German contractor Linde Engineering has won the front-end engineering and design contract for Equinor’s H2H Saltend low-carbon hydrogen project in the UK, while BOC — now part of Linde — has been awarded an operation and maintenance (O&M) services contract for the project.

Linde, together with BOC, participated in a design competition to provide proposals for FEED with options for the engineering, procurement and construction workscope and O&M for the first five years, subject to Equinor exercising the EPC option.

H2H Saltend is a 600-megawatt, low-carbon hydrogen production plant with carbon capture, hailed by Equinor as the first of its kind and scale, which will help establish the Humber as an international hub for low-carbon hydrogen.

The plant design will use Linde’s hydrogen and air separation technologies, which will be combined with UK-based Johnson Matthey’s LCH technology. The plant will be operated and maintained by BOC, drawing on decades of operational experience in the region and across the UK, Norway’s national energy company Equinor noted.

Due to be operational by 2027, the facility to be constructed at Saltend Chemicals Park to the east of Hull will help to reduce the park’s emissions by up to one-third. To achieve this, low-carbon hydrogen will directly replace natural gas in several industrial facilities reducing the carbon intensity of their products, as well as being blended into natural gas at Equinor and SSE Thermal’s on-site Saltend power station.

The amount of carbon dioxide stored will be about 890,000 tonnes per annum, equivalent to taking about 500,000 cars off the road yearly, Equinor added.

The company hailed H2H Saltend as the kick-starter project for the wider Zero Carbon Humber scheme, which will provide regional infrastructure from Easington to Drax. The infrastructure will transport hydrogen to industrial customers looking to reduce their emissions while capturing CO2 for safe subsea storage as part of the East Coast Cluster. These proposals aim to make the Humber, currently the UK’s most carbon intensive industrial region, net zero by 2040.

The project also forms part of Equinor’s wider Hydrogen to Humber ambition to deliver 1.8 gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen production within the region, nearly 20% of the UK’s national target.

“We are delighted to be working alongside Linde, who have demonstrated their expertise and commitment throughout the rigorous selection process over the last year and through their previous work with this technology and operations,” said Asbjorn Haugsgjerd, Equinor’s project director for the H2H Saltend project.

“H2H Saltend is a vital first step in creating a low-carbon hydrogen economy and achieving net zero in the Humber, safeguarding local industries and creating greater opportunities, while helping the UK tackle climate change. With Linde Engineering, BOC and Johnson Matthey on board we are even better positioned to deliver this vision,” Haugsgjerd said.

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