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New UK hydrogen hub developments take shape

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Essar Oil, a major downstream energy supplier, has teamed up with Progressive Energy to build the UK’s largest hydrogen hub at the Stanlow manufacturing complex. Meanwhile, Ineos has announced new plans for hydrogen production in Grangemouth.

Led by Essar, Vertex Hydrogen has been formed as a catalyst for development of a hydrogen economy across the north-west of England and North Wales, as a central part of the Hynet decarbonisation cluster.

Scheduled to be the UK’s first low carbon hydrogen facility, Essar Stanlow will produce 1 GW/y of hydrogen across two units from 2026. This is equivalent to the domestic heating energy used by a major UK city such as Liverpool. Total investment of about £1bn ($1.35bn) is earmarked to deliver the hydrogen production hub.

Waste fuel gases from Essar Stanlow and natural gas will be converted by Vertex Hydrogen into hydrogen, with CO
2 captured and stored by HyNet partner Eni in underground rock formations offshore in Liverpool Bay. The hydrogen will be used to replace fossil fuels used in industry across the HyNet region, as well as heating homes and fuelling buses, trains and trucks. HyNet Ineos’ ‘roadmap to net zero’ underpins plans to deliver emission savings of more than 60% by 2030.

Total investment of about £1bn will be committed to deliver the hydrogen production hub.

Meanwhile, Ineos has invited major engineering design contractors to tender for the next stage of design of a world-scale carbon capture-enabled hydrogen production plant and associated infrastructure at Grangemouth.

The CO
2 from this project will be routed to the Scottish Cluster’s Acorn CO2 transport and storage project, resulting in emissions reductions of more than 1mn t/y of CO2.

has already committed over £500mn on active projects across the Grangemouth site, including investment in a new energy plant which is due to be commissioned in late-2023. The new power plant is targeted to drive down emissions by at least 150,000 t/y CO2 and will then be converted to run on hydrogen, which will further reduce CO2 emissions.

Access to locally produced hydrogen will also have benefits for other assets at the Grangemouth site, fuelling the existing combined heat and power plant, the KG ethylene plant and assets in the Petroineos refinery. This will require construction of new hydrogen distribution networks and modifications to the existing fuel gas network. The scope of the design also plans to provide capability to link hydrogen production to third parties in the local area to support the development of a local hydrogen hub.

Underpinning the hydrogen project will be access to the Scottish Cluster carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure. Over 1mn t/y of CO
2 will be sent directly offshore from the new hydrogen plant through existing gas pipelines to be permanently stored in rock formation deep below the North Sea. Andrew Gardner, Chairman of Ineos Grangemouth, sees construction of a low carbon hydrogen plant at Grangemouth as ‘an exciting development… that will deliver on our commitment to achieve net zero by 2045… creating products that will help others reduce their emissions and playing a leading role in a clean hydrogen revolution.’

News Item details

Journal title: Petroleum Review

Countries: UK -

Organisation: Essar|Ineos

Subjects: Refining, Hydrogen, Carbon capture, usage and storage, Energy and carbon management,

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