BP and Ørsted have signed a letter of intent to work together to develop a project for industrial-scale production of green hydrogen
In the Lingen Green Hydrogen project, the companies intend to build an initial 50-MW electrolyser and associated infrastructure at BP’s Lingen refinery in northwest Germany. This will be powered by renewable energy generated by an Ørsted offshore windfarm in the North Sea. The hydrogen produced will be used in the refinery.
BP and Ørsted will work together to further define the project, agree definitive documents and plan to make a final investment decision in early 2022, subject to appropriate enabling policies being in place. The companies anticipate the project could be operational by 2024.
The 50-MW 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% of the refinery’s current grey hydrogen consumption, avoiding around 80,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions a year.
BP executive vice president for gas and low carbon Dev Sanyal said, “Hydrogen will have an increasing role to play in meeting the energy demands of a decarbonising world. We are determined to build a leading position in this emerging industry.
“Lingen Green Hydrogen offers the opportunity 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.”
Ørsted executive vice president and chief executive offshore wind Martin Neubert said, “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 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 one, which will demonstrate the electrolyser technology at large scale and showcase real-life application of hydrogen based on offshore wind.”
In addition to green hydrogen production, BP and Ørsted 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 500 MW of renewable-powered electrolysis capacity at Lingen. This could provide green hydrogen to meet all the refinery’s hydrogen demand and provide feedstock for potential future synthetic fuel production.
BP and Ørsted have applied for funding for the Lingen Green Hydrogen project from the EU Innovation Fund.
The Lingen refinery processes about 5M tonnes of crude oil a year (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 refinery.