The Anonymous Widower

Shell To Develop Blue Hydrogen Plant

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

The article is based on this press release from Shell, which is entitled Shell And Uniper To Work Together On Blue Hydrogen Production Facility In The UK.

These are the three bullet points of the press release.

  • 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.

Note.

  1. The Killingholme site is currently occupied by the 900 MW gas-fired Killingholme power station.
  2. Heavy industry on Humberside includes chemicals and oil refineries and the Scunthorpe steelworks.

This Google Map shows the location of Killingholme power station.

Note.

  1. Killingholme power station is marked by the red arrow.
  2. The river is the Humber.
  3. The Port of Immingham is on the power station side of the river.
  4. Cleethorpes Beach is marked by the green dot in the bottom-right hand corner.
  5. Grimsby is to the North of Cleethorpes.
  6. Between Grimsby and Killingworth power station is a mass of chemical works.

This second Google Map shows the area to the South-East of the power station.

Note.

  1. Killingholme power station is marked by the red arrow.
  2. The Hornsea 02 substation to the North of the power station.
  3. The large Uniper site to the South of the power station.
  4. The large number of tanks inland from the port and the chemical works.

I have some thoughts.

A Full Description Of The Project

This paragraph from the press release described the project.

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.

I suspect that a lot of the plant from the existing Killingholme power station will be repurposed.

This is the specification of the power station.

The Uniper (Formerly E.ON UK) plant consists of two 450 MW Siemens V94.2 gas turbine modules each connected to a heat recovery steam generator using only a single steam turbine in a 2 into 1 configuration. Gas is supplied from a 26-mile pipeline from Theddlethorpe.

When it was built by Powergen (now called Uniper) and opened in April 1993 it was only the second gas-fired power station built in the UK. It was taken out of service in 2002 due to the lower price of electricity and was then restored to full service in August 2005, with one of the 450 MW units returning to service in April 2005.

It was announced that the power station will be closed in 2015.

Will The Project Use The Shell Blue Hydrogen Process?

Will the plant use the Shell Blue Hydrogen Process, that I described in Shell Process To Make Blue Hydrogen Production Affordable?

It appears the Shell Blue Hydrogen Process offers advantages.

  1. Shell are claiming, that with carbon dioxide costing $25-35/tonne, that their process is more economic than grey or green hydrogen.
  2. Steam reforming also needs steam, but this new process actually generates steam as a by-product, which further improves the economics, as integrated chemical plants use a lot of steam. Killingholme’s neighbours would probably welcome the steam.
  3. Shell are reporting capturing 99% of the carbon.
  4. It looks like savings of between 10 and 25 % are possible.

 

The most-fervent greens, may claim blue hydrogen is totally wrong.

But if it is more affordable than both grey and green hydrogen and all but one percent of the carbon dioxide is captured, I believe that this should be an option, that is fully investigated.

This appears to be a victory for top-class chemical engineering.

Northern Endurance Partnership

The Northern Endurance Partnership is described on this page of the Equinor web site, where this is said.

BP, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total today confirmed they have formed a new partnership, the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), to develop offshore carbon dioxide (CO2) transport and storage infrastructure in the UK North Sea, with bp as operator.

This infrastructure will serve the proposed Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) projects that aim to establish decarbonised industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside.

There is also a map.

Note.

  1. One facility would appear to serve the Tees and the Humber.

It looks like the depleted gas fields could hold a lot of carbon dioxide.

Carbon Capture

Some points from the Equinor press release about carbon capture.

  • 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.
  • NEP has submitted a bid for funding through Phase 2 of the UK Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, aiming to accelerate the development of an offshore pipeline network to transport captured CO2 emissions from both NZT and ZCH to offshore geological storage beneath the UK North Sea.

These projects could could decarbonise a lot of businesses  on Teesside and the Humber.

Carbon Capture And Use

The Equinor press release says this about carbon capture and use.

The Northern Endurance Partnership will channel the extensive experience of its members to develop and deliver the offshore transport and storage infrastructure we need to unlock the enormous benefits of deploying CCUS across the Humber and Teesside. We’re delighted to start working together with five really world class energy companies to deliver a solution that will play a critical role in decarbonising the UK’s largest industrial heartland and protecting tens of thousands of jobs in the process.”

Uses include.

  • Feeding to salad vegetables, tomatoes, soft fruit and flowers in giant greenhouses.
  • Creating sustainable aviation fuel.
  • Creating building products like blocks and plaster board.
  • Making better concrete.

This is a list that will grow.

Making Hydrogen With An Electrolyser

The Shell press release says this.

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.

Note that the sub station for the 1.4 GW Hornsea 2 wind farm is close to both Killingholme power station and the Uniper web site.

What Will Happen To Shell’s Blue Hydrogen Plant?

I think there are two possible scenarios.

  • It will be closed when Uniper’s electrolyser is fully on stream.
  • It will become an emergency hydrogen source, when the wind is not blowing.

In both cases it will produce less carbon dioxide, thus leaving more space in the Northern Endurance Partnership.

Conclusion

It looks like there could be a comprehensive hydrogen production facility at Killingholme.

 

 

 

 

April 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment