Equinor’s H2H Saltend Project Given Major Boost as Planning Permission Granted

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 2/20/2024, Location: Europe

Equinor’s H2H Saltend is a 600-megawatt low carbon hydrogen production plant with carbon capture, one of the first of its kind and scale to be granted planning permission in the UK, helping to establish the Humber as an international hub for low carbon hydrogen whilst significantly reducing carbon emissions.

The decision comes at a vital time, as the project prepares for a potential application into the Government’s forthcoming ‘Cluster Sequencing Track-1 Expansion’ process, which is expected to launch this year and will select decarbonisation projects in both the Humber and Teesside that can connect to the East Coast Cluster’s carbon capture transport and storage infrastructure by around 2030.

Due to be operational around the end of the decade and sited at the energy intensive Saltend Chemicals Park, to the east of Hull, H2H Saltend will help to reduce the park’s emissions by up to one third. To achieve this, low carbon hydrogen will be used in chemical processes by both Saltend-based and other nearby companies, as well as directly replacing natural gas in several industrial facilities reducing the carbon intensity of their products.

Hydrogen from H2H Saltend will also be blended with natural gas at Equinor and SSE Thermal’s on-site Triton power station. The amount of CO2 captured and safely stored in sub-sea aquifers as a result will be around nearly 900,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to taking about 500,000 cars off the road annually.

H2H Saltend is a catalyst project for the wider decarbonisation of the Humber, including helping to link regional CO2 pipelines from Easington in East Yorkshire across northern Lincolnshire and to Drax in North Yorkshire. The infrastructure, which NEP confirmed ownership of in January 2024, will capture and transport carbon dioxide for safe sub-sea storage as part of the East Coast Cluster development. Three projects along this pipeline route - H2H Saltend, Drax BECCS and Keadby Carbon Capture Power Station – now have planning consent, making the Humber unique in its offering of mature decarbonisation projects.

These proposals aim to make the Humber, the UK’s most carbon intensive industrial region, net-zero by 2040. In addition, H2H Saltend will deliver value for money by building a foundation for the energy transition in the Humber area, leading to more job opportunities for local people and supply chain contracts. It will help to establish East Yorkshire as a leading light in the transition to a net zero economy.

The project also forms part of Equinor’s ‘Hydrogen to Humber’ ambition to deliver 1.8 gigawatts of low carbon hydrogen production within the region, nearly 20% of the UK’s national 2030 target. These proposals seek to develop a hydrogen transport and storage hub network linking key sites primarily on the north bank of the Humber including Saltend, Easington and the Aldbrough Storage facility, via dedicated hydrogen pipelines.

The H2H Saltend planning application was submitted to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council in July 2023. There have been three public consultation events in East Yorkshire and Hull since 2021 to present the project throughout the planning process, in addition to regular dialogues with local authority and parish councillors. No objections to the application were raised by any statutory body.

The UK Government is expected to launch the Track-1 Expansion competition from 2024. It is the next step of the Cluster Sequencing process, following selection of the East Coast Cluster as a Track-1 Cluster and subsequent selection of a first phase projects in March 2023, when Humber projects were unsuccessful.

Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance Lord Callanan said:

“I am pleased that H2H Saltend has been granted planning permission, a vital step forward in decarbonising the Humber while delivering jobs and growth to the region.

“CCUS clusters will be the starting point for a new industry in the UK, which is why we’ve committed up to £20 billion in early support and expect to bring forward 4GW of low carbon hydrogen production by 2030.”

Derek Ho, H2H Saltend Project Director, said:

“We are delighted to receive planning permission for this key project which could help to kick-start multiple decarbonisation initiatives in the Humber, a vital region with a long-standing history for Equinor. It is an important first step in creating a low carbon hydrogen economy and achieving net zero in the Humber, safeguarding local industries and creating greater opportunities including new jobs and skills, whilst helping the UK to tackle climate change.

“This decision comes at a very opportune moment, as we await the launch of the Government’s next phase of the Cluster Sequencing process for the Humber, and it puts H2H Saltend in a strong position, should we submit a bid.”

Anne Handley, Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, added:

“This is an important decision not only for this project but also for this region. We welcome major energy projects from global companies like Equinor, which help to demonstrate the ability of our area to attract investment, leading to more jobs, supply chain contracts and opportunities for local people. We should be proud that East Yorkshire can be a leading light in the transition to a net zero economy.”


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