Energy giant moves to decarbonise with hydrogen and diesel facilities

Energy Giant ExxonMobil has moved towards the creation of the world’s largest low-carbon hydrogen production facility with a contract award for front-end engineering and design (FEED).

While a final investment decision for the project is expected by 2024, subject to stakeholder support, regulatory permitting, and market conditions, the company’s president of low carbon solutions said the project will be a huge step its achieving its decarbonisation aims.

Once on line ExxonMobil’s Baytown low-carbon hydrogen, ammonia and carbon capture facility will target the production of 1 billion cubic feet of low-carbon hydrogen per day, while capturing more than 98% of associated CO2 emissions. It will make it the largest low-carbon hydrogen project in the world at planned start up in 2027-2028.

More than 98% of the associated CO2 produced by the facility, or around 7 million metric tons per year, is expected to be captured and permanently stored. The carbon capture and storage network being developed for the project will be made available for use by third-party CO2 emitters in the area in support of their decarbonization efforts.

“This project allows us to offer significant volumes of low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia to third party customers in support of their decarbonization efforts,” said Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “In addition, the project is expected to enable up to a 30% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from our Baytown integrated complex, by switching from natural gas as a fuel source to low-carbon hydrogen.”

ExxonMobil added it will pair the world’s largest low-carbon hydrogen facility with the largest olefins plant in the United States to deliver more sustainable, lower-emissions products for customers and society. It has awarded the FEED contract to Technip Energies who will be responsible for the next stage of front-end engineering and design of the low-carbon hydrogen project.

In 2021, ExxonMobil announced Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emission-reduction plans for 2030 for operated assets, compared to 2016 levels. The plans are to achieve a 20-30% reduction in corporate-wide greenhouse gas intensity; a 40-50% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of upstream operations; a 70-80% reduction in corporate-wide methane intensity; and a 60-70% reduction in corporate-wide flaring intensity.

The announce comes days after the energy giant revealed it is to build the largest renewable diesel facility in Canada.

The plant will be constructed by ExxonMobil’s majority-owned affiliate, Imperial Oil via a $560 million investment.

The project at Imperial’s Strathcona refinery is expected to produce 20,000 barrels of renewable diesel per day primarily from locally sourced feedstocks and could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Canadian transportation sector by about 3 million metric tons per year, as determined in accordance with Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulation.

“The Strathcona project is another example of how we are investing in advantaged facilities and applying our leading technology and decades of experience to develop lower-emission solutions for customers,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Product Solutions. “We continue to focus investments on markets like Canada, where well-designed policies support technologies that reduce life-cycle emissions.”

Imperial’s renewable diesel facility will use low-carbon hydrogen produced with carbon capture and storage technology to help Canada meet low emission fuel standards. Imperial has entered into an agreement with Air Products for low-carbon hydrogen supply and is developing agreements with other third parties for biofeedstock supply.

Renewable diesel production is expected to start in 2025.

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