Statoil, Vattenfall and Gasunie have signed an MoU that they will evaluate the possibility of converting Vattenfall’s Magnum gas firing plant into a hydrogen powered plant.
Statoil, Vattenfall and Gasunie have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that they will evaluate the possibility of converting Vattenfall’s Magnum gas firing plant in the Netherlands into a hydrogen powered plant. The potential for carbon dioxide emissions reduction is 4 million tonnes/year. The power plant consists of three combined cycle gas turbines with a capacity of 440 MW each. One CCGT emits approximately 1.3 million tons of CO2 per year.
The next stage will involve feasibility studies to evaluate the feasibility of converting of one of these three units at Eemshaven to run on hydrogen. Gasunie will investigate what infrastructure for transport and storage is needed.
The scope of the MoU also includes exploring how to design a large-scale value chain where production of hydrogen is combined with CO2 capture, transport and permanent storage as well as considering potential business models. A decision on further progress will be made when the results of these feasibility studies are known.
“We are very excited about getting the opportunity to evaluate the possibilities of converting a gas power plant in to run on hydrogen. We are still in an early phase and like all pioneer projects there are uncertainties that need to be addressed. But the potential CO2 emission reduction is significant”, said Irene Rummelhoff, executive vp for New Energy Solutions in Statoil.
The technology for producing hydrogen by converting natural gas into hydrogen and CO2 is already proven, but the designing of a large-scale value chain unknown territory. To date, high costs combined with lack of CO2 storage facilities have limited the development of a low-carbon value chain for hydrogen based on natural gas. “Designing a large-scale value chain where production of hydrogen from natural gas is combined with CO2 capture, transport and storage can open up new business opportunities”, says Rummelhoff.
New storage markets
In 2016, the Norwegian government initiated a new national CO2 capture, transport and storage project. Studies confirmed the feasibility of storing CO2 on the Norwegian continental shelf, with high storage capacity and the potential to expand the facilities to manage additional CO2 volumes beyond the initial demonstration project.
If the Norwegian CCS demonstration project is realised, this may open up possibilities for future CO2 storage from other projects, including the joint Vattenfall, Gasunie and Statoil project.
Statoil itself has more than 20 years of experience with CO2 storage on the Norwegian continental shelf. The company has launched a climate roadmap, which details its targets for CO2 emission reductions and improved carbon intensity and energy efficiency and has introduced measures to reduce emissions from its oil and gas activities. “As the upstream facilities required to reform natural gas into hydrogen need to be large scale, there is a significant scope for economy-of-scale by introducing additional markets to the energy system” says Rummelhoff.