Statoil, Vattenfall and Gasunie have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the conversion of Magnum gas power plant in the Netherlands into a hydrogen-powered plant.

Under the MoU, the three companies will weigh the possibilities to convert Vattenfall’s plant into hydrogen-powered plant that could potentially reduce 4 million tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Statoil New Energy Solutions executive vice president Irene Rummelhoff said: “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.”

The Magnum gas power plant consists of three combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) with a capacity of 440 MW each. One CCGT is estimated to emit nearly 1.3 million tons of CO2 per year.

The companies will carry out feasibility studies for the conversion of one of the three Magnum units of Vattenfall Nuon in Eemshaven.

Statoil said that the results of the feasibility studies will form the basis to make a decision on further progress of the project.

As part of the MoU, Gasunie will examine the infrastructure for transport and storage needed for the plant.

Besides, the scope of the partnership includes exploring how to design a large-scale value chain to combine CO2 capture, transport and permanent storage with production of hydrogen.

The three companies will also study potential business models for hydrogen-run power plants.

Rummelhoff said: “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.”

In 2016, the Norwegian government launched a new national CO2 capture, transport and storage project.  The realization of the carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project is expected to create opportunities or future CO2 storage from other projects, including the joint Vattenfall, Gasunie and Statoil project.  

Recently, Norwegian state-owned carbon capture technology firm Gassnova has assigned multinational oil and gas company Statoil to evaluate the development of a full-scale CCS project on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Image: Vattenfall’s gas power plant Magnum. Photo courtesy of Koos Boertjens / Vattenfall.