Equinor has announced that Pre-FEED (Front End Engineering and Design) study contracts have been awarded to develop a 600 megawatt H2H Saltend low carbon hydrogen production plant.
This will be one of the world’s first at-scale facilities to produce hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage.
The study will also be used to support the delivery of a further 1,200 megawatt of low-carbon hydrogen production. This hydrogen will be principally used to fuel the Keadby Hydrogen power station, which could be the world’s first large scale facility to use 100% hydrogen to generate power.
These projects bring combined hydrogen production capacity of 1.8 GW, accounting for a third of the UK Government’s 5GW low carbon hydrogen production goal.
Equinor’s H2H Saltend hydrogen plant and Keadby Hydrogen power station, which is being developed in partnership with SSE Thermal, are Equinor’s first two UK hydrogen projects that support the wider ambition to decarbonise the Humber and develop the UK’s first net-zero industrial cluster by 2040.
The Humber region is the largest CO2 emitting industrial cluster in the UK. The H2H project is fundamental in helping the region decarbonise its industries and energy system.
“Equinor is dedicated to delivering hydrogen to Humber and to contributing to the development of the UK’s hydrogen economy through the H2H Saltend project and then expanding that experience with the Keadby Hydrogen project. Producing hydrogen from natural gas with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) provides a practical, scalable solution to decarbonise a wide range of sectors that currently depend on fossil fuel,” said Dan Sadler, Equinor Vice President for UK Low Carbon Solutions.
The contractors will participate in a competition to provide design proposals, as well as a lump sum FEED and option for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) execution and operations.
The three selected contractors are KBR & Tecnimont consortium, Technip Energies consortium as well as Linde through its businesses at Linde Engineering and BOC UK. They all have extensive experience and relevant licenses with hydrogen, ammonia, and CO2 capture technologies.
The market showed huge interest for the projects and the consortia were chosen through a 6-month prequalification process. At the end of 2022 the plan is to select one of the consortia to move into the final stage of engineering (FEED) in preparation for a Final Investment decision in later 2023.“The selected contractors are renowned for their engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operating capabilities in the hydrogen/ammonia and carbon capture sector. Our execution strategy enables adoption of proven technology and cost competitive solutions for first-of-a-kind projects and early engagement of UK construction and service companies,” says Tanguy Cosmao, Equinor’s Project Director for the H2H projects.
On 19 October, the East Coast Cluster (ECC) was selected by the UK government’s Cluster Sequencing process as one of the first two Industrial Clusters to be CCUS enabled by the mid-2020s. The ECC will provide the critical CO2 transport and storage infrastructure required by the Humber hydrogen projects.
The H2H Saltend project will enable fuel switching in 2026-2027 resulting in a CO2 emissions reduction of 1.1 million tonnes per year. Thereafter Equinor plan to supply hydrogen to Keadby Hydrogen power station, expected to start-up in 2028-29 with a resulting CO2 emissions reduction of close to 2 million tonnes per year.
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