Shell and Uniper to work together on blue hydrogen production facility in the UK
Apr 12, 2022
- Shell and Uniper sign co-operation agreement to progress plans for low-carbon hydrogen production at Uniper’s Killingholme site in North Lincolnshire
- Hydrogen produced could be used to decarbonise heavy industry, transport, heating and power across Humber and beyond
- Project recently passed eligibility phase for UK Government’s Phase-2 carbon capture, usage and storage Cluster Sequencing Process
Uniper has signed an agreement with Shell to progress plans to produce blue hydrogen at Uniper’s Killingholme power station site in the East of England. The hydrogen produced could be used to decarbonise industry, transport and power throughout the Humber region.
The Humber Hub Blue project includes plans for a blue hydrogen production facility with a capacity of up to 720 megawatts, using gas reformation technology with carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The captured carbon would be fed through the proposed Zero Carbon Humber onshore pipeline, part of the East Coast Cluster, recently selected as one of two CCS clusters to receive initial government support under the government’s cluster sequencing process.
The Humber Hub Blue Project recently passed the eligibility criteria for Phase-2 of the government’s cluster sequencing process. Successful projects which could be eligible for government funding will be shortlisted from May 2022. Phase-2 projects are expected to take final investment decisions from 2024 to then be operational from 2027.
Blue hydrogen production at Killingholme could see the capture of around 1.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of carbon a year through CCS. The UK Government has set a target to capture 10 Mt of carbon a year by 2030.
The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding signed by both companies in 2021 to explore accelerating the development of a hydrogen economy in Europe. Shell and Uniper will now jointly progress process design studies and site development activity, with a view to taking the project to front end engineering and design by 2023.
“The Humber Hub Blue hydrogen project is a key part of Uniper’s hydrogen ambitions in the UK and we’re extremely pleased that Shell is joining us on this initiative,” said Axel Wietfeld, CEO of Uniper Hydrogen.
“The development of a hydrogen production hub at Killingholme represents a significant step towards decarbonising the UK’s largest industrial cluster. Future proofing the industry, this investment has the potential to secure and grow the region’s economy,” added Mike Lockett, Uniper UK Country Chairman and Chief Commercial Officer Power.
“Shell is ready to play our part in ensuring an orderly transition to net zero while bolstering the UK’s energy security,” said David Bunch, Country Chair, Shell UK. “We plan to invest up to £25 billion in the UK energy system over the next decade subject to Board approval, and more than 75% of this is for low- and zero-carbon technology. Hydrogen and CCS will be key to these plans. They can also help stimulate economic growth and jobs. That is why it is critical that both government and industry continue to work together to drive change.”
British Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth Greg Hands said: “We’ve set ambitious targets for hydrogen production in our British Energy Security Strategy and are investing £360 million in innovative energy technologies to get us there. Today’s announcement shows real confidence in hydrogen - creating high-quality jobs to level up the Humberside region, based on this clean, cutting-edge new super fuel.”
Notes to editors
Blue hydrogen refers to hydrogen produced by the reformation of natural gas. The carbon dioxide produced as a result of this process is captured and stored using CCS technology.
The project will be focusing on potential industrial uses of the hydrogen but, to give a sense of scale, production of 720 megawatts would be enough low-carbon hydrogen to heat more than half a million homes a year.
Uniper is also a partner in the Zero Carbon Humber project to develop the necessary carbon dioxide pipeline transport for blue hydrogen production. As part of the East Coast Cluster, the captured carbon dioxide will be stored permanently offshore in the Northern Endurance Partnership’s facility in the UK’s North Sea.
Uniper continues to develop a separate green hydrogen project, using electrolytic hydrogen production technology, as part of the overall Humber Hub development at Uniper’s Killingholme site. Uniper, along with its project partners, will shortly complete the Project Mayflower feasibility study, part funded by the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, administered by InnovateUK, looking at the decarbonisation of port related activities at the Port of Immingham.
Shell has played a vital role in powering the UK’s industry, transport systems and homes for more than 120 years. Today, Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, operating in more than 70 countries. In the North Sea, we have explored for and produced oil and gas for more than 50 years. We are now one of the region’s biggest producers and produce around 10% of the UK’s oil and gas and provide the processing infrastructure that enables around 20% of the UK’s gas supply to reach homes and businesses.
Globally, Shell is building an integrated power business that will provide customers with low-carbon and renewable energy solutions. Shell Renewables and Energy Solutions spans trading, generation and supply. We offer integrated energy solutions including hydrogen, solar, wind and electric-vehicle charging at scale, while buying nature-based carbon credits and using technology to capture emissions from hard-to-abate sectors of the energy system. Today Shell has deployed or is developing more than 6 gigawatts of wind power generation capacity across North America, Europe, the UK and Asia, and in January 2022 Shell secured the seabed leases to develop up to 5 gigawatts of floating offshore wind in the ScotWind leasing round.
Shell’s target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society. For more information on our net-zero emissions customer-first strategy visit here.
Uniper is a leading international energy company, has around 11,500 employees, and operates in more than 40 countries. The company plans for its power generation business in Europe to be carbon-neutral by 2035. Uniper’s roughly 33 gigawatts of installed generation capacity make it one of the world‘s largest electricity producers. The company's core activities include power generation in Europe and Russia as well as global energy trading and a broad gas portfolio, which makes Uniper one of Europe’s leading gas companies. In addition, Uniper is a reliable partner for communities, municipal utilities, and industrial enterprises for planning and implementing innovative, lower-carbon solutions on their decarbonization journey. Uniper is a hydrogen pioneer, is active worldwide along the entire hydrogen value chain, and is conducting projects to make hydrogen a mainstay of the energy supply.
The company is based in Düsseldorf and is one of Germany’s largest publicly listed energy supply companies. Together with its main shareholder Fortum, Uniper is also Europe’s third-largest producer of zero-carbon energy.
About Uniper UK
In the UK, Uniper owns and operates a flexible generation portfolio of seven power stations, a fast-cycle gas storage facility and two high pressure gas pipelines, from Theddlethorpe to Killingholme and from Blyborough to Cottam. We also have significant long-term regasification capacity at the Grain LNG terminal in Kent, to convert LNG back to natural gas.
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