Centrica and Equinor team up for Yorkshire hydrogen hub

The UK’s Centrica and Norway’s Equinor have signed a co-operation agreement to explore development of a low-carbon hydrogen production hub at Easington in East Yorkshire in the UK.

Under the co-operation plan, the Centrica-operated area at Easington could transition to a low carbon hydrogen production hub over the coming decade. 

This would support the Humber’s decarbonisation ambitions and help the UK meet its Net Zero goals and hydrogen production targets. Such a transition would also safeguard many of the existing jobs within this historic gas terminal.

Currently up to one third of the UK’s total gas supply enters via Easington, much of it from Equinor’s Norwegian facilities. Easington is also situated close to some of the world’s largest offshore wind farm developments, offering huge potential for both blue and green hydrogen production.

“Partnering with Centrica to potentially develop a new hydrogen hub at one of the UK’s most significant industrial sites could help to transform this region’s energy mix whilst preserving and creating jobs and skills” said Grete Tveit, senior vice president for Low Carbon Solutions at Equinor

The area is also earmarked as one of the landing point for the East Coast Cluster’s carbon capture pipeline, which would transport CO2 for safe storage deep under the seabed. As such, it is a key location within the Zero Carbon Humber Zero partnership which is planned to provide regional hydrogen and CO2 pipelines between the area’s major energy producers and carbon intensive industries. 

In response to the ongoing energy crisis, Centrica said it has secured licences and consents to strengthen the UK’s security of natural gas supply in the near term. Centrica is also advancing plans to convert its Rough offshore gas storage facility for hydrogen storage as part of its transition to a net zero future.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Equinor to explore opportunities to deliver on our commitments to help the UK transition to net zero as hydrogen will play a key role in achieving this,” said Chris O’Shea, Centrica CEO

The UK government recently doubled its 2030 hydrogen production ambition to 10GW capacity, with at least half coming from electrolytic ‘green’ hydrogen. Equinor said it has ambitions to deliver nearly one fifth of this national target by generating 1.8GW of hydrogen production within the Humber region by 2028, beginning with its flagship H2H Saltend  project. 

Centrica and Equinor expect that the conversion of the Easington Terminal could produce an additional 1GW of low carbon hydrogen production coupled with the around 200MW off-taker demand.

The UK government recently doubled its 2030 hydrogen production ambition to 10GW capacity, with at least half coming from electrolytic ‘green’ hydrogen.

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