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

NeuConnect Awards Two Major Contracts

This page on the NeuConnect web site is entitled NeuConnect Awards Over £1.5 billion Of Major Contracts As First Ever UK-German Energy Link Moves An Important Step Closer.

NeuConnect is a proposed interconnector between England and Germany.

  • It will have a capacity of 1.4 GW.
  • The interconnector will be around 450 miles long.
  • It will be HVDC, like many similar undersea power cables.
  • As the title says, it will be the first-ever UK-German energy link.

Wikipedia describes the route like this.

The cable will run between the Greystones substation on the Isle of Grain, in Kent in England to the new Fedderwarden substation in Wilhelmshaven in the Lower Saxony region of Germany. Landfall will be next to Grain Coastal Park, in Kent, and at Hooksiel, near Wilhemshaven in Germany.

Two contracts have been awarded.

  • The contract to design, manufacture, install, test and commission the 725km interconnector has been awarded to Prysmian Group.
  • The contract to design and build two converter stations in the UK and Germany has been awarded to Siemens Energy.

This sounds like a very simple plan to add an important interconnector between the UK and Germany.

I have some observations and thoughts.

The Isle Of Grain

The Isle of Grain is described in Wikipedia like this.

Isle of Grain (Old English Greon, meaning gravel) is a village and the easternmost point of the Hoo Peninsula within the district of Medway in Kent, south-east England. No longer an island and now forming part of the peninsula, the area is almost all marshland and is a major habitat for diverse wetland birds. The village constitutes a civil parish, which at the 2011 census had a population of 1,648, a net decrease of 83 people in 10 years.

Apart for the birds, over the last few decades it has been home to the following.

  • Until 1982, it was the location of a BP oil refinery.
  • In the 1990s, the isle was used to make the segments for the lining of the Channel Tunnel.
  • Following completion of the Channel Tunnel, the site is now part-occupied by Thamesport, the UK’s third largest container port.
  • Next to the former BP site is Grain Power Station, built in the 1970s, which previously burnt oil.
  • This power station was demolished in the 2015 and replaced with a 1.275 GW gas-fired power station.
  • Another major installation is a new Grain Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility, which takes heat from the gas-fired power station.
  • The Isle of Grain is the landing point for the BritNed undersea power cable between The Netherlands and the UK.

The Google Map shows the Isle of Grain.

Note.

  1. Thamesport is in the South-West corner
  2. To its North is the LNG import facility.
  3. To the North-East of Thamesport is the 735 MW Medway power station.
  4. There is a rail connection to Hoo Junction on the North Kent Line.

This second Google Map shows the Eastern side of the Isle.

Note.

  1. Grain Coastal Park, where NeuConnect will make landfall, is marked by the green arrow at the top of the map.
  2. Towards the South-Eastern corner of the map is the 1.275 GW Grain gas-fired power station.
  3. To the East of the power station, there is more switchgear than you see in a bad Frankenstein film.
  4. The smaller square at the bottom with the two white squares could be the converter station for the BritNed interconnector.

I am sure there is space on the island for a connection for NeuConnect.

There is also a total of 2.01 GW of gas-fired power stations on the Isle of Grain.

Wind Power In The Thames Estuary

This Google Map shows the Thames Estuary.

Note that the red arrow indicates the Isle of Grain.

This map from Wikipedia shows the wind farms in the area.

These are the ones that are operational.

  • 2 – East Anglia Array – 714 MW
  • 8 – Greater Gabbard – 504 MW
  • 9 – Gunfleet Sands – 184 MW
  • 13 – Kentish Flats – 140 MW
  • 15 – London Array – 630 MW
  • 27 – Thanet – 300 MW

Note.

  1. The Isle of Grain is just above the second o in London.
  2. I have ignored the Ramplion wind farm (21!), as it is too far from the Isle of Grain.
  3. This is a total of nearly 2.5 GW.

Planned extensions in the area include.

  • East Anglia Array – 3.1 GW – Completion date of 2026

But the Wikipedia entry for the East Anglia Array says this about the wind farm.

