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BP & Centrica plan huge Northern England hydrogen projects

Multiple hydrogen projects, valued into billions of pounds, are being pursued in northern England by large global energy companies such as BP, Centrica, Lhyfe and Equinor.

Rinnai’s Chris Goggin

UK energy policy revisers have increased Britain’s hydrogen target production aim of 5GW to 10GW. Widening the role of hydrogen in UK decarbonisation efforts signifies that it could potentially be used as a source of heat for commercial and domestic properties across certain regions in England.

Comments Rinnai’s Chris Goggin, “Northern England could be linked by a chain of hydrogen production facilities that produce carbon reducing energy resources. It is therefore feasible that hydrogen will be used as a source of heat for domestic and commercial properties across northern England and North Wales – and this could be kickstarting a potentially greater UK wide hydrogen network”

UK international energy companies BP and Centrica as well as several other large global energy companies are planning on several huge hydrogen projects across northwest and northeast England. Northern England will be connected to various high output hydrogen production facilities increasing the likelihood of widespread consumption in domestic and commercial capacities.

Norwegian state-owned oil and gas company Equinor has submitted a bid for UK governmental funding of £16 million with the aim of constructing a blue hydrogen facility in the Humber region of England. A final investment decision will be made in 2025 on the Hydrogen to Humber (H2H) Production 2 site.

Equinor also plan to install a further blue hydrogen facility close to their H2H project. The Saltend project will begin operations in 2028 if construction and approval processes are not complicated by unforeseen events.

Both Saltend and Humber projects will use natural gas to produce blue hydrogen and utilise CCUS technology (Carbon Capture & Underground Storage) that will detain a vast majority of created emissions. Equinor also received £8.4 million in government funding, a figure matched by private investments to begin Saltend construction.

BP (British Petroleum) is pursuing an additional blue hydrogen facility in northeast England. H2Teesside will target 1GW of hydrogen production by 2030 with a final investment decision being made in 2027.

BP is further planning a green hydrogen facility located in northeast England - HyGreen Teesside. Production aims to be operational by 2025. Initial capacity will be around 80MW. BP will pursue a future planned expansion of up to 500MW.

Other notable hydrogen projects include Centrica transforming their offshore gas storage facility – Rough, into a hydrogen and natural gas storage installation. Centrica’s Rough facility consists of a partially depleted gas field in the Southern North Sea, 18 miles off the east coast of Yorkshire.

Once modifications are complete Rough will be the world’s largest hydrogen storage facility and is a further example of hydrogen’s potential prominence in northern England’s future energy mix. Investment by Centrica to convert their storage facility is thought to be around £2 billion.

A final hydrogen project located in, or around north England is a collaboration between French hydrogen company Lhyfe and Centrica. Both companies will work together to produce offshore wind generated green hydrogen. The initial pilot project will be located in the southern section of the North Sea.

Northeast and northwest England will soon have multiple hydrogen clusters and large hydrogen production projects becoming operational, including HyNet Northwest, a £750 million blue hydrogen joint venture project that includes big companies such as Cadent, Essar Oil UK and Eni UK.

The north of England will be linked by a chain of hydrogen production facilities that produce carbon reducing energy resources. It is therefore feasible that hydrogen will be used as a source of heat for domestic and commercial properties across northern England and North Wales.

As part of Rinnai’s H3 range of products that have been adapted to suit modern decarbonising customer requirements, hydrogen ready boilers that accept hydrogen blends and 100% hydrogen are available for purchase. Rinnai will continue to provide customers with detail regarding potential future energy shifts that may affect customer options.

9 May 2023


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