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UK: 20MW Green Hydrogen Production Project for the Port of Immingham Receives Funding

By September 15, 2021 5   min read  (986 words)

September 15, 2021 |

Fuel cells works, Uniper, Siemens Energy, Toyota Tsusho And Associated British Ports Submit Joint Funding Bid For Decarbonising The Port Of Immingham
  • Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition backs Project Maylower
  • Uniper, Siemens Energy, Toyota Tsusho and Associated British Ports are all partners in the project and successful bid.

The project is a collaboration between Associated British Ports (ABP), Siemens Energy UK (SEU), Toyota Tsusho UK (TTUK), Uniper Technologies UK (UTL) and Uniper Hydrogen UK (UHU), to realise the potential of a green hydrogen supply to the Port of Immingham (PoI) for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction of port operations and shipping. Thereby, a solution for GHG reduction is targeted, that is both scalable within the PoI and replicable in other ports around the UK and internationally.

As a result of the approval of Innovate UK and the Department of Transport, the feasibility study will now start this month. As one of 55 projects sharing £23 million, it will provide £70,000 towards the £140,000 cost.

Project Mayflower, is in reference to the starting point for the historic pilgrimage to the ‘New World’ 401 years ago, will develop a hydrogen-based decarbonisation model, with potential for 20MW of production by 2025.

Henrik Pedersen, chief executive at Associated British Ports, said: “This successful bid is an exciting and important step in the UK’s journey to Net Zero. We believe that hydrogen will be a game-changer for decarbonising maritime and wider industry and we are delighted that ABP’s Port of Immingham can play a pioneering role.”

Mike Lockett, Uniper’s UK chairman and group chief commercial officer for power, said: “This is excellent news! We’re really pleased that we’ll now be able to progress our feasibility study, with our partners, in this ground-breaking area. We believe that hydrogen could be an ideal solution for enabling the decarbonisation of those hard to reach sectors such as transport, heavy industry and maritime.”

Steve Scrimshaw, vice president for UK and Ireland at Siemens Energy Ltd, said: “Securing this funding means we will be able to assess the full decarbonisation potential of hydrogen in the maritime sector, which has the potential to be replicated at other ports across the world.”

Uniper brings its existing expertise in the field of hydrogen production to the project and will lead the feasibility study. Uniper owns the nearby Killingholme power station, which if the bid is successful, could be one of the locations for an electrolyser, powered by renewable energy, to produce hydrogen for the port.

Siemens Energy currently produces some of the worlds most advanced PEM electrolysis units and has an aspiration to be a key player in the UK market, complementing its current products in the renewable sector. Siemens Energy has identified the Humber as a key area to decarbonise in the UK.

ABP’s Port of Immingham is a major trading gateway and intermodal hub for road, rail and sea transport, making it the ideal location for hydrogen production and distribution. The project demonstrates the critical role ports can play in building sustainable supply chains and accelerating the decarbonisation of the UK’s economy.

Toyota Tsusho UK will carry out an assessment of the conversion, replacement or retrofitting of port equipment, as well as hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and potential achievable GHG reductions.

ABP’s Port of Immingham, located within the Humber industrial cluster, is the UK’s largest port by tonnage, handling over 54Mt of cargo annually. The port is ideally placed to take advantage of the existing infrastructure in the region, combined with technical expertise brought by the four partners. There is the potential for green hydrogen to be produced by electrolysis, using a renewable energy supply such as offshore wind. The hydrogen could then be used as a direct replacement to diesel and heavy fuel oil, or for the production of clean shipping fuels.

The project aims to develop a scalable decarbonisation solution within the Port of Immingham, which, if successful, would be replicable in other ports. Ultimately this could be the first step in the uptake of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels across the whole maritime sector.

Background on Funding

The PoI, located in the Humber Industrial Cluster, is the UK’s largest port by tonnage, handling over 54Mt of cargo annually. For the energy transition, the port has taken steps to electrify some small port equipment. However, electrification is not (technically/economically) viable for all operations and the sector continues to rely on fossil fuels.

Hydrogen and its derivatives, such as ammonia, are credible and exciting alternatives to fossil fuels, promising carbon neutral processes in the sector. However, a lack of secure and affordable hydrogen supply within ports means conversion to low emission hydrogen-based fuels is not currently a bankable solution. The study will assess the technical and economic feasibility of a green hydrogen supply to the PoI, incorporating the full hydrogen value chain from production by electrolysis, storage and transport, to direct end use and ammonia conversion. The project will explore the potential of hydrogen fuel cell port equipment such as cranes, reach stackers, yard tractors etc., and ammonia production for clean shipping fuel.

If deployed, it would be the first of a kind. The study will build on the results of a 6 month “discovery phase”, that assessed options for decarbonisation of operations in and around the PoI and developed a roadmap for delivery. This developed the concept to supply, in an initial phase, c.20MW of green hydrogen to the PoI.

The feasibility study will determine the most economic location for siting the electrolyser; Uniper’s Killingholme site or a suitable location within the PoI (both locations were identified to be attractive options during the discovery phase).To prove this concept and prepare for deployment, the feasibility study of the innovative concept is required. Besides detailed information of the components and the concept itself, the study will reveal additional opportunities and risks. The results will be of significant benefit for the decarbonisation of the maritime sector and will enable further commitment to the delivery of such a solution at the PoI by all parties.

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