Shell and Uniper Plan Large Blue Hydrogen Plant to Meet UK Goals

UK blue hydrogen prodcution
Uniper's Killingholme power plant would be used to produce blue hydrogen to meet the UK's goals (Uniper)

Published Apr 12, 2022 8:30 PM by The Maritime Executive

Shell and Uniper are moving forward with their efforts to establish a hydrogen production plant in the eastern part of England that could be used to decarbonize industry, transport, and power throughout the region. Under an agreement between the two companies, they are exploring blue hydrogen production at the German company’s Killingholme power station site in North Lincolnshire. The project is in keeping with the UK government’s calls to accelerate alternative energy sources in the name of national security.

The Humber Hub Blue Project includes plans for a blue hydrogen production facility with a capacity of up to 720 megawatts, made from the reformation of natural gas with carbon capture and storage. The captured carbon would be fed through the proposed Zero Carbon Humber onshore pipeline and would be stored under the North Sea. The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding signed by both companies in 2021 to explore accelerating the development of a hydrogen economy in Europe.

British Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth Greg Hands said, “We’ve set ambitious targets for hydrogen production in our British Energy Security Strategy and are investing £360 million in innovative energy technologies to get us there. Today’s announcement shows real confidence in hydrogen - creating high-quality jobs to level up the Humberside region, based on this clean, cutting-edge new super fuel.”

The East Coast Cluster in which the project would participate was recently selected as one of two carbon capture and storage schemes to receive initial government support under the government’s Cluster Sequencing Process. In addition, the Humber Hub Blue Project recently passed the eligibility criteria for Phase-2 of the government’s Cluster Sequencing Process. Successful projects which could be eligible for Government funding will be shortlisted from May 2022. Phase-2 projects are expected to take final investment decisions from 2024 to then be operational from 2027.

“The development of a hydrogen production hub at Killingholme represents a significant step towards decarbonizing the UK’s largest industrial cluster,” said Mike Lockett, Uniper UK Country Chairman and Chief Commercial Officer Power. “Future proofing the industry, this investment has the potential to secure and grow the region’s economy.”

According to the companies, the scale of the project means that it could become a key source of alternative fuels including supporting the transformation of transportation industries. Shell and Uniper will now jointly progress process design studies and site development activity, with a view to taking the project to Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) by 2023.