Norwegian energy giant Equinor said Wednesday it would build a gas-to-hydrogen plant in the UK in combination with carbon capture and storage. The captured carbon would be stored in offshore storage in the North Sea.
Equinor said the facility would be "one of the UK’s – and the world’s – first at-scale facilities to produce hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage (CCS)."
The project, called Hydrogen to Humber Saltend (H2H Saltend), provides the beginnings of a decarbonized industrial cluster in the Humber region, the UK’s largest by emissions, Equinor said.
The project will be located at Saltend Chemicals Park near the city of Hull and its initial phase comprises a 600-megawatt auto thermal reformer (ATR) with carbon capture, "the largest plant of its kind in the world, to convert natural gas to hydrogen."
"It will enable industrial customers in the Park to fully switch over to hydrogen, and the power plant in the Park to move to a 30% hydrogen to natural gas blend. As a result, emissions from Saltend Chemicals Park will reduce by nearly 900,000 tonnes of CO2 per year," Equinor added.
Per Equinor, Saltend Chemicals Park, which comprises chemicals plants and Triton Power’s Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station, currently emits around 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
"Following the initial phase of the project, emissions are projected to fall to 2.6 million tonnes," Equinor said.
Carbon dioxide emissions will be captured and transported east by pipeline to offshore underground storage in the Endurance aquifer, located in the Southern North Sea.
Equinor said that, in its later phases, H2H Saltend can expand to serve other industrial users in the Park and across the Humber, which employs 55,000 people in the manufacturing sector alone, contributing to the cluster reaching net zero by 2040.
"This will enable a large-scale hydrogen network, open to both blue hydrogen (produced from natural gas with CCS) and green hydrogen (produced from electrolysis of water using renewable power), as well as a network for transporting and storing captured CO2 emissions. It is estimated that fuel switching to hydrogen could create 43,000 new job opportunities in energy-intensive industrial sectors across the UK," the company added.