BP Plans UK’s Largest Blue Hydrogen Plant

24.03.2021 - Multinational energy giant BP is planning to build the UK’s largest blue hydrogen production facility, capturing and sending 2 million t/y of CO2 for storage. The proposed development, H2Teesside, is a major part of BP’s plans to develop businesses in emerging technologies.

“Clean hydrogen is an essential complement to electrification on the path to net zero,” said Dev Sanyal, BP’s executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy. “Blue hydrogen, integrated with carbon capture and storage, can provide the scale and reliability needed by industrial processes. It can also play an essential role in decarbonizing hard-to-electrify industries and driving down the cost of the energy transition."

Blue hydrogen is produced by converting natural gas into hydrogen and CO2,which is then captured and permanently stored,while green hydrogen is gas produced using renewable energy.

BP has begun a feasibility study to explore technologies that could capture up to 98% of carbon emissions from the hydrogen production process. It expects to make a final investment decision on the project in 2024, with initial production of 500 megawatts starting in 2027 or sooner.

The group is targeting hydrogen output of 1 gigawatt by 2030, with potential for further expansion to meet growing demand beyond then.

With large-scale, low-cost production of clean hydrogen, BP said H2Teesside could support surrounding industries to use hydrogen gas instead of natural gas. H2Teesside will be integrated with the region’s already-planned Net Zero Teesside and Northern Endurance Partnership carbon capture use and storage projects, both of which are led by BP as operator. 

Industries in Teesside account for over 5% of the UK’s industrial emissions and the region is home to five of the country’s top 25 emitters. 

BP has entered into several agreements with potential partners to accelerate development of the hydrogen cluster. It has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with titanium dioxide pigments and performance additives producer Venator to scope the supply of clean hydrogen to its plant at Teesside and  another with Northern Gas Networks to initiate decarbonization of the UK gas networks.

Additionally, the energy group has signed an MoU with Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) to explore the potential for green hydrogen in the region, including the development of Teesside as the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub.

“With our expertise in chemicals and processing, Teesside has developed an enviable reputation around the globe as the go-to place to develop hydrogen as a fuel source. The announcement by BP underlines this position,” said Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

Last November, BP and Ørsted signed a Letter of Intent to develop a ‎project in Germany for industrial-scale production of green hydrogen. The project at BP’s Lingen refinery comprises a 50-megawatt electrolyzer system capable of generating 9,000 t/y of renewable hydrogen with startup expected in 2024.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist