Equinor (NYSE: EQNR) has today announced that pre-FEED (Front End Engineering and Design) study contracts have been awarded to develop a major low carbon project.
The 600 megawatt (MW) H2H Saltend low carbon hydrogen production plant will be one of the world’s first at-scale facilities to produce hydrogen from natural gas, in combination with carbon capture and storage.
The study contracts will also be used to support the delivery of a further 1,200 MW of low-carbon hydrogen production.
This fuel will be principally used to fuel the Keadby Hydrogen power station, which could be the world’s first large scale facility to use 100% hydrogen to generate power.
Combined, these projects bring hydrogen production capacity of 1.8 giawatts (GW), accounting for a third of the UK Government’s 5GW low carbon hydrogen production goal.
Equinor’s H2H Saltend hydrogen plant and Keadby Hydrogen power station, which is being developed in partnership with SSE Thermal, are the Norwegian giant’s first two UK low carbon fuel projects to support the wider ambition to decarbonise the Humber.
The Humber region is the largest CO2 emitting industrial cluster in the UK, making the H2H project “fundamental” in helping the region to decarbonise.
Dan Sadler, Equinor vice president for UK low carbon solutions, said: “Equinor is dedicated to delivering Hydrogen to Humber and to contributing to the development of the UK’s hydrogen economy through the H2H Saltend project and then expanding that experience with the Keadby Hydrogen project.
“Producing hydrogen from natural gas with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) provides a practical, scalable solution to decarbonise a wide range of sectors that currently depend on fossil fuel.”
The contractors will participate in a competition to provide design proposals, as well as a lump sum FEED and option for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) execution and operations.
The three selected contractors are KBR & Tecnimont consortium, Technip Energies consortium as well as Linde through its businesses at Linde Engineering and BOC UK.
They all have extensive experience and relevant licenses with hydrogen, ammonia, and CO2 capture technologies and were chosen through a 6-month prequalification process.
At the end of 2022, Equinor plans to select one of the consortia to move into the final stage of engineering (FEED) in preparation for a final investment decision in late 2023.
Tanguy Cosmao, Equinor’s project director for the H2H projects, said: “The selected contractors are renowned for their engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operating capabilities in the hydrogen/ammonia and carbon capture sector.
“Our execution strategy enables adoption of proven technology and cost competitive solutions for first-of-a-kind projects and early engagement of UK construction and service companies,”
Last month, the East Coast Cluster (ECC) was selected by the UK government’s Cluster Sequencing process as one of the first two Industrial Clusters to be CCUS enabled by the mid-2020s.
The ECC will provide the critical CO2 transport and storage infrastructure required by the Humber hydrogen projects.
The H2H Saltend project will enable fuel switching in 2026-2027, resulting in a CO2 emissions reduction of 1.1 million tonnes per year.
Thereafter Equinor plan to supply hydrogen to Keadby Hydrogen power station, expected to start-up in 2028-29, with a resulting CO2 emissions reduction of close to 2 million tonnes per year.