Masdar and Hydrogen Energy plan clean energy plant in Abu Dhabi
- United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, January 22 - 2008 at 17:05
- PRESS RELEASE
Masdar, Abu Dhabi's initiative for renewable and alternative energy and clean technology, and Hydrogen Energy, the joint venture between BP Alternative Energy and Rio Tinto, announced the signing of an agreement to work together on the front-end engineering design of an industrial-scale hydrogen-fired power generation project with capture of the carbon dioxide (CO2), which would then be available for transportation and storage.
Natural gas would be processed to create hydrogen and CO2. The hydrogen fuel would generate low-carbon electricity.
Rather than being emitted to the atmosphere, the CO2 would be captured, ready for transportation and injection into a producing oil field where it could replace natural gas currently being injected into the field to maintain pressure. The injected CO2 has also the potential to increase the proportion of Abu Dhabi's oil that can be recovered.
Lewis Gillies, Chief Executive of Hydrogen Energy, said: "Through Masdar, Abu Dhabi has shown strong leadership in creating the right environment in which hydrogen power with carbon capture and storage, and other alternative energies, can be deployed successfully. The complementary skills of Masdar and Hydrogen Energy will be a formidable combination. We look forward to making this project a reality. "
"This joint project will bring together - in a single integrated scheme - a number of technologies already operating at scale successfully around the world," said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Chief Executive of Masdar.
"Part of our mission at Masdar is to combine our expertise with that of others - and so we are pleased to be able to work with Hydrogen Energy to explore this new and important technology.
"Hydrogen Energy already has extensive experience in the engineering design of projects such as this which will be extremely valuable in the design and development of the Abu Dhabi project," Gillies added.
Comment: Eco-friendly Masdar has unanswered questions
Video: Masdar at World Future Energy Summit
Work has already started and front-end engineering and design of the project is planned to be completed by the end of 2008, at a cost of some US$45 million. At the heart of the plant would be a natural gas reformer and carbon capture facility where 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day would be transformed into hydrogen and CO2 gases.
The hydrogen gas would be used to fuel gas turbines and generate around 420MW of low-carbon electricity, with water vapour being the main emission. This would be enough to provide more than 5% of all Abu Dhabi's current power generation capacity.
The project would limit greenhouse gas emissions by capturing some 90% of the CO2 generated, and safely and permanently storing up to 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year - the equivalent of decarbonising Abu Dhabi's entire domestic transport sector.
The CO2 would replace the natural gas currently being injected into oil fields, allowing the gas to be used to fuel Abu Dhabi's continued growth, or to be exported. If this process was deployed at scale it would potentially release a significant amount of additional natural gas for Abu Dhabi and United Arab Emirates.
The CO2 injected into the oil fields could also potentially enable previously unrecoverable oil to be produced. If deployed widely, this enhanced oil recovery process could boost Abu Dhabi's oil production significantly. The CO2 would remain stored securely and permanently in the oil field beneath its natural impervious seal.
The overall project would require total capital investment (excluding the investment in CO2 transportation and sequestration) of about Dhs7bn ($2bn). Subject to the completion of the engineering design and agreement on an enabling commercial structure, the partners aspire to make the decision to proceed with construction by early 2009. This should allow the plant to come into commercial operation in 2012. At peak, about 1000 jobs would be created during construction of the onshore facilities, with up to 100 permanent jobs when the plant is operational.
Announced on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi World Future Energy Summit, the project demonstrates Abu Dhabi's desire to turn words into action and is a major step for Abu Dhabi to establish leadership in the area of alternative energy technologies.
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