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BP, Orsted team up on German green hydrogen project

November 13, 2020


Two of Europe’s largest energy companies, BP Plc and Orsted A/S, said they’d join to develop an industrial-scale electrolyzer to make hydrogen as a green fuel at a major oil refinery in Germany.

If it gets financial backing, the plant at the BP’s Lingen refinery in northwestern Germany would draw 50 megawatts of electricity from North Sea wind farms to make hydrogen. The gas would power 20% of the facility’s energy needs and replace streams of hydrogen now made with fossil fuels.

It’s the latest example of interest in hydrogen as an alternative to natural gas and coal for industries that need thousand-degree heat to run their processes. With utilities cleaning up greenhouse gas pollution, policy makers, especially in the European Union, are focusing on how to slash emissions from heavy industry. They’re finding hydrogen is one of the primary options.

“Of course we need funding to fall in place for the project to materialize,” Anders Nordstrom, vice president of hydrogen at Orsted, said in an interview in advance of the announcement on Tuesday. “And we also need further clarity from the regulatory side regarding the definition of renewable hydrogen.”

The Lingen Green Hydrogen project will be one of Europe’s largest if it starts as expected in 2024. The companies have applied for money to support the investment from the European Union’s Innovation Fund, which backs low-carbon technologies.

Lingen is expected to produce almost 9,000 tons of green hydrogen a year, reducing emissions equivalent to those produced by around 45,000 cars in Germany, BP said.

[Laura Hurst]

More: Wind power to run giant hydrogen plant at BP oil refinery

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