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Equinor triples its UK ambitions of low-carbon hydrogen production to 1.8 GW

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Group photo around table - Equinor meeting UK Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Norway’s Energy Minister Tina Bru
Equinor meeting UK Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Norway’s Energy Minister Tina Bru in Oslo, Norway.

With Equinor tripling its ambitions for producing low-carbon hydrogen, the Equinor and Humber partner projects in the region could deliver over half of the UK’s 5GW ambition by 2030.

Equinor is a leading partner to decarbonise the Humber, the UK’s largest emitting industrial region. The Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) partnership is developing several projects sharing CO2 and hydrogen infrastructure to deliver clean energy and power to industries in the region.

In a meeting with UK Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Norway’s Energy Minister Tina Bru in Oslo on 28 June, Equinor’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Anders Opedal, underlined the company’s ambitions in the UK.

“Without CCS and hydrogen, at scale, there is no viable path to net zero and realising the Paris goals. Our low-carbon projects in the UK build on our own industrial experience and will play a major role in setting the UK’s industrial heartlands in a leading position. The projects will also contribute to provide hydrogen and low carbon solutions to three to five industrial clusters by 2035. We will do so by working together with governments, partners and customers,” says Anders Opedal.

Equinor is leading the H2H Saltend project, a first-of-a-kind 600 megawatt gas reformer that will produce hydrogen from natural gas with carbon capture. This will enable fuel switching by industrial users at Saltend Chemicals Park and the onsite Saltend Cogeneration Power Station switching to a hydrogen fuel blend. It will reduce CO2 emissions from Saltend by nearly one million tonnes annually.

The increased hydrogen ambitions involve a further 1,200 megawatt of low-carbon hydrogen production, principally to fuel the Keadby Hydrogen power station. Equinor is co-developing the project with SSE Thermal, which could be the world’s first large scale 100% hydrogen-fuelled power station. With appropriate policy mechanisms in place, Keadby Hydrogen power station could come online before the end of the decade. The flexible, low-carbon power production from this project will be key to supporting variable renewable power production, ensuring reliable access to electricity.

With its partners in the Northern Endurance Partnership, Equinor is also developing the offshore infrastructure to transport and store CO2 from projects in the East Coast Cluster. The ZCH onshore pipeline network, developed by Equinor and National Grid Ventures, will link H2H Saltend to the energy-intensive industrial sites in the region.

“Equinor has a strong track record of developing pioneering projects safely, working with suppliers to standardise and industrialise technology to reduce risk and drive costs down. This includes working closely together with local communities,” concludes Opedal.

During his visit to Norway, Energy Secretary Kwarteng also visited Fortum’s waste-to-energy plant in Oslo. Subject to financing, this will be one of the two first industrial sites to capture and ship CO2 to be safely stored by Northern Lights, a joint venture between Equinor, Shell and Total Energies to transport and store captured CO2 permanently under the seabed in the North Sea. The facilities are under construction and will be operational in 2024. Northern Lights is a major part of the full CCS value chain initiative by the Norwegian state called “Longship” and is an important step in delivering Equinor’s corporate ambitions. Initial capacity will be 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Subject to market demand, the capacity can be increased to 5 million or more in later stages of development.

Equinor has 25 years of experience in CCS from the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) which gives the company a unique and leading position in developing CCS value chains. The company has the ambition to play a leading role in developing new CCS value chains and hydrogen projects in both Norway and the UK.

For more information contact:
Magnus Frantzen Eidsvold

About Equinor in the UK

Equinor has been operating in the UK for over 35 years. Headquartered in Norway, the company employs 22,000 people globally, and over 650 in the UK. As a broad energy company, Equinor is committed to long term value creation in a low carbon future and aims to reach net zero emissions globally by 2050.

Equinor is the UK’s leading energy provider and supports the UK economy by investing billions in crucial energy infrastructure, working with over 700 suppliers across the country. Its energy supplies from Norway meet more than one quarter of the UK’s demand for natural gas and around one fifth of its demand for oil, both produced with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry. It operates the Mariner oil field, one of the largest and most digitally advanced offshore investments in the UK over the last decade, and is progressing Rosebank, the largest undeveloped field in the UK. Both projects support hundreds of jobs and economic activity in Scotland.

In the UK, Equinor currently powers around 750,000 homes through its three wind farms; Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon, and the world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland which is partnered with Batwind, the world’s first battery for offshore wind. In partnership with SSE Renewables, and Eni, Equinor is building the largest offshore wind farm in the world, Dogger Bank, off the North East coast of England, and developing plans to extend both the Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal wind farms.

It is also a leader in both carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, developing the H2H Saltend hydrogen production plant at the plant that is at the heart of the Zero Carbon Humber alliance. It is collaborating with SSE Thermal on low-carbon power projects using hydrogen and carbon capture in the Humber and a further carbon capture power project in Scotland. It is partnering in the Net Zero Teesside power project and, as part of the Northern Endurance Partnership, it is developing CO2 transport and storage infrastructure for the East Coast Cluster, comprising the Humber and Teesside.