The Anonymous Widower

Will INEOS And Rolls-Royce Get Together Over Hydrogen Production?

It has been a busy week for press releases.

8th November 2020 – Rolls-Royce signs MoU With Exelon For Compact Nuclear Power Stations

9th November 2020 – Rolls-Royce signs MoU with CEZ For Compact Nuclear Power Stations

9th November 2020 – INEOS Launches A New Clean Hydrogen Business To Accelerate The Drive To Net Zero Carbon Emissions

Does the timing of these three press releases indicate that there is possible co-operation between the INEOS and Rolls-Royce?

These are my thoughts.

Electricity Needs Of Integrated Chemical Plants

Integrated chemical plants, like those run by INEOS need a lot of electricity.

When I worked for ICI Plastics in the early 1970s, one of the big projects at Wilton works was the updating of the Wilton power station.

  • Fifty years later it is still producing electricity.
  • It is fired by a variety of fuels including coal, oil, gas and biomass.
  • It even burned 110,000 tonnes of cow fat (tallow) from the carcasses of animals slaughtered during the BSE Crisis of 1996.
  • It produces 227 MW of electricity.
  • It also produces around 4,000,000 tonnes of steam per year for the plants on the complex.
  • Wilton 10 is a 2007 addition to the station, that burns 300,000 tonnes of a combination of sustainable wood, sawmill waste and otherwise unusable wood offcuts a year.
  • Wilton 11 is a 2016 addition to the station, that burns domestic waste, which arrives by train from Merseyside.

ICI was proud of its power station at Wilton and there were regular rumours about the strange, but legal fuels, that ended up in the boilers.

Integrated chemical plants like those on Teesside can be voracious consumers of electricity and steam.

I can envisage companies like INEOS boosting their electricity and steam capacity, by purchasing one of Rolls-Royce’s small modular reactors.

A Look At Teesside

If you look at the maps of the mouth of the Tees, you have the Hartlepool nuclear power station on the North side of the river.

  • It was commissioned in 1983.
  • It can generate 320 MW of electricity.
  • It is expected to close in 2024.

This Google Map shows the mouth of the Tees.

Note.

  • Hartlepool power station is in the North-West corner of the map.
  • The Hartlepool site is probably about forty acres.
  • Wilton power station is on the South side of the Tees in the Wilton International site.

I can see, when Hartlepool power station closes, that more power will be needed on Teesside to feed the various industries in the area.

Some will come from offshore wind, but could a fleet of perhaps four of Rolls-Royce’s small modular reactors be built on a decommissioned Hartlepool power station site to replace the output of the current station?

If built in a planned sequence to correspond to the expected need, there are savings to be made because each unit can be commissioned, when they are completed and used to generate cash flow.

I can even see INEOS building a large electrolyser in the area, that is powered either by wind or nuclear power, according to what power is available and the various costs.

An Integrated Small Modular Nuclear Reactor And Electrolyser

Some countries don’t have good resources to exploit for renewable power.

Will a small modular nuclear reactor, be pared with a large electrolyser to produce hydrogen for feedstock for chemical plants and fuel for transport?

How Much Hydrogen Would A Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Produce?

Consider.

  • One of Rolls-Royce’s small modular nuclear reactors has a power output of 440 MW.
  • It takes 23 MWh of electricity to create ten tonnes of hydrogen.

This would create 4,600 tonnes of hydrogen in a day.

That is a lot of zero-carbon chemical feedstock to make fertiliser, plastics, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals and fuel for heavy transport.

Conclusion

I will be very surprised if INEOS were not talking to Rolls-Royce about using small modular nuclear reactors to generate the enormous quantities of electrical power and steam, needed to produce chemicals and fulfil their ambition to be a world leader in the supply of hydrogen.

November 13, 2020 Posted by | Business, Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | Leave a comment

Dereliction On Teesside – 28th October 2020

The Tees Valley Line between Middlesbrough and Redcar is lined with derelict steel works.

I don’t think there’s an area of such industrial dereliction, in the UK.

October 31, 2020 Posted by | Business, World | , , | Leave a comment

UK Records A 16% Increase In New Tech Startups

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on ITPro.

It’s not all bad news out there.

As someone, who started a business in the recession of 1977, and was very successful, now is probably a good time to start the right business.

Scotland seems to have had the largest increase.

October 29, 2020 Posted by | Business | Leave a comment

Whitby: Hundreds Of Jobs Created At Woodsmith Mine

The title of this post, is the same as that article on the BBC.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Two hundred jobs are being created by a company developing a huge potash mine in North Yorkshire.

