Aberdeen City Council has launched the hunt for a partner to help it build a “first of its kind” £215million green hydrogen production hub.
The facility, billed as the first “commercially scalable” and “investible” site of its kind in Scotland, would serve the city’s housing, heating and transport systems.
An invitation to tender puts the overall price tag of the facility at £215m, with Aberdeen City Council having “agreed in principle” to fund £19.4m from its capital programme in the project.
A joint venture partner would be expected to provide “finance and investment for the opportunity” as well as resources including scoping, design, project management and other elements.
The split of costs are part of the tender judgement, so how they would be shared with a partner are yet to be decided.
City council leader Jenny Laing said: “This is an important next step in our plans to create long-term, green economic growth in the city.”
The work would be mapped out over three phases, with the first seeing creation of a facility to supply green hydrogen for existing and proposed transport projects, which the council said it anticipated starting up in 2024.
Phase 2 envisages larger volumes such as for rail and marine transport, which would then be upscaled again in phase 3 to supply hydrogen for heat systems.
A joint venture partner would enter into a supply framework lasting a 10-year period with two five-year extension options.
Aberdeen City Council said it builds on the city’s position in helping develop the burgeoning offshore wind sector, while also utilising its array hydrogen vehicles including buses and waste trucks.
Green hydrogen is a type of fuel which is produced via renewable energy, a cleaner and more sought-after fuel than blue hydrogen which is derived from natural gas.
Dolphyn, the world’s first floating wind hydrogen scheme, is planned off the coast of Aberdeen, while the Energy Transition Zone from Opportunity North East has wind manufacturing ambitions.
The city has also penned an agreement with oil major BP to help the region achieve its “net zero vision” by 2045.
Councillor Laing said: “Over the past five years, Aberdeen has established itself as a centre of excellence for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
“Taking the energy expertise, experience and infrastructure already in place in Aberdeen, the city has successfully implemented large scale hydrogen projects laying the foundations for more to follow. At the City Region level, there is an opportunity to expand into large scale upstream production and supply for both domestic and export markets through the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub concept.
“The Hub will capitalise on Aberdeen’s leading role as a pioneering hydrogen city and create a springboard for economic growth, future investment, technology development and job creation across the region.”
The City Council said the announcement comes after a market engagement exercise earlier this year garnered “significant interest” in such a commercial development being put in place.
It added that a hydrogen hub would align with the Scottish Government’s ambition to generate 5GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030.