Hydrogen fuel network trial – update June 2023

In May last year we announced that SGN had received funding from the Energy Regulator and gas distribution companies to enable them to move forward with plans to undertake trials at Grangemouth to test the repurposing of the Local Transmission System (LTS) from natural gas to hydrogen. The trial will support the UK and Scottish Governments’ hydrogen strategies, generating important insights into the benefits of using hydrogen in the UK’s energy system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring a just transition.

Over the past 12 months, as partners in this project, INEOS Grangemouth has been working closely with SGN in developing and further refining the project. Drone surveys, to advise the engineering and infrastructure required to enable us to deliver hydrogen currently produced at the KG ethylene plant via new tie-ins, have been undertaken along Bo’ness Road and at various locations across Grangemouth and Kinneil.

Paul Barrett, Sustainability Project Engineer, explains: “The 40km stretch of pipeline from Grangemouth to Granton, near Edinburgh, that is to be the subject of the trial is typical of that already in use up and down the country and is therefore representative of what is buried underground. What makes this an ideal trial location is the combination of unique factors, not least the close proximity to the INEOS Grangemouth site, a ready and reliable source of high quality hydrogen, and of course our team of employees who are experts in the manufacture, transportation and use of this carbon-free fuel. If we are able to prove the pipeline is suitable for hydrogen use, this will unlock the potential for decarbonising the energy used and delivered to millions of homes and businesses via the 11,000km of existing pipelