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BP and Ørsted to create renewable hydrogen partnership in Germany

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BP and Ørsted have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to jointly develop a ‎project for industrial-scale production of green hydrogen, made by the electrolysis of water using ‎renewable power and producing zero emissions.

In their proposed Lingen green hydrogen project, the companies plan to build an initial 50 ‎MW electrolyser and associated infrastructure at BP’s Lingen refinery in north-‎west Germany. This will be powered by renewable energy generated by an Ørsted offshore ‎wind farm in the North Sea and the hydrogen produced will be used in the refinery.

A final investment decision (FID) is expected in early 2022. The companies anticipate the project could be ‎operational by 2024.

Electrolysis splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. When powered by renewable ‎energy, this produces ‘green’ hydrogen, without generating direct carbon emissions. ‎Hydrogen is widely used in refinery processes where – as in Lingen – it is now typically ‎produced by reforming natural gas, which results in CO
2 emissions. This is also known ‎as ‘grey’ hydrogen.‎

The 50 MW electrolyser project is expected to produce 1 t/h of green ‎hydrogen, or almost 9,000 t/y. This would be sufficient to replace around 20% of ‎the refinery’s current grey hydrogen consumption, avoiding around 80,000 tonnes of CO
2e/y – equivalent to the emissions from around 45,000 cars in ‎Germany.

In the coming decades, hydrogen is expected to play a critical role in decarbonising the ‎power, industry and transport sectors, especially those that are hard and/or expensive to electrify. The development of businesses in emerging technologies such as ‎hydrogen and carbon capture use and storage (CCUS) is an integral part of BP's strategy of ‎transforming to an integrated energy company.‎

In addition to green hydrogen production, BP and Ørsted intend to focus on maximising the ‎efficiency of the project’s electrolysis system, including assessing sustainable uses for the ‎main by-products of the process, primarily oxygen and low-grade excess heat.‎

The project is also intended to support a longer-term ambition to build more than 500 MW of ‎renewable-powered electrolysis capacity at Lingen. This could provide green hydrogen to meet all the refinery’s hydrogen demand and provide feedstock for potential future ‎synthetic fuel production.

The Lingen refinery currently processes about 5mn t/y of crude oil (approx. 100,000 b/d), producing fuels, heating oil and chemical feedstocks. In 2018 Lingen conducted the ‎world’s first trial of green hydrogen in a fuels refinery.‎

Lingen refinery
Photo: BP


News Item details

Journal title: Petroleum Review

Countries: Germany -

Subjects: Hydrogen - Refining - Carbon emissions -

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