Proposal for Immingham to lead the world as a green-fuelled port unveiled by stellar industry consortium
Green hydrogen production planned as Uniper, Siemens Energy, ABP and Toyota Tsusho unite on South Humber Bank
By David LaisterBusiness Editor (Humber)
Plans for Immingham to emerge as a leading green port, powered by hydrogen generated from renewable energy, have been revealed.
A joint bid by key partners is being made to the Clean Maritime Fund for matched funding to develop the vision.
Uniper, Siemens Energy and Toyota Tsusho have already completed a study with owner Associated British Ports, showing that the availability of low carbon fuels in ports can provide a viable opportunity to decarbonise ‘hard to reach sectors’, such as maritime and cargo handling.
The largest port by tonnage, handling 54 million tonnes of cargo annually, it is described as being ideally placed to take advantage of existing infrastructure.
Green hydrogen produced from electrolysis powered by offshore wind could be a direct replacement for diesel and heavy fuel oil, with potential for the production of clean shipping fuels.
Uniper, with a gas-fired plant neighbouring Orsted’s onshore substations for the world’s largest offshore wind farms – close to the port gates – would base production there.
Mike Lockett, Uniper UK country chairman and group chief commercial officer for power, said: “This first of its kind concept has the potential to become a decarbonisation solution not just for the Port of Immingham, but for other ports, and the maritime sector as a whole. Uniper, working together with our partners, is committed to using its knowledge and expertise in the field of hydrogen to provide solutions for sectors that are difficult to decarbonise with electricity, such as aviation, shipping, and industry.”
The funding bid has been submitted so that the companies can undertake a full feasibility study. It would review the technical and economic ability of reducing port greenhouse gas emissions with hydrogen, and develop a clear plan for future development.
An aerial shot looking back from Port of Immingham, featuring Phillips 66, left, VPI Immingham in the foreground and Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery to the right.
The consortium said a successful funding bid could allow this work to begin as early as September.
Henrik Pedersen, chief executive of Associated British Ports, said: “ABP is proud that the Humber ports are already playing a significant role in the decarbonisation of industry, within and beyond the Humber region. This exciting project offers the Port of Immingham the opportunity to create a model for ports across the UK – and the world – to replicate, making the most of the decarbonisation potential of hydrogen.”
The project aims to develop a scalable decarbonisation solution on the South Humber Bank, 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.
It could lead to an initial 20MW supply of green hydrogen by 2025.
Siemens Energy currently produces some of the world’s most advanced electrolysis units and has an aspiration to be a key player in the UK market, complementing its current products in the renewable sector. It has identified the Humber as a key area to decarbonise in the UK.
Steve Scrimshaw, vice president for UK and Ireland, said: “Reaching net zero is going to require a fundamental change to our day-to-day lives, and the energy industry will play a vital role in innovating to find cleaner alternatives to decarbonise industry and transport. It is projects and partnerships like this which will help bring those innovations to life and show the art of the possible.”
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.
Tsuyoshi Iwata, deputy managing director in the UK, said: “We are very pleased and excited to be a part of this project at the Port of Immingham, as we believe hydrogen has an important role in the UK’s target to be carbon neutral by 2050. Together with our partners, Toyota Tsusho is committed to this project with our experience and expertise in the use of hydrogen fuel cells to power port machinery as well as other mobility fields.”
It comes with two hydrogen and carbon capture projects underway to clean up heavy industry on the estuary’s banks, with the Humber the most intensive cluster in the UK.