BP is developing plans for the largest blue hydrogen production in the UK, which would produce 1 GW of hydrogen by 2030 in Teesside in the northeast of England.
H2Teesside would make a major contribution the UK’s target of producing 5 GW of hydrogen by 2030. The hydrogen produced could supply clean energy to industry and residential areas, be used as a transport fuel, or be used in the production of biofuels and e-fuels.
So-called blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas, with the resulting CO2 emissions captured and stored rather then being released to the atmosphere. Teesside is an ideal location for this as it is close to depleted North Sea gas field earmarked as carbon storage sites, as well as pipe corridors and existing operational hydrogen storage and distribution facilities. BP expects H2 Teesside to capture 2 million tonnes of CO2 annually, equivalent to the heating emissions of 1 million UK households.
H2Teesside would be integrated with the existing BP-led Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) carbon capture use and storage (CCUS) projects. These aim to create a carbon-neutral industry cluster in Teesside, which currently produces 5% of the UK’s industrial emissions, and where five of the UK’s top 25 carbon emitters are located.
BP has begun a feasibility study into carbon capture technologies which could capture 98% of emissions from the hydrogen production process. The final investment decision is expected in early 2024. The project would be developed in stages, and if it goes ahead, H2Teesside could begin production of the initial 500 MW of blue hydrogen in 2027, or possibly earlier.
BP is also seeking to accelerate the development of a hydrogen cluster, and has signed an MoU with Venator, one of the largest global producers of titanium dioxide pigments and performance additives, to potentially supply hydrogen to its Teesside plant. BP has also signed an MoU with gas distributor Northern Gas Networks for collaboration on decarbonising the gas network.
‘Clean hydrogen is an essential complement to electrification on the path to net zero. Blue hydrogen, integrated with carbon capture and storage, can provide the scale and reliability needed by industrial processes. It can also play an essential role in decarbonising hard-to-electrify industries and driving down the cost of the energy transition,’ says Dev Sanyal, BP’s executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy.
BP has also announced that it has signed an MoU with Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA), to look at the potential of ‘green hydrogen’ in the region, which is produced by electrolysing water with renewable energy. The MoU includes looking at developing the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub in the area.
‘With our expertise in chemicals and processing, Teesside has developed an enviable reputation around the globe as the go-to place to develop hydrogen as a fuel source. The announcement by BP underlines this position,’ says Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. ‘Growing the clean energy sector across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool is a key part of my plan for jobs, a plan that is delivering the clean, high skilled, well paid jobs which are essential for our future. This is a huge vote of confidence in our region and puts Teesside at the forefront of efforts to achieve the government’s ambitious target for the UK to be the world’s first major economy to be net zero, by 2050.’