London — Phillips 66, Uniper and Vitol-owned VPI Immingham have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to install post-combustion CO2 capture equipment on two of VPI Immingham's three gas-fired power generators and selected processing units at the Humber and Lindsay refineries, the companies said Tuesday.
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The Humber Zero decarbonization project would then seek to develop of a hydrogen hub producing both green and blue hydrogen to serve the third VPI Immingham generator and local industry, they said.
Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas with the addition of carbon capture. Green hydrogen is produced via electrolysis using renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
In a first phase, Humber Zero would capture 8 million metric tonnes per annum of CO2 emissions, with the potential to target 30 million mt CO2 emissions from the wider Humber Cluster to the west of Immingham, the companies said.
"Humber Zero has already secured support from Innovate UK and intends to be operational by the mid-2020s," they said.
Its coastal location "enables the efficient offtake of CO2 into offshore depleted oil and gas fields and gives access to offshore wind developments for electrolysis," the companies said.
The project could also help decarbonize other power stations and industry in the vicinity such as British Steel, through the planned southern Humber pipeline route.
Wood Group, Imperial College of London and the University of Sheffield are also involved in the project, which is part of Innovate UK's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund competition to deliver 2050 Net Zero objectives.
The project is to move into a front end engineering design (FEED) phase in 2021 as part of the wider Humber Deployment Project.
Project director Jonathan Briggs said Humber Zero "can establish the foundation for a gateway to decarbonize the wider Humber, bringing new industries, sectors and jobs to the region. I look forward to progressing the project into FEED together with UKRI and the UK government."
The Humber Industrial Decarbonisation Deployment Project won a share of GBP2 million of first-phase funding in April from the UK Research and Innovation body (UKRI).
The winners of the funding now go forward to compete for up to GBP131 million ($163 million) of funds in a second phase of the competition, for projects delivering significant greenhouse gas emission reductions in a UK industrial cluster by 2030.
VPI Immingham is a 1,240 MW gas-fired combined heat and power station. It was completed in 2004 and expanded in 2009.