I have been watching this project for some time and I’m rather glad, that Woodsmith Mine seems to be past its troubles. This is an extract from the first paragraph in the Wikipedia entry.

The mine is expected to have a life of 100 years and has been labelled the biggest mining project in Britain for decades; its twin shafts will be the deepest commercial mineshafts in Britain. The project is expected to generate over £100 billion for the UK economy over a period of 50 years.

When the project is up and running, it will be the deepest mine in Europe and have the longest tunnel in Great Britain.

I also feel that Woodsmith Mine, shows that mining don’t have to ruin the landscape.

 

October 7, 2020 Posted by | Business | , | 2 Comments

Tory London Mayoral Candidate Wants Sponsorship Deals For Tube Station Names To Raise TfL Cash

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Telegraph.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Underground stations could be renamed under plans put forward by the Conservative London mayoral candidate for a £100 million a year sponsorship deal to bolster investment in the capital’s public transport network.

I think it could be an idea worth pursuing, as due to Sadiq Khan’s bribe of a fare freeze to get elected Transport for London’s finances are in a terrible state.

The article says, that Dubai, Madrid and New York already use similar ideas to raise money.

Remember, London already has one station, where name was changed for a local business; Gillespie Road station was renamed Arsenal in 1932.

Let’s Be Creative!

I also think, if we are creative, we could make the stations much more passenger-friendly, with respect to services nearby.

Imagine a board, with Alight Here For at the top and slots for local shops and businesses below. Each slotted-in advert would be a perhaps a foot wide and four inches high, saying something like. “Boots 100 metres” or “Costa Here!”

September 20, 2020 Posted by | Business, Transport | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Preliminary Sampling Indicate Significant Lithium Grades In Geothermal Waters At United Downs Project, Cornwall

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Think Geoenergy.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Cornish Lithium releases announcement on finding “globally significant” lithium grades in geothermal waters at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project in Cornwall, UK and is now preparing for work on a pilot plant.

The article gives a full explanation.

There is more on this press release on the Cornish Lithium web site.

September 18, 2020 Posted by | Business, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

BP And Microsoft Form Strategic Partnership To Drive Digital Energy Innovation And Advance Net Zero Goals

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Authority.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The companies intend to work together to develop new technology innovations and digital solutions to help meet their sustainability aims, including reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

I find this an interesting and possibly very important partnership.

It is an article that is well worth a read.

Conclusion

Strategic partnerships like this might be one of the moves, that will improve the world.

 

 

September 17, 2020 Posted by | Business, Computing, World | , , | Leave a comment

ARM: Can ‘Crown Jewel’ Of UK Technology Be Protected?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the introductory paragraphs.

The UK government is “looking at options” to protect and ensure future investment in Cambridge-based ARM Holdings, which is being bought by US tech giant Nvidia from Japan’s Softbank.

This is a much more relaxed attitude than the government took when Softbank bought the world-leading chip designer in July 2016. At that time, Softbank announced it had agreed to legally binding commitments to increase investment, headcount and preserve its headquarters in the UK.

It is not too late for the government to impose conditions, but conversations on whether to impose them or what they might be have not even started.

Some of the original founders of ARM Holdings, would appear to be not very happy.

I have followed the company for a number of years, as I was in the same class at Liverpool University with Robin Saxby, who was ARM’s first CEO.

At great surprise to myself, I made a nice sum of money by investing in the shares at the right time.

I am less unhappy, as I think two opposite outcomes would be good for the UK.

  • It all goes pear-shaped and large numbers of talented engineers in Cambridge create several children of ARM.
  • Nvidia decides that the ARM model and location is better and moves the headquarters of the group to the UK. Trump and his policies could make this likely, by picking fights with countries where Nvidia and ARM have large markets.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

 

September 14, 2020 Posted by | Business, Computing, Finance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Trains Are The New Age Planes

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Seeking Alpha.

It is an article well worth a read about the future development of railways in the United States.

August 19, 2020 Posted by | Business, Finance, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hitachi Rail To Acquire Perpetuum In Digital Expansion

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Hitachi Rail Ltd has agreed to acquire Southampton-based condition monitoring specialist Perpetuum as part of a strategy to strengthen the use of digital technology in rail operations.

Established as a university spin-off less than a decade ago, Perpetuum developed the use of bogie-mounted self-powered vibration sensors to monitor the condition of rolling stock. Wireless equipment fitted to around 3 000 vehicles operating across three continents sends back real-time data about the performance of wheelsets, gearboxes, motors and bogies.

It seems to me, that Hitachi have bought an interesting company.

Let’s hope they develop the technology, but keep that development in Southampton.

August 13, 2020 Posted by | Business, Transport | , , | Leave a comment