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Energy / SVT operator aims to produce one million tonnes of green hydrogen per year

Sullom Voe Terminal. Photo: BP

SULLOM Voe Terminal operator EnQuest says it plans to produce around one million tonnes of green hydrogen a year from the site in the future.

This would provide a “low carbon alternative fuel for use locally as well as for export to the UK, Europe and beyond”, a spokesperson said.

The oil company has long talked up the idea of repurposing Sullom Voe Terminal in the move towards net zero and using it as a base for emerging new energy.

This ties in with plans through the ORION project to turn Shetland into a “clean energy island” – which has industrial scale hydrogen production as a primary element.

Hydrogen could be produced using wind power, and its production is a key part of the large offshore wind farms mooted for the seas around Shetland.

In a recent update EnQuest said it is exploring opportunities to use excess energy produced by wind power “from onshore and offshore wind farms being developed near the Sullom Voe site” to produce green hydrogen.

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The only wind farm currently being developed in Shetland is the 103-turbine Viking Energy project, which is set to go live in 2024 and will export a significant amount of energy.

Neither EnQuest nor Viking Energy would comment on any links between a repurposed Sullom Voe Terminal site and the wind farm project.

But a spokesperson for EnQuest told Shetland News that the company continues to make “good progress in maturing plans to deliver three world-scale new energy and decarbonation projects in Shetland”.

Last year the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Shetland Islands Council to work exclusively together to progress new energy and decarbonisation opportunities using the Sullom Voe Terminal site.

“The agreement provides EnQuest with a strong position from which to begin discussions with other potential strategic partners to piece together the component parts of each of the three key opportunities the EnQuest Group has identified,” it said.

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“EnQuest is focused on three main areas for development: Carbon Capture and Storage, offshore electrification through renewable energy and the production of hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives.

“We are awaiting the outcome of the first UK CCS licensing round and hope to secure two licences from the North Sea Transition Authority (‘NSTA’).

“The results of this licensing round are expected within Q1 2023.

“In respect of our ambitions for offshore electrification, EnQuest is engaged with a number of offshore oil and gas operators to the West of Shetland.

“We believe that our proposal to provide sustainable offshore electrification from onshore wind resources together with grid back-up is very compelling.

“Green hydrogen is a longer-dated proposition, but EnQuest is exploring the potential for repurposing areas of the existing SVT site for the production of green hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives by harnessing Shetland’s significant natural wind resource.

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“EnQuest is planning to produce around one million tonnes of green hydrogen annually providing a low carbon alternative fuel for use locally as well as for export to the UK, Europe and beyond.”

Carbon capture and storage involves taking CO2 emissions from industrial processes, transporting it via a ship or pipeline and storing it underground offshore, and it is seen as a component of the drive to net zero.

Both of the sites involved in the licensing round off the isles are linked to the East of Shetland pipeline system, which runs into Sullom Voe Terminal.

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