ExxonMobil studying production of low-emission marine fuels
By Jack Burke24 June 2022
Norway seeking ‘hydrogen hubs’ along coast
ExxonMobil, Grieg Edge, North Ammonia, and GreenH have signed a memorandum of understanding to study potential production and distribution of green hydrogen and ammonia for lower-emission marine fuels at ExxonMobil’s Slagen terminal in Norway.
The study will explore the potential for the terminal, which is powered by hydroelectricity, to produce up to 20 000 metric tons of green hydrogen per year and distribute up to 100 000 metric tons of green ammonia per year. The hydrogen would be produced from hydro-powered electrolysis.
“Hydrogen has the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in key sectors of the global economy that create valuable products that support modern life,” said Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “This study will explore the potential for ExxonMobil’s Slagen fuel terminal to help reduce emissions from Norway’s maritime sector and help achieve society’s net-zero ambitions.”
ExxonMobil brings its experience and expertise in developing complex, global projects to advance meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reductions, such as the Slagen terminal opportunity.
Grieg Edge, GreenH and North Ammonia will provide their expertise in sustainable maritime transport, hydrogen infrastructure, and green hydrogen and ammonia project development, to study the feasibility for a green hydrogen and ammonia redistribution facility.
“Slagen is an exceptionally suitable location as a central hub for hydrogen and ammonia to the maritime sector,” said Matt Duke, CEO of Grieg Maritime Group. “With the complementary expertise amongst the MOU partners, we have now taken an important next step in our efforts to achieve emissions reductions in the maritime sector.”
The International Energy Agency projects hydrogen will meet 10% of global energy needs by 2050, and says it is critical to achieving societal net-zero global emissions. The Norwegian government has published a road map for hydrogen that includes establishing low-emissions hydrogen hubs along the coast of Norway. The Slagen terminal is located at the opening of the Oslofjord, where more than 10 000 ships pass through every year.
“There is high value in producing green hydrogen close to where consumption is,” said Morten S. Watle, CEO of GreenH. “At Slagen, bunkering of hydrogen could be offered straight from the production facility.”
Green ammonia is made by using renewable power to separate hydrogen from water (electrolysis). When used as a fuel, green ammonia has no carbon and generates zero CO2.
“This MOU underlines our strategy to make ammonia available where there is market demand,” said Vidar Lundberg, CEO of North Ammonia. “We will also assess the potential distribution of ammonia from production facilities south of Slagen.”
ExxonMobil is working to commercialize lower-emission technologies and support society’s net-zero ambitions by leveraging the skills, knowledge and scale of the business. In addition to evaluating development of ammonia and hydrogen, the company is pursuing strategic investments in carbon capture and storage and biofuels to help bring those lower-emissions energy technologies to scale for hard-to-decarbonize sectors of the global economy.
ExxonMobil is planning to build one of North America’s largest low-carbon hydrogen production facilities at its Baytown, Texas petrochemical complex and is also studying potential for a similar facility at its Southampton Fawley complex in the United Kingdom.
ExxonMobil is exploring opportunities to use ammonia as a low-emission and high-efficiency energy carrier, particularly to ship and store hydrogen over long distances. Ammonia is typically produced from natural gas and is commonly used as an industrial and agricultural chemical, particularly in fertilizer, but has the potential for wide use in power generation, industrial heat and marine fuels.