ExxonMobil Corp. plans to add a grassroots hydrogen production plant and carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its 561,000-b/d integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Baytown, Tex.
Part of the company’s strategy to reduce emissions from its own and local industry operations, the proposed Baytown hydrogen plant would be equipped to produce up to 1 bcfd of blue hydrogen, or hydrogen produced natural gas and supported by CCS, ExxonMobil said in early March.
Related CCS infrastructure to be built as part of the project would give the Baytown complex the capability to transport and store up to 10 million tonnes/year (tpy) of carbon dioxide (CO2), more than doubling the company’s current CCS capacity, the operator said.
Use of hydrogen produced by the planned project as a fuel at the Baytown olefins plant could reduce the integrated complex’s CO2 emissions as defined by Scope 1 and Scope 2 of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard by up to 30%, supporting ExxonMobil’s ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operated assets by 2050, according to the company.
Alongside allowing the site to manufacture lower-emissions products for its customers, ExxonMobil said the project also would enable the complex to make access to surplus hydrogen and CO2 storage capacity from the project available to nearby industry.
The Baytown project would form ExxonMobil’s initial contribution to a broad, cross-industry effort to establish a Houston CCS hub with an initial target of about 50 million tpy of CO2 by 2030, and 100 million tpy by 2040, according to the operator.
“By helping to activate new markets for hydrogen and [CCS], this project can play an important part in achieving America’s lower-emissions aspirations,” said Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions.
With project evaluation and planning currently under way, ExxonMobil said it expects to reach final investment decision on the proposed Baytown hydrogen-CCS project in 2-3 years subject to stakeholder support, regulatory permitting, and market conditions.
The company said it currently produces about 1.5 bcfd of hydrogen and holds an equity share of nearly one-fifth of the world’s CCS capacity, which amounts to about 9 million tpy.
Over the next 6 years, ExxonMobil said it plans to invest more than $15 billion on lower-emission initiatives and could increase investments depending on advancements in policy and technology.
While ExxonMobil said it remains committed to helping society reduce overall GHG emissions by decreasing the company’s own emissions intensity as well as developing and deploying emission-reducing technologies and products, the operator reiterated that sound government policies are needed to accelerate deployment of key technologies such as hydrogen and CCS at the pace and scale required to support a net-zero future.
Given that predictable, stable, and cost-effective policies are necessary to incentivize development and scalability of these low-emission technologies, the company said it continues to support an explicit price on carbon to establish consistent incentives and encourage investments.