• Uniper and Shell sign co-operation agreement to progress plans for low-carbon hydrogen production at Uniper’s Killingholme site in North Lincolnshire
• Hydrogen produced could be used to decarbonise heavy industry, transport, heating and power across Humber and beyond
• Project recently passed eligibility phase for UK Government’s Phase-2 CCUS Cluster Sequencing Process
Uniper has signed an agreement with Shell to progress plans to produce blue hydrogen at Uniper’s Killingholme power station site, in the East of England. The hydrogen produced could be used to decarbonise industry, transport and power throughout the Humber region.
The Humber Hub Blue Project includes plans for a blue hydrogen production facility with a capacity of up to 720 megawatts (MW), 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, recently selected as one of two carbon capture and storage schemes to receive initial government support under the Government’s Cluster Sequencing Process.
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.
Blue hydrogen production at Killingholme could see the capture of approximately 1.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of carbon per year through CCS, making a significant contribution to the UK Government’s target to capture 10Mt of carbon per year by 2030.
The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding signed by both 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, with a view to taking the project to Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) by 2023.
“The Humber Hub Blue Project is a key part of Uniper’s hydrogen ambitions in the UK and we’re extremely pleased that Shell is joining us on this initiative”, 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. Future proofing the industry, this investment has the potential to secure and grow the region’s economy”, added Mike Lockett, Uniper UK Country Chairman and Chief Commercial Officer Power.
“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% of this is for low and zero-carbon technology. Hydrogen and CCS will be key to these plans. They can also help stimulate economic growth and jobs. That is why it is critical that both government and industry continue to work together to drive change.”
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.”
Notes to editors
- Blue hydrogen refers to hydrogen produced by the reformation of natural gas. The CO2 produced as a result of this process is captured and stored using CCS technology.
- The project will be focusing on potential industrial uses of the hydrogen but to give a sense of scale, production of 720 MW would be enough low carbon hydrogen to heat over half a million homes a year.
- Uniper is also a partner in the Zero Carbon Humber project to develop the necessary carbon dioxide pipeline transport for blue hydrogen production. As part of the East Coast Cluster the captured carbon dioxide will be stored permanently offshore in the Northern Endurance Partnership’s facility in the UK’s North Sea.
- Uniper continues to develop a separate green hydrogen project, using electrolytic hydrogen production technology, as part of the overall Humber Hub development at Uniper’s Killingholme site. Uniper, along with its project partners, will shortly complete the Project Mayflower feasibility study, part funded by the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, administered by InnovateUK, looking at the decarbonisation of port related activities at the Port of Immingham.