Photo: Uniper’s Killingholme power station; Courtesy of Uniper

Shell and Uniper cooperate on UK’s blue hydrogen production

Shell and Uniper have teamed up to produce blue hydrogen at Uniper’s Killingholme power station site in the East of England.

Shell and Uniper cooperate on UK's blue hydrogen production
Uniper’s Killingholme power station; Courtesy of Uniper

Specifically, Shell and Uniper signed a cooperation agreement to progress plans for low-carbon hydrogen production at Uniper’s Killingholme site in North Lincolnshire.

The hydrogen could be used to decarbonise industry, transport, and power throughout the Humber region, the parties say.

The Humber Hub Blue project includes plans for a blue hydrogen production facility with a capacity of up to 720 megawatts. It will be 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. This has recently been selected as one of two CCS clusters to receive initial government support under the government’s cluster sequencing process.

In addition, the project recently passed the eligibility criteria for Phase-2 of the government’s cluster sequencing process. The eligible projects will be shortlisted from May 2022. Phase-2 projects are to take final investment decisions from 2024 to then be operational from 2027.

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.

The agreement follows an MoU signed by the companies in 2021 to explore accelerating the development of a hydrogen economy in Europe. Shell and Uniper will now jointly progress process design studies and site development activity. The goal is to take the project to front end engineering and design by 2023.

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“The Humber Hub Blue hydrogen project is a key part of Uniper’s hydrogen ambitions in the UK,” said Axel Wietfeld, CEO of Uniper Hydrogen.

“The development of a hydrogen production hub at Killingholme represents a significant step towards decarbonising the UK’s largest industrial cluster,” added Mike Lockett, Uniper UK country chairman.

“Shell is ready to play our part in ensuring an orderly transition to net-zero while bolstering the UK’s energy security,” said David Bunch, country chair, Shell UK. “We plan to invest up to £25 billion in the UK energy system over the next decade subject to Board approval, and more than 75 per cent of this is for low and zero-carbon technology. H2 and CCS will be key to these plans.”

British minister of energy 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.”