UK Energy Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has hailed plans for the country’s largest blue hydrogen production facility, targeting 1GW of hydrogen production by 2030.
BP has announced the launch of the project which, when completed, would capture and send for storage up to two million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO₂) per year, equivalent to capturing the emissions from the heating of one million UK households.
Under the scheme with a final investment decision (FID) in early 2024, facility, which will be based in Teesside in northern England, could begin production in 2027 or earlier. bp has begun a feasibility study into the project to explore technologies that could capture up to 98% of carbon emissions from the hydrogen production process.
The energy firm said the development, H2Teesside, would be “a significant step in developing bp’s hydrogen business and make a major contribution to the UK Government’s target of developing 5GW of hydrogen production by 2030. “
Ms Trevelyan said: “Driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen is a key part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our Energy White Paper and can play an important part in helping us end our contribution to climate change by 2050.
“Clean hydrogen has huge potential to help us fully decarbonise across the UK and it is great to see bp exploring its full potential on Teesside.”
With close proximity to North Sea storage sites, pipe corridors and existing operational hydrogen storage and distribution capabilities, bp said the area is uniquely placed for H2Teesside to help lead a low carbon transformation, supporting jobs, regeneration and the revitalisation of the surrounding area. Industries in Teesside account for over 5% of the UK’s industrial emissions and the region is home to five of the country’s top 25 emitters.
Dev Sanyal, bp’s executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy added: “Clean hydrogen is an essential complement to electrification on the path to net zero. Blue hydrogen, integrated with carbon capture and storage, can provide the scale and reliability needed by industrial processes. It can also play an essential role in decarbonising hard-to-electrify industries and driving down the cost of the energy transition.
“H2Teesside, together with NZT and NEP, has the potential to transform the area into one of the first carbon neutral clusters in the UK, supporting thousands of jobs and enabling the UK’s Ten Point Plan.”
Blue hydrogen is produced by converting natural gas into hydrogen and CO₂, which is then captured and permanently stored. H2Teesside would be integrated with the region’s already-planned Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) carbon capture use and storage (CCUS) projects, both of which are led by bp as operator.
The project’s hydrogen output could provide clean energy to industry and residential homes, be used as a fuel for heavy transport and support the creation of sustainable fuels, including bio and e-fuels.
Under the plans the project would be developed in stages, with an initial 500MW of blue hydrogen capacity in production by 2027 or earlier and additional capacity to be deployed by 2030 as decarbonisation of the industrial cluster and hydrogen demand gathers pace. bp sees potential for further hydrogen demand in Teesside beyond 2030.
Separately, bp has also signed an MoU with Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) to explore the potential for green hydrogen in the region, including the development of Teesside as the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub, as announced by the UK’s Department for Transport in September 2020. Green hydrogen is produced by the electrolysis of water, powered by renewable energy.