green Crane project is currently at an early stage, with the co-developers — Hydrogenious, Dutch tank-storage company Royal Vopak and German hydrogen business alliance GET H2 — now applying for funding from the European Commission.

“With green hydrogen production in Sweden the project accesses new green hydrogen sources and strengthens the landing locations in Germany and the Netherlands,” Hydrogenious said in a press release.

“Sweden as a producing country is characterized by its great renewable energy potential including hydro and wind power, as well as excellent corresponding infrastructure and industry players.”