Humber hydrogen projects presented to MPs and policymakers by trio of energy collaborators

Major name energy firms have launched collaborative hydrogen projects for the north bank of the Humber at an event in Westminster.

Equinor, Centrica and SSE Thermal presented plans to a group of MPs in the Parliament, joined by representatives from industry bodies, civil servants and regional stakeholders. The vision includes the creation of H2H Easington by Equinor and Centrica – multi-stage green and blue hydrogen production facility – as well as the a hydrogen pipeline to link H2H Easington to Equinor’s proposed H2H Saltend hydrogen production facility at Saltend Chemicals Park, and to Equinor and SSE Thermal’s proposed hydrogen storage facility at Aldbrough on the East Yorkshire Coast.

Energy Minister Lord Callanan, who is responsible for hydrogen and carbon capture policy, spoke at the event alongside Beverley & Holderness MP Graham Stuart, who until earlier this month was Energy Security and Net Zero Minister.

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Following an agreement in 2022, Equinor and Centrica have carried out engineering studies on projects that could produce up to 1.2GW of blue hydrogen production and up to 1GW of green hydrogen at Easington, with production earmarked to start at the end of the decade before scaling up through the 2030s. To facilitate the plans, proposals for a green hydrogen electrolyser have been submitted to Government as part of the second Hydrogen Allocation Round. If successful the system could be operational by early 2029 and replace natural gas demand at the Easington terminal, reducing its CO2 footprint and opening the door to sustainable aviation fuel production.

Dan Sadler, director for hydrogen at Equinor’s UK Low Carbon Solutions, said: “The proposals we’ve set out today demonstrate the commitment to the decarbonisation of the Humber by three of the largest players in UK energy, each with a track record of delivering ambitious schemes that reflect the changing demands of our economy. This is a unique opportunity to link these key sites in the Humber, pairing hydrogen production with users and storage sites to create the foundational requirements for an expanding hydrogen economy throughout the 2030s and 40s. It will help to reduce emissions whilst also stimulating economic growth.”

Martin Scargill, managing director of Centrica Energy Storage, said: “These projects will bring huge benefits to the Humber as we move forward to net zero. Working together, Centrica, Equinor and SSE Thermal will deliver this innovative, world leading, regional hydrogen system, that in time could see Rough connected to provide the UK with large scale, clean energy storage. We know that the UK will need to explore all possible options to meet its net zero target and these projects will support the country’s decarbonisation plans while creating jobs and certainty for the region’s industry in the future.”

John Johnson, director of development at SSE Thermal, said: “Hydrogen projects like the ones we’re bringing forward at Aldbrough can help to deliver a low-carbon future for the Humber. We know that all roads to net zero lead through the region and this collaboration aims to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen by linking multiple key sites and projects in support of the UK’s decarbonisation efforts. Ultimately, the Humber Hydrogen Hub can be a key enabler of a thriving hydrogen economy.”

Mr Stuart added: “This is an exciting collection of projects which can help to deliver on the UK’s net zero goals and hydrogen targets whilst also supporting the Government’s levelling up agenda. I’m particularly proud to have such key strategic energy sites within my constituency that are attracting investment from large companies, creating new jobs for local people and supply chain opportunities for local businesses. It shows that East Yorkshire is an internationally renowned location for low carbon technologies, and this can only help to boost prosperity across the region.”