Shell has signed an agreement with the multinational energy company Uniper to progress plans to produce blue hydrogen at Uniper’s Killingholme power station site in the East of England.
According to Shall 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 technology to reformulate natural gas 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.
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.
Mike Lockett, Uniper UK country chairman and chief commercial officer power, added: “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.”
David Bunch, country chair, Shell UK, said: “Shell is ready to play our part in ensuring an orderly transition to net zero while bolstering the UK’s energy security. We plan to invest up to £25bn 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.”
Greg Hands, the business, energy and clean growth minister, said: “We’ve set ambitious targets for hydrogen production in our British Energy Security Strategy and are investing £360m 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.”