UPDATED 1 Sept: The EI library in London is temporarily closed to the public, as a precautionary measure in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The Knowledge Service will still be answering email queries via email , or via live chats during working hours (09:15-17:00 GMT). Our e-library is always open for members here: eLibrary , for full-text access to over 200 e-books and millions of articles. Thank you for your patience.
BP and Ørsted to create renewable hydrogen partnership in Germany
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 CO2 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 CO2e/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.