MEMBER NEWS: Equinor to triple UK hydrogen output with new plant near Hull

July 2, 2021
MEMBER NEWS: Equinor to triple UK hydrogen output with new plant near Hull

Courtesy of The Guardian.

Norway’s state oil company Equinor will triple its UK hydrogen output, after setting out plans to build the world’s biggest hydrogen production plant with carbon capture and storage technology near Hull.

Equinor plans to produce clean-burning “blue hydrogen” to supply the Keadby gas power plant in Lincolnshire, owned by energy company SSE, making it the world’s first full-scale power plant to burn pure hydrogen to generate electricity.

Anders Opedal, the chief executive of Equinor, said on Monday that the company plans to produce another 1,200MW of blue hydrogen in the Humber area to help supply the Keadby hydrogen power plant.

He said that without hydrogen and carbon capture technology there was “no viable path to net zero and realising the Paris goals”.

Earlier this year Equinor and SSE set out plans to produce enough hydrogen to supply the Saltend Chemicals Park and Saltend Power Station. The 600MW project will extract hydrogen from traditional fossil gas, leaving carbon dioxide which it plans to trap and store using carbon capture technology.

Hydrogen is considered an important part of the UK’s plan to reduce its carbon emissions because it could replace fossil gas used in factories and power plants, and help to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels for transport and heating.

However, many environmentalists have called for policymakers to invest in enough renewable electricity to create hydrogen from water, or “green hydrogen”, rather than producing hydrogen using carbon capture and storage (CCS), which cannot completely eliminate carbon emissions and remains an expensive technology.

CCS technologies typically trap the carbon dioxide produced by factories or fossil fuel power plants before they are emitted into the atmosphere and contribute to global heating. But the technology is also required to produce blue hydrogen, which involves splitting hydrogen from traditional fossil gas, leaving carbon dioxide.

Once trapped, the greenhouse gas can then be piped into permanent underground storage facilities or sold to buyers who can use the carbon to manufacture plastics, boost their greenhouse crop yields or even make fizzy drinks.

A new report from the Global CCS Institute thinktank has found that the world’s CCS capacity will need to grow by 100 times to meet global climate targets, at a cost of between $655bn (£472bn) and more than $1tn over the next 30 years.

Brad Page, the institute’s chief executive, warned that the “necessary investment far exceeds what governments are willing to provide”, meaning policymakers will need to play a role in enabling “very large-scale private sector capital”.

“Investing around $1tn over almost 30 years is well within the capacity of the private sector which invested almost $2tn in the energy sector in 2018 alone,” he said.

Doug Parr, the chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, said the British government would be better off spending money on clean energy solutions rather than expensive technologies to counter the effects of fossil fuels.

“Using taxpayers’ money to keep propping up harmful, polluting industries is using time and money that we don’t have,” he said. “Pumping out less carbon is the best, most reliable and affordable option.”

Read the article on the Guardian website here.

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AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise