Equinor is leading the development of H2H Saltend, a project to produce hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage.
The Hydrogen to Humber Saltend (H2H Saltend) project is being developed at Saltend Chemicals Park near Hull and its initial phase will comprise a 600MW auto thermal reformer (ATR) with carbon capture to convert natural gas to hydrogen. Norway’s Equinor said this will be the largest plant of its kind in the world.
When operational, it will enable industrial customers in the Park to fully switch to hydrogen, and the power plant in the Park to move to a 30 per cent hydrogen to natural gas blend. Consequently, emissions from Saltend Chemicals Park are predicted to reduce by nearly 900,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
In its later phases, H2H Saltend can expand to serve other industrial users in the Park and across the Humber, contributing to the cluster reaching ‘net zero’ by 2040. According to Equinor, this will enable a large-scale hydrogen network, open to blue hydrogen (produced from natural gas with CCS) and green hydrogen (produced from electrolysis of water using renewable power), plus a network for transporting and storing captured CO2 emissions. It is estimated that fuel switching to hydrogen could create 43,000 new job opportunities in energy-intensive industrial sectors across the UK.
Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president for marketing, midstream and processing at Equinor said: “The world continues to need more energy at lower emissions so we can achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. This necessitates a substantial decarbonisation of industry, in which we believe carbon capture & storage and hydrogen can and must play a significant role.
“With private and public investment and supportive UK policy, the H2H Saltend project will demonstrate the potential of these technologies. Together we can make the Humber and the UK a world-leading example that others can learn from.”
H2H Saltend supports the UK government’s aim to establish at least one low carbon industrial cluster by 2030 and the world’s first net zero cluster by 2040. It also paves the way for the vision set out by the Zero Carbon Humber alliance, which Equinor and its partners launched in 2019.