Energy company Equinor has submitted a co-funded bid worth over £16 million into Government for a second major low carbon hydrogen production facility in the Humber, which could help to further reduce carbon emissions across the region.
The Hydrogen to Humber (H2H) Production 2 project could be operational by 2028 and will produce 1.2 gigawatts of low carbon hydrogen which can be used across multiple sectors in the region. This includes decarbonising heavy industry, power production, low carbon chemicals production and domestic heating trials.
Combined with Equinor’s flagship 600-megawatt H2H Saltend project on the north bank, these projects alone could deliver 18% of the Government’s 10GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030 target, making the Humber the UK’s foremost hydrogen hub.
Equinor is joined in the project by the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) which will develop a digital twin of the hydrogen supply chain. This will identify opportunities for the UK manufacturing supply chain, supporting local and national SMEs and helping them to take advantage of one of the world’s first truly low carbon hydrogen economies.
The Government’s Net Zero Hydrogen Fund is being administered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and offers co-funding for development expenditure to support the commercial deployment of new low carbon hydrogen production projects during the 2020s. This will not only help deliver its 2030 production targets, but will also ensure that the UK has a diverse and secure decarbonised energy system, as set out in the Energy Security Strategy.
With a total value of around £16.4 million, Equinor and AMRC’s bid into the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund would be 50% privately funded, with the grant supporting the development of the project with an ambition to achieve a final investment decision in 2025.
The Humber region is the most carbon intensive industrial area in the UK and there are a number of major emitters that could use hydrogen to transition from fossil fuels and reduce their emissions. The project would be located close to the proposed hydrogen infrastructure being developed under the Zero Carbon Humber(ZCH) scheme. ZCH is another existing UKRI-supported partnership led by Equinor and including fourteen organisations committed to making the Humber the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040.
In addition to these proposals and H2H Saltend, Equinor has been developing other decarbonisation projects across the Humber region. In partnership with SSE Thermal, Equinor is planning to develop the world’s first at-scale 100% hydrogen power station at Keadby in Lincolnshire and a proposed hydrogen storage facility at Aldbrough in East Yorkshire. In partnership with gas distribution network operator Cadent, Equinor recently announced plans for potential hydrogen town trials in northern Lincolnshire, in line with the Government’s ambition to decarbonise domestic heating.
Dan Sadler, Equinor’s Vice President for UK Low Carbon Solutions, said:
“This co-funded bid helps to maintain and unlock private investment in low carbon hydrogen projects in the Humber. It will underpin the creation of a world first hydrogen economy in an end-to-end value chain. This scheme will position the UK at the forefront of the race to a hydrogen economy helping transition major local industries towards greener technologies whilst creating opportunities for both local and national businesses.
“H2H Production 2 will help establish an ‘at scale’ hydrogen economy in the Humber delivered by world leading, best in class partners which will provide a UK an international lighthouse replicable across the world.”