Orsted and BP look to develop major renewable hydrogen project in Germany

BP’s Lingen Refinery is located in north-west Germany.

Credit: bp

Orsted and BP are to work together on the development of a large-scale renewable hydrogen project at a refinery in north-west Germany, the latest example of major businesses in the energy sector focusing on so called “green hydrogen.”

In an announcement Tuesday, BP said it had signed a letter of intent with Orsted to collaborate on the project.

According to the oil and gas giant, the scheme will involve the development of an initial 50 megawatt electrolyser as well as “associated infrastructure” at its Lingen Refinery. The electrolyser, BP said, was expected to generate nearly 9,000 metric tons of hydrogen per year. 

Renewable, or green hydrogen, refers to hydrogen produced via the electrolysis of water, with the electricity used in the process coming from renewable sources like wind and solar.

In its own announcement, Orsted said it expected the electrolyser at the Lingen Green Hydrogen project to be powered by one of its offshore wind farms in the North Sea. 

“Heavy industries such as refineries use large quantities of hydrogen in their manufacturing processes,” Martin Neubert, executive vice president at Orsted, said in a statement issued Tuesday. 

“They will continue to need hydrogen, but replacing the currently fossil-based hydrogen with hydrogen produced from renewable energy can help these industries dramatically lower their CO2 footprint,” he added.

Together, Orsted and BP have made an application for funding from the EU Innovation Fund, which is focused on the “demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies.”

According to BP, a final investment decision is expected in 2022, “subject ‎to appropriate enabling policies being in place.” The project could be up and running by 2024.

Big plans

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