The target capacity for the entire East Anglia Zone is 7200 MW which could require up to 1200 turbines.

Could we see one of the following?

  • A connector from the East Anglia Array to the Isle of Grain.
  • One or more new wind farms in the Thames Estuary connected to the Isle of Grain.
  • German investment in a wind farm or farms connected to the Isle of Grain.

The Isle of Grain could become an island of energy providing power for London, the South-East of England, Germany and The Netherlands.

An Electrolyser On The Isle Of Grain

Consider.

  • There will be plenty of renewable electricity.
  • As there is a liquified natural gas terminal, there is plenty of gas storage.
  • One or both of the gas-fired power stations can be converted to run on hydrogen.
  • As more and more trucks are converted to hydrogen, there will be a large demand for hydrogen for heavy transport.

This must surely make a large electrolyser on the Isle of Grain a possibility.

The BritNed Interconnector

The BritNed interconnector is described like this in Wikipedia.

BritNed is a 1,000 MW high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) submarine power cable between the Isle of Grain in Kent, the United Kingdom; and Maasvlakte in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The BritNed interconnector would serve as a link for the foreseeable European super grid project.

Up to now, most of the electricity flow has been to the UK.

But surely, as more wind farms are developed power will flow the other way.

Wilhelmshaven Will Be A German Hub For Green Hydrogen

In Uniper To Make Wilhelmshaven German Hub For Green Hydrogen; Green Ammonia Import Terminal, I described plans by the Germans for a hydrogen hub at Wilhelmshaven.

The original story came from an article with the same name on Green Car Congress.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Under the name “Green Wilhelmshaven,” Germany-based international energy company Uniper plans to establish a German national hub for hydrogen in Wilhelmshaven and is working on a corresponding feasibility study.

Plans include an import terminal for green ammonia. The terminal will be equipped with an ammonia cracker for producing green hydrogen and will also be connected to the planned hydrogen network. A 410-megawatt electrolysis plant is also planned, which—in combination with the import terminal—would be capable of supplying around 295,000 metric tons or 10% of the demand expected for the whole of Germany in 2030.

As I said in the original post, I’m not happy about green ammonia, but the 1.4 GW NeuConnect interconnector has more than enough power to run a 410 MW electrolyser plant at full capacity.

It could even run three electrolysers of this size.

Hooksiel And Wilhelmshaven

NeuConnect will make landfall at Hooksiel.

This Google Map shows Hooksiel and Wilhelmshaven.

Note.

  1. Hooksiel is the village outlined in red.
  2. The water to the right of the map is the Jade Bight.
  3. The square block sticking out into the bight appears to be a container port.
  4. There appears to be chemical works or oil refineries North of the port.
  5. Wilhelmshaven is the town to the South of the port.

There would appear to be plenty of space for Uniper to construct Green Wilhelmshaven.

German And UK Wind Power Production

According to this page on Wikipedia, which is entitled Wind Power By Country, in 2020, these were installed wind power in various countries.

  • Germany – 62,184 MW
  • Spain – 27,089 MW
  • UK – 24,665 MW
  • France – 17,382 MW
  • Italy – 10,389 MW
  • Netherlands – 6,600 MW

In 2020 we were 37.5 GW behind Germany.

It looks like we’ll commission 3.3 GW this year and 6.1 in 2023, with Wikipedia saying that 12.9 GW is under development, which should close the gap to a certain extent.

In ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations, I described how Scotland will add 15.1 GW of floating and 9.7 GW of fixed foundation offshore wind.

It looks like initially, we’ll be buying German wind-generated electricity, but in the future the direction could easily change around.

Boris And Olaf

There were mumblings from Boris, that energy was talked about in their meeting in Downing Street last week.

It does appear there is a lot of ways that the UK and Germany can co-operate in the future with respect to energy.

  • German finance can be used to build wind farms in UK waters.
  • German companies can build the turbines and the interconnectors we need to develop vast offshore wind farms.
  • We can supply surplus energy to Germany through the NeuConnect interconnector.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Boris and Olaf had signed a very comprehensive energy co-operation agreement.

 

April 11, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments