bp and Ørsted unveil green hydrogen project
bp and Ørsted have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to develop a project for industrial-scale production of green hydrogen.
In their proposed Lingen Green Hydrogen project, the two firms intend to build an electrolyser and associated infrastructure at bp’s Lingen Refinery in north-west Germany. The 50MW electrolyser project is expected to produce one tonne an hour of green hydrogen or almost 9,000 tonnes a year.
This would be sufficient to replace around 20 percent of the refinery’s current grey hydrogen consumption, avoiding around 80,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions a year – equivalent to the emissions from around 45,000 cars in Germany.
This will be powered by renewable energy generated by an Ørsted offshore wind farm in the North Sea and the hydrogen produced will be used in the refinery.
Under their LOI, bp and Ørsted will now work together to further define the project, agree definitive documents and plan to make a final investment decision (FID) early 2022, subject to appropriate enabling policies being in place.
The companies anticipate the project could be operational by 2024. Electrolysis splits water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. When powered by renewable energy, this produces ‘green’ hydrogen, without generating direct carbon emissions.
Hydrogen is widely used in refinery processes where – as in Lingen – it is now typically produced by reforming natural gas, which does result in CO2 emissions. This is also known as ‘grey’ hydrogen.
Green hydrogen is made by the electrolysis of water using renewable power, producing zero emissions.
Dev Sanyal, bp’s executive vice president for gas and low carbon, said hydrogen will have an increasing role to play in meeting the energy demands of a decarbonizing world.
"Bringing together Ørsted and bp, Lingen Green Hydrogen offers the opportunity both to accelerate significant emissions reduction in our refinery and build experience of large-scale green hydrogen production and deployment. This has the potential to play an important role in the development of a hydrogen economy, in Germany and beyond.”
Martin Neubert, executive vice president and CEO of offshore wind for Ørsted, added: “Heavy industries such as refineries use large quantities of hydrogen in their manufacturing processes. They will continue to need hydrogen, but replacing the current fossil-based hydrogen with hydrogen produced from renewable energy can help these industries dramatically lower their CO2 footprint.
"But first, renewable hydrogen has to become cost competitive with fossil-based hydrogen, and for that we need projects such as this with bp’s Lingen refinery which will demonstrate the electrolyser technology at large scale and showcase real-life application of hydrogen based on offshore wind.”
In the coming decades, hydrogen is expected to play a critical role in decarbonising the power, industry and transport sectors, especially those that are hard-to-electrify or expensive-to-electrify.
The development of businesses in emerging technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture use and storage (CCUS) is an integral part of bp's strategy of transforming to an integrated energy company.
Both firms intend to focus on maximising the efficiency of the project’s electrolysis system, including assessing sustainable uses for the main by-products of the process, primarily oxygen and low-grade excess heat.
The project is also intended to support a longer-term ambition to build more than 500MW of renewable-powered electrolysis capacity at Lingen. This could provide green hydrogen to both meet all the refinery’s hydrogen demand and provide feedstock for potential future synthetic fuel production.
bp and Ørsted have together applied for funding for the Lingen Green Hydrogen project from the EU Innovation Fund – one of the largest funding programmes for innovative low carbon technologies, focusing particularly on energy intensive industries.
The Lingen Refinery processes about five million tonnes of crude oil a year (c 100,000 barrels a day), producing fuels, heating oil and chemical feedstocks. In 2018 Lingen conducted the world’s first trial of green hydrogen in a fuels refinery.
Earlier this year, bp announced its ambition to become a net zero emissions company by 2050. In September, bp and Microsoft agreed to collaborate as strategic partners to further digital transformation in energy systems and advance net zero carbon goals of both companies.
Global Offshore rebrands Enelift and invests in global hubs
Global Offshore has rebranded Enelift and will invest "a seven-figure sum" in establishing new support hubs in Houston, Dubai, Singapore, Perth and the Caspian during the next six months.
The investment will cover oil, gas and renewables, mainly concentrating on manufacturing capability with associated R&D, as well as in stock held in the hubs.
The company’s flagship Hinge Lok technology provides aluminium, non-welded light weight transportation cradle for casing and tubing. Enelift now plans to enhance its offering by augmenting its existing solutions with robotics and remote operational and training technology, which will reduce manpower for handling offshore equipment that is transported and stored using the Hinge Lok system.
Enelift is partnering with "a Japanese robotics company" and the technology will be trialed with "a Norwegian operator on a Norwegian drilling rig", according to a statement.
Operating from its bases in Aberdeen, UK and Esbjerg, Enelift was founded by 35-year industry veteran and Managing Director Paul Brebner 10 years ago to offer the offshore energy industries safe, reliable and efficient storage and transportation of equipment.
The expansion plans are bolstered by the appointment of Jim Clark of the Craigendarroch Group to Chairman, and Adam Maitland to Non-Executive Director. Maitland is the Managing Director of Hutcheon Mearns IF, and brings his wealth of expertise in the field of corporate finance.
Brebner said Enelift may be a new name in the market, but the experience it brings is "industry renowned".
"Our solutions are underpinned by safety that enables inefficiencies and their associated costs to be eradicated – meaning operational personnel can focus doing what they do best, safely. We remain committed to providing the safest storage and transportation solutions for equipment in the sector as we grow our global operations," he said.
Clark said the market is changing and its solutions fully support customers’ economic and safety aspirations.
"We are very well placed to take full advantage of increasing opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, Far East and Americas. Safety is our absolute commitment to our customers and our support hubs will facilitate this. Aligning our identity to our entire offering ensures that we will drive our expansion through new products and global support sites across the rest of this year."