ScottishPower is exploring the use of green hydrogen at the Port of Felixstowe, in an attempt to assist the decarbonisation of the UK’s busiest port.
ScottishPower and Hutchison Ports are exploring the opportunity to develop, build, and operate a 100 MW green hydrogen production facility at the Port of Felixstowe. Currently, the heavy transport sector is a significant contributor to the UK’s carbon emissions. The project has the potential to transform this sector, initiating its low carbon transition. The Port of Felixstowe is Britain’s busiest container port, but with these plans, both companies aim to decarbonise the region and provide clean fuel for customers.
Plans to use green hydrogen onshore
Plans are being established to use green hydrogen for onshore purposes, such as road, rail, and industrial use, with the potential to create liquid forms, for example, green ammonia or e-methanol. This could subsequently provide clean fuels for aviation and shipping, and generate opportunities for cost-effective export to international markets.
When up and running, the multi-hundred MW facility could deliver up to 40 tonnes of green hydrogen per day, enough to power 1,300 trucks. From 2025, the companies will continue developing the site to align with customer demand.
Dr Therese Coffey, local MP for Suffolk Coastal, said: “I warmly welcome Hutchison Ports’ and ScottishPower’s joint plans to explore opportunities for a large-scale hydrogen hub at the Port of Felixstowe, providing green fuel at the UK’s largest container port. It’s schemes like this – and investment from industry as well as government – which is crucial for us to reach net zero by 2050.”
Benefits of green hydrogen
There are various ways to produce hydrogen, with each method related to a certain colour. 95% of the hydrogen produced today is grey, through a process called steam methane reformation. However, this method relies on fossil fuels, removing hydrogen’s sustainable advantage over other alternative fuels.
Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis, which uses renewable energy to separate the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water. As this process produces zero carbon emissions, it is clear that green hydrogen can benefit the security of the UK energy supply. Green hydrogen is a safe, long-term energy solution, that could be vital for those who cannot decarbonise their operations through renewable electricity alone.
Not only will green hydrogen accelerate the potential for cleaner industrial processes at the port, but the alternative fuel will also play a crucial role in decarbonising the UK’s heavy transport sector.
Barry Carruthers, Hydrogen Director at ScottishPower, said: “This strategically important project could potentially create a clean fuels hub that could unlock nationally significant decarbonisation for the region, as well as playing a role in international markets. It’s perfectly located not far from our existing and future offshore windfarms in the East Anglia region, and demonstrates how renewable electricity and green hydrogen can now start to help to decarbonise road, rail, shipping, and industry.”