The Lingen Green Hydrogen project brings together two global leaders in the Energy sector bp and Ørsted. The two partners are ready to embark on the construction of an electrolysis plant in Lingen. Lower CO2 emissions and more sustainable fuels – this is the long-term aim of the joint project. In an initial step, a 60 megawatt (MW) electrolyser is to be built which could be supplied with electricity from an Ørsted offshore wind park. From 2024, green hydrogen could be produced in Lingen, replacing some of the fossil hydrogen production in the bp refinery used for producing more sustainable fuels. The planned electrolyser system will be able to generate one tonne of renewable hydrogen an hour, which will be used in the production of fuels in the refinery. This capacity could replace around 20 percent of the natural gas-based hydrogen from the existing steam methane reformer that is currently used. The project partners have now submitted an application for funding as “Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI)” for electrolyser at bp refinery in Lingen.
In further steps, an increase in the electrolysis capacity can ensure that the entire hydrogen production process, which is today still based on natural gas, becomes carbon-neutral. What may even be possible in the longer term is the production of important sustainable synthetic aviation fuels, as well as a direct, environment-friendly use of hydrogen in road transport and shipping. The requirement for this is an improvement in electrolysis capacity to well over 500 MW.
Refineries need hydrogen in order to produce the fuels that power transportation by road, air and sea. At present, the majority of demand is met by hydrogen produced from fossil fuels in a process that releases carbon dioxide (CO2). Producing hydrogen from water is more environmentally friendly. This process, known as electrolysis, consumes electricity. When fuelled by renewable energy, such as wind power, electrolysis produces climate-neutral ‘green’ hydrogen. This is exactly the approach being adopted in Lower Saxony by the industrial-scale Lingen Green Hydrogen project.
Ørsted, the world leader in offshore wind power generation, and bp, the global energy company, are planning to operate an electrolyser unit at the Lingen refinery in northwest Germany. It is scheduled to come on stream with an initial capacity of 60 MW. The electricity is to be provided by wind farms operated by Ørsted off the German coast in the North Sea. The system itself is capable of producing one tonne of renewable hydrogen an hour. In total, production will be equivalent to around 20 percent of the hydrogen that is currently produced from natural gas by the steam methane reformer. Alongside electrolysis, the two partners are pursuing other sustainability goals. The Lingen refinery and local collaborators intend to make use of the oxygen and heat produced in the manufacturing process. Technical and economic studies are to be conducted to analyse use of these by-products.
In a second phase consisting of several stages, Ørsted and bp could raise the facility’s capacity from the initial 60 MW to as much as 530 MW. This would completely replace the hydrogen produced by the classic process of fossil-based steam reforming. This decarbonised or green hydrogen can also serve as feedstock for climate-friendly synthetic fuels (e-fuels) for use in motor vehicles, aviation and shipping.
bp first used green hydrogen at the Lingen refinery back in a pilot study. bp’s ambition is to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net zero.
For Ørsted, the Lingen project represents a milestone in its green hydrogen strategy. Within this framework, it hopes to use offshore wind power in a continuing drive to decarbonise industrial processes. Ørsted has proven its ability to reduce the cost of offshore power considerably by leveraging economies of scale and is contributing to the project its expertise in planning, building and operating large-scale renewable technologies.
The partners are creating an important milestone towards a strong hydrogen economy in Germany, for which they have applied to the EU Innovation Fund for support. This is one of the largest funding programmes for innovative low-carbon technologies and is targeted at energy-intensive industries among others.
The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, bioenergy plants and provides energy products to its customers. Ørsted operates four offshore wind farms in the German North Sea. The 231 wind turbines generate more than 1.3 gigawatts of green energy – equivalent to the consumption of around 1.4 million German households. Ørsted is also pursuing its own hydrogen strategy, which includes its involvement in Germany in the Real-world Laboratory Westküste 100 project. Read on …
bp has set itself the aim of being a climate-neutral company by 2050 or earlier. This applies in particular to all of bp’s operating activities on an absolute basis. One of the ways this is to be achieved is through a stepwise increase in investments in regenerative energies. Green hydrogen will be playing an increasingly important role in this process. Read on …