Equinor in UK Hydrogen Project

13.07.2020 - Norwegian energy group Equinor is leading a project in Humber, UK, to produce hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage (CCS). The Hydrogen to Humber Saltend (H2H Saltend) project will be the start of a decarbonized industrial cluster in the Humber region, the UK’s largest by emissions.

Located at Saltend Chemicals Park, which is home to companies such as Ineos, BP, Air Products and Yara, the project’s initial phase will comprise a 600 megawatt auto thermal reformer with carbon capture. Equinor said the plant will be the largest of its kind in the world, enabling the park’s industrial customers to fully switch to hydrogen and the power plant to move to a 30% hydrogen-to-natural-gas blend. Emissions at the park will reduce by nearly 900,000 t/y of CO2.

In its later phases, H2H Saltend can expand to serve other industrial users both in the park and across the Humber region, enabling a large-scale hydrogen network as well as a network for transporting and storing captured CO2 emissions.

“With private and public investment and supportive UK policy, the H2H Saltend project will demonstrate the potential of these technologies. Together we can make the Humber and the UK a world-leading example that others can learn from,” said Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s executive vice president for marketing, midstream and processing.

Subject to supportive UK policy, Equinor and its partners, which include the park’s owner and operator px Group, will progress the project towards a final investment decision during 2023, with potential first production by 2026.

H2H Saltend will be part of the Zero Carbon Humber alliance’s application for public co-funding in the second phase of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which launched on Jun. 23. Part of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy, the fund is a core pillar of a state commitment to increase funding in R&D by £4.7 billion over four years to strengthen science and business.

Equinor said the project supports the UK government’s aim to establish at least one low carbon industrial cluster by 2030 and the world’s first net zero cluster by 2040.

In May this year, Equinor and its partners took a final investment decision on the Northern Lights project, Europe’s first commercial-scale carbon transportation and storage project off the Norwegian coast. If the Norwegian government makes a positive final investment decision in 2020, the first phase is expected to be operational by 2024.