ExxonMobil Baytown executives bolster plans for first blue hydrogen plant
During an on-site visit, ExxonMobil executives highlighted plans to build a hydrogen production plant and a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its integrated refining and petrochemicals in Baytown, Texas.
The CCS project associated with hydrogen production would be one of the largest in the world, with a storage capacity of up to 10 million metric tons of CO2 per year, according to the ExxonMobil team.
“The CCS project would mark our initial contribution to the larger cross-industry effort in the Houston area to capture 50 million metric tons of CO2 per year by 2030 and 100 million metric tons of CO2 per year by 2040” , said Dan Ammann, president, ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions.
The plant would be ExxonMobil’s first blue hydrogen plant in the world and would produce up to 1 billion cubic feet of hydrogen per day.
“It’s an incredibly exciting project,” Ammann said. “This is an early and really important step for carbon capture.”
Baytown’s location is close to CO2 storage sites along the Gulf Coast, providing ExxonMobil with a network of potential customers along the Houston Ship Channel.
“What we’re able to do here, with a site like this, is because we have an integrated use case and an integrated client,” Ammann explained. “It gives us that starting point to make the major investment that we can take out there, both on the hydrogen side and on the carbon capture and storage side. As we build the infrastructure necessary to get this started, it allows us to create this foundation.”
According to Ammann, half of the hydrogen produced by the site will go to customers in the region to support local decarbonization efforts.
ExxonMobil is a member of the Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI), a group of companies committed to advancing CCS efforts in the Houston area.
“We are part of 14 different companies that have come together to specifically champion carbon capture and storage,” said Ed Graham, vice president, Ventures, ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions.
Companies participating in the initiative include ExxonMobil, Air Liquide, BASF, Shell, Calpine, Chevron, Dow, INEOS, Linde, Lyondell-Basell, Marathon Petroleum, NRG Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero.
Industry support for large-scale carbon capture and storage continues to grow in Houston, along with support from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Court of Commissioners, Greater Houston Partnership and the Center for Houston’s Future.
“Collective efforts could capture and store approximately 50 million metric tons of CO2 per year by 2030 and 100 million by 2040, dramatically reducing CO2 emissions from one of the largest industrial areas in the United States” , the statement said.
ExxonMobil has made progress on site selection for the planned Baytown hydrogen plant, but it’s too early to discuss permitting, project cost or job creation, spokesman says ExxonMobil, Todd Spitler. A final investment decision is expected within the next two to three years, subject to favorable government policy, necessary regulatory approvals and market conditions.