Plans have been unveiled for the UK’s – and the world’s – first at-scale facilities to produce hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage (CCS).
On 1 July, Equinor announced it is leading development on the project, H2H Saltend, which will provide the beginnings of a decarbonised industrial cluster in the Humber region. The project’s initial phase consists of a 600MW auto thermal reformer with carbon capture – the largest plant of its kind in the world to convert natural gas to hydrogen. It will enable industrial customers in the Saltend Chemicals Park to fully switch over to hydrogen and allow the power plant in the park to move to a 30% hydrogen to natural gas blend, resulting in emissions from the park falling by almost 900,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
It will contribute to the cluster reaching net zero by 2040, enabling a large-scale hydrogen network – open to both blue and green hydrogen – along with a network for transporting and storing captured CO2 emissions. Equinor noted that fuel switching to hydrogen could lead to 43,000 new job opportunities in energy-intensive industrial sectors across the UK.
If UK policy proves supportive, Equinor and its partners will mature the project towards a final investment decision during 2023. Potential first production would follow by 2026.