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BP, Orsted launch green hydrogen project at German oil refinery

November 11/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP and Danish renewable energy group Orsted have partnered to develop zero-carbon hydrogen at a German oil refinery, BP's first full-scale project in a sector that is expected to grow rapidly, reported Reuters.

The project will produce so-called green hydrogen at the Lingen refinery in north-west Germany through the electrolysis of water using wind power from the North Sea.

It is in its early stages and initially aims to build a 50 megawatt (MW) electrolyser to replace 20% of natural gas-based hydrogen at the plant, BP said in a statement. Production is expected to start in 2024.

The project could be expanded to up to 500 MW at a later stage to replace all of Lingens fossil fuel-based hydrogen, Louise Jacobson Plutt, BPs senior vice president for hydrogen, told Reuters.

Hydrogen is today mostly used in the industrial sector as feedstock to make products such as fuels.

But the use of green hydrogen is expected to grow sharply in the coming decades as the European Union and governments around the world seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

BP aims to expand its hydrogen output to 10% of the market by 2030.

Green hydrogen is however much more expensive than natural gas-based, or grey, hydrogen. Reducing its cost of production will be key to expand the use of the fuel.

We see a path to (price) parity with grey hydrogen by the end of the decade as more green hydrogen projects are launched and technology advances, Anders Nordstrom, Orsted vice president for hydrogen said.

The projected cost of the projected was not disclosed.

As MRC wrote previously, BP Australia plans to shut its 146,000 b/d Kwinana refinery in Western Australia and convert it into a fuel import terminal, according to the company's statment Oct. 30. The continued growth of large scale, export-oriented refineries throughout Asia and the Middle East has structurally changed the Australian market, BP said, adding that regional oversupply and sustained low refining margins mean the Kwinana refinery is no longer economically viable. Converting the refinery into an import terminal will help ensure ongoing security of fuel supply for Western Australia, the company said. Refining activities will wind down over the next six months and conversion works will carry on out to 2022.

We remind that a technical defect disrupted production at part of the Gelsenkirchen integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in Germany, in late October. The company operates plants in the Horst and Scholven districts at Gelsenkirchen, with the defect occurring at Horst. BP sais it was working to resume normal operations as soon as possible. It did not specify which unit has been affected, with sources suggesting it was the fluid catalytic cracker, but this was not confirmed by the company.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing PE and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,594,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high denstiy polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 880,130 tonnes in the nine months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports, exluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

BP plc (formerly The British Petroleum Company plc and BP Amoco plc) is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the world's seven oil and gas "supermajors", whose performance in 2012, made it the world's sixth-largest oil and gas company, the sixth-largest energy company by market capitalization and the company with the world's 12th-largest revenue (turnover). It is a vertically integrated company operating in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, power generation and trading. It also has renewable energy interests in biofuels, wind power, smart grid and solar technology.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, BP Plc, Australia, Germany, Russia.
Category:General News
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