BP and Ineos Launch Hydrogen Projects

22.11.2020 - BP and Ineos have separately launched clean hydrogen projects as moves toward cutting carbon emissions and meeting the zero carbon emissions targets set by the UN and national governments.

Ineos is planning to establish a new company that would invest in clean hydrogen throughout Europe. The Switzerland-headquartered olefins and polyolefins group said it will contribute to the zero carbon emissions target by decarbonizing energy for its existing operations as well as providing hydrogen that will allow other manufacturing sectors to follow suit.

The new business will be based in the UK. Production of hydrogen based on electrolysis, powered by zero carbon electricity, will provide flexibility and storage capacity for heat and power, chemicals and transport markets, the group stressed.

Ineos added that its plans are in line with the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy, which outlines an infrastructure roadmap for widespread utilization of hydrogen across Europe by 2030. Currently, the chemical producer generates 300,000 t of hydrogen annually, mainly as a co-product from its own manufacturing operations.

Geir Tuft, CEO of subsidiary Inovyn, said Ineos is “uniquely placed to play a leading role in developing these new opportunities, driven by emerging demand for affordable, low-carbon energy sources, combined with our existing capabilities in operating large-scale electrolysis.”

Inovyn claims to be Europe’s largest existing operator of electrolysis, the technology that uses renewable energy to produce hydrogen for power generation, transportation and industrial use.

The Ineos arm’s experience in storage and handling of hydrogen, combined with its established knowhow in electrolysis technology, puts it in a unique position to drive progress towards a carbon-free future based on hydrogen, Tuft said.

Beyond the projects it is already engaged in, Ineos said it expects to develop additional partnerships with leading organizations involved in developing new applications. The group also plans to work closely with European governments to ensure the necessary infrastructure is put in place to facilitate hydrogen’s major role in the new “green economy.”

BP is cooperating with Orsted

For its part, London-based oil major BP is planning to work with Danish renewable energy firm Orsted on a green hydrogen project at its 82,000 b/d Lingen refinery in northwest Germany.

Together the two companies intend to build wind-powered technology that can produce hydrogen from water.  When operational in 2024, their industrial-scale 50 megawatt electrolyzer that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen is expected to generate one tonne of renewable hydrogen per hour.

The almost 9,000 t/y of hydrogen produced through electrolysis of water should be enough to replace around 20% of the refinery's current hydrogen consumption, BP said.

Cost estimates have not been disclosed, but BP and Orsted have applied for funding from the EU. The two companies are working towards a final investment decision on the project in early 2022. If “appropriate enabling policies are in place”, they expect start-up in 2024.

Linde in jv with Dalian Bingshan Group

In other hydrogen news, industrial gases and engineering group Linde is establishing a joint venture with the Dalian Bingshan Group to build hydrogen refueling stations in Dalian, China (Liaoning province), to supply fuel cell-powered vehicles, starting in 2021.

The investment will triple Linde’s production capacity for hydrogen refueling in the next few years, the now UK-based group said. The facility in Dalian has been designed to meet the requirements of the rapidly growing APAC markets.

With what it touts as the largest liquid hydrogen capacity and distribution system worldwide, Linde regards itself as global leader in the production, processing, storage and distribution of hydrogen. The group also operates a high-purity hydrogen storage cavern and a comprehensive pipeline network.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist