bp and Ørsted partner to develop Lingen Green Hydrogen project
Global oil and gas major bp plc and Denmark-headed renewable energy major Ørsted A/S have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to work together to develop a project for industrial-scale production of green hydrogen at bp's Lingen refinery in Emsland, north-west Germany – the Lingen Green Hydrogen project.
Under the LoI, bp and Ørsted will now work together to further define the project, agree on definitive documents, and plan to make a final investment decision (FID) in early 2022, subject to appropriate enabling policies being in place. The companies anticipate the project could be operational by 2024.
In the proposed Lingen Green Hydrogen project, the two companies intend to build an initial 50 MW electrolyzer and associated infrastructure at bp’s Lingen Refinery – a significant step in developing bp’s hydrogen business.
The electrolyzer 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.
Hydrogen is widely used in refinery processes whereas in Lingen – it is now typically produced by reforming natural gas, which does result in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, also known as ‘grey’ hydrogen.
Hydrogen will have an increasing role to play in meeting the energy demands of a decarbonizing world. And we are determined to build a leading position in this emerging industry. 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 beyondsaid Dev Sanyal, EVP Gas & Low Carbon Energy, bp.
Cover 20 percent of hydrogen demand
The 50 MW electrolyzer 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.
In addition to green hydrogen production, bp and Ørsted intend to focus on maximizing 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.
bp and Ørsted have together applied for funding for the Lingen Green Hydrogen project from the European Innovation Fund – one of the largest funding programmes for innovative low carbon technologies, focusing particularly on energy-intensive industries.
Ambition to ramp up ten-fold
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 into an integrated energy company.
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 both meet all the refinery’s hydrogen demand and provide feedstock for potential future synthetic fuel production.
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 a large scale and showcase the real-life application of hydrogen-based on offshore wind, said Martin Neubert, EVP and CEO of Offshore Wind at Ørsted.