BP has reached agreements with potential new customers for its proposed H2Teeesside blue hydrogen production facility in north-east England.

The UK supermajor said on Thursday it has signed new memoranda of understanding with four possible customers.

Three — CF Fertilisers, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and Sembcorp Energy UK — all have nearby sites and are looking to decarbonise their operations by switching from using natural gas to cleaner-burning hydrogen.

BP has also agreed a MoU with Alfanar Company to scope the supply of hydrogen for an under-development waste-to-sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, plant.

The new agreements follow a first MoU signed in March with chemicals manufacturer Venator and gas distributor Northern Gas Networks.

H2Teesside is set to become the UK’s largest hydrogen plant with production capacity of up to 1 gigawatt of so-called blue hydrogen, which is produced by splitting natural gas into hydrogen and CO2.

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The CO2 will then be captured and stored underground, with the UK supermajor previously stating it is exploring technologies to capture up to 98% of emissions from the production process.

Louise Jacobsen Plutt, BP’s senior vice president of hydrogen and CCUS, said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates the diverse range of companies and industries that can benefit from clean hydrogen.

“Teesside has all the attributes of a world-class clean hydrogen hub – the right natural resources, concentrated demand, potential for hydrogen storage and pipelines, ample access to CCUS and the right skills base.

“While the impact of investments may be felt most acutely in the northeast, the decarbonisation benefit of H2Teesside is expected to be felt countrywide.

"Ultimately, these MoUs show how supply and demand can work together to accelerate the growth and delivery of a hydrogen economy.”

If all goes to plan, BP could take the final investment decision on H2Teesside in early 2024 and initial production could begin by 2027.

The project would be developed in stages, with an initial 500 megawatts of blue hydrogen capacity in production by 2027 and additional capacity to be deployed by 2030 as decarbonisation of nearby industry and hydrogen demand gathers pace.