BP unveils large-scale green hydrogen hub in North-East England

HyGreen Teeside to deliver up to 500Me of green energy by 2030

BP is accelerating its transition to cleaner sources of energy with its hydrogen investments. Reuters
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BP plans to set up a large-scale green hydrogen production plant in North-East England, generated with wind, water and solar energy, to boost Britain's shift away from fossil fuels.

HyGreen Teesside will deliver up to 500Mwe (megawatt electrical input) of green production, which is derived from renewable sources, ‎by 2030, the British energy company says as it accelerates its transition to cleaner sources of energy.

The project will help to “transform Teesside into the UK’s green heart, ‎strengthening its people, communities and businesses”, Louise Jacobsen Plutt, BP’s senior vice president for hydrogen and CCUS, said on Monday.

“Low-carbon ‎hydrogen will be essential in decarbonising hard-to-abate industrial sectors including heavy transport,” she said.

BP first mapped out a strategy to scale back its fossil-fuel business in favour of greener alternatives last year. The UK is aiming for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Beyond solar and wind, London-listed BP wants to capture a 10 per cent share of “core” hydrogen markets over the next decade, as oil and gas majors invest heavily in the hydrogen business in the hope it could displace hydrocarbons in power generation, heavy industry and transportation, such as trucking and shipping.

The project will run alongside BP’s H2Teesside, a “blue” hydrogen project, which produces the fuel from natural gas. The two plants will have the potential to deliver 30 per cent of Britain's ‎‎2030 target for hydrogen production, BP said.

That will bolster the British government’s plan to target five gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030 to replace natural gas in powering around three million homes, as well as industry and transport.

Governments and energy companies are depending on clean hydrogen playing a leading role in efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions but its future uses and costs remain uncertain.

A global coalition of industrial companies boosted hopes of reaching a target for emissions-cutting green hydrogen at the Cop26 climate talks, which concluded in Glasgow in November.

The HyGreen Teesside project will start production by 2025, with an initial ‎phase of 60Mwe of installed hydrogen production capacity, as BP plans to work with industry and local government organisations such as Tees Valley Combined Authority to increase the pace of decarbonisation in transport.

The Teesside region is itself undergoing a redevelopment from its former life as a steel, chemical and fossil fuel centre. It was selected as one of two industrial clusters that will receive government support for a carbon capture project.

BP hopes the plant could fuel the development of Teesside into the UK’s first major hydrogen ‎transport hub.

The company did not disclose the expected cost of the plant, which relies on receiving some government funding, and said a final decision was expected in 2023.

Updated: January 10, 2022, 10:29 AM