Europe’s joint-largest green hydrogen project has been delayed again after Danish developer Everfuel reported a “quality issue” in equipment supplied by Norwegian electrolyser maker Nel.

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Everfuel’s 20MW HySynergy 1 project, in Fredericia, Denmark, was originally supposed to have come on line in mid-2022.

“The main electrolyser facility is ready for start-up, but the company has experienced a quality issue on high pressure fittings in the deoxidiser, which removes oxygen and moisture from the hydrogen flow as part of the electrolyser’s high-pressure auxiliary system,” said Everfuel in a statement. “This unit is part of the electrolyser supplier delivery package.

“Approval of the deoxidiser is the last remaining milestone before achieving PED (pressure equipment directive) certification. Following a failed test late on 29 February, the unit will require an on-site rebuild, which impacts the timeline for completion of the HySynergy 1 facility. Start-up is now expected in the middle of the second quarter of 2024.”

A spokesman for Nel told Hydrogen Insight: “This is a minor issue related to equipment delivered by one of our sub-suppliers. We are working together with the sub-supplier to solve this issue on site.”

HySynergy 1, situated at Crossbridge Energy’s oil refinery, is one of four 20MW green hydrogen projects that have been installed in Europe: with the others being Ovako’s green steel project in Sweden, Iberdrola’s Puertollano plant in Spain, and a P2X facility in western Finland.

Everfuel signed a contract with Nel for the delivery of the 20MW electrolyser back in December 2020, when it declared the project would be fully operation in mid-2022.

It subsequently begun construction of the HySynergy 1 project in August 2021, and first hydrogen was produced from the first set of electrolyser stacks in December 2022.

But full commission was subsequently delayed in June 2023 following a review process that recommended the implementation of “an expanded framework for safe and efficient operations including policies, procedures and master control system” that added €2m onto the €43m cost of the project.

In November 2023, ownership of HySynergy 1 was transferred to a new joint venture between Everfuel and French hydrogen investor Hy24.

Nel is already reeling from a recently filed California lawsuit in which Japanese industrial gas giant Iwatani accuses the Norwegian manufacturer of conspiring to hide defects in faulty hydrogen refuelling station equipment. Nel has vehemently denied the accusations and will fight Iwatani in court.

The Everfuel Hy24 JV is also planning a second 300MW phase of the HySynergy project.