PD Ports and British Steel lined up as customers for pioneering new green hydrogen plant planned for Teesside

Up to 500MW of green hydrogen could be produced at EDF’s Teesside site, located in the Teesworks freeport, as part of a plans unveiled this week by EDF Renewables UK and Hynamics, a subsidiary of EDF Group specialising in hydrogen.

The Tees Green Hydrogen project would use green electricity from nearby Teesside Offshore Wind Farm and a new solar farm, which EDF Renewables UK intends to construct near Redcar, to power a hydrogen electrolyser capable of producing zero emission green hydrogen. The project would then supply local business customers with hydrogen to support industrial decarbonisation efforts and drive a significant reduction in industrial pollution across the region.

The companies said that in its initial phase, the electrolyser would boast 30MW to 50MW of capacity, but the site is designed to be able to scale to over 500MW, in line with emerging demand.

Tristan Zipfel, director of strategy and analysis at EDF Renewables UK, described Tees Green Hydrogen as “a ground-breaking project, which will utilise locally-produced green electricity to create the means to decarbonise local industry”.

“In the current world climate the importance of locally produced renewable power cannot be underestimated,” he added.

Heavy industry is already lining up to support the emerging green hydrogen sector with EDF’s plans unveiled this week at Teesworks with British Steel Lackenby and PD Ports. Last October, British Steel unveiled its Low-Carbon Roadmap which sets out its plans to harness hydrogen, alongside a range of other solutions, to curb its carbon emissions. Meanwhile, a deal to supply PD Ports with hydrogen to decarbonise port operations has already been agreed, EDF said.

Frans Caljé, CEO of PD Ports, said it was vital  for heavy industries to get behind the nascent green hydrogen industry. “It’s of paramount importance that we do all that we can to implement the most sustainable methods across our operations so as to preserve our surrounding environment for generations to come,” he said.

Politicians were also keen to underline the benefits for the local area. Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Cllr Mary Lanigan, said: “This is an innovative, forward-looking project that will help ensure our area delivers on reducing pollution and protecting the environment while boosting investment and our economy at the same time.”

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar and chair of the APPG for hydrogen, agreed: “This is a fantastic investment from EDF Renewables which highlights just how new green technology can help create and secure jobs in existing industries, as well as enabling the UK to decarbonise.”

The news comes in the same week as a major new report from leading analysts BloombergNEF detailed how soaring fossil gas prices that have been further exacerbated by the war in Ukraine has served to make green hydrogen and ammonia production cost competitive for the first time.

Advocates of green hydrogen have long argued that green hydrogen could prove more cost effective than blue hydrogen made from fossil gas in conjunction with carbon capture and storage technologies, as renewables costs are expected to continue to fall in the coming decades and green hydrogen production can play a valuable role in balancing the grid by using renewable power generated at times of low demand. However, sky-high gas prices could ensure green hydrogen becomes economic even earlier than many analysts and developers predicted.

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