ExxonMobil has announced it is planning a blue hydrogen production plant twinned with a carbon capture and storage facility at its integrated refining and petrochemical site at Baytown, Texas, just outside of Houston.
The product hydrogen would be used to fuel the olefins plant, reducing emissions by up to 30% for the entire site, but also for wider sale to nearby industry, given that the facility could produce up to 1 billion cubic feet per day (28 million cubic metres/d), according to the press release. (The company already produces 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of hydrogen.)
Also of a huge scale, if executed, would be the carbon capture and storage facility, which would be able to transport and store up to 10 million metric tonnes of CO2 per year, more than doubling the company’s current capacity. This would help establish a carbon capture and storage hub for Houston, which ExxonMobil hopes will reach 50 million metric tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030 and 100 million metric tonnes/year by 2050.
The project is currently being evaluated, and “subject to stakeholder support, regulatory permitting and market conditions, a final investment decision is expected in two to three years.” If it were to go ahead, it would be a significant step in scaling up blue hydrogen and CCS across the world, helping lower future deployment costs and also open up a green hydrogen future.