Air Products has joined with power generator VPI to push forward a hydrogen hub on the south bank of the Humber Estuary in the UK, primarily meant to decarbonise VPI’s power production in Immingham.

The companies said they will develop an 800-megawatt production facility called the Humber Hydrogen Hub (H3) that would include carbon capture and storage and aim to capture up to 2 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide.

Hydrogen produced at the facility will initially substitute fuel for VPI’s existing third gas turbine power train.

“Having a partner who is committed to decarbonising their existing power production operations through the use of low-carbon hydrogen provides the secure hydrogen offtake that makes this an excellent opportunity for us to support them and the UK government’s broader sustainability targets,” Air Products chief operating officer Samir Serhan said.

Additional hydrogen produced will be available for other industrial users in the UK’s largest industrial cluster.

The Humber region and the nearby Teesside region are making major moves to decarbonise their industrial operations, with alliances including the East Coast Cluster, Net Zero Humber and Humber Zero working on carbon capture and hydrogen schemes.

VPI is already involved with the Humber Zero project by deploying post-combustion capture technology on Trains 1 and 2 at its Immingham facility, for which Shell will provide technology. This intends to save over two-thirds of the emissions from the site.

“When Humber Zero was first developed over two years ago, a low-carbon hydrogen solution for VPI’s third train was a critically important part of our mission to decarbonise Immingham,” VPI project director Jonathan Briggs said.

“By partnering with Air Products on H3, we are harnessing the expertise of the world’s largest producer of hydrogen ― and the operator of one of the largest low-carbon hydrogen facilities in Port Arthur, Texas, US ― to ensure that we can make a substantial contribution to the decarbonisation of the Humber region.”

Air Products said it has demonstrated blue hydrogen technology in Port Arthur for years by adding carbon capture to hydrogen production facilities.

“We are confident that, when appropriate government policy develops with respect to support of low-carbon hydrogen, H3 would materially contribute to meeting the UK’s net-zero goals,” Briggs said.

The H3 project has submitted an application for “Strand 1” funding from the UK Research and Innovation Net Zero Hydrogen Fund. The fund intends to scale up hydrogen production to contribute to the UK’s goal of developing 10 gigawatts of production by 2030.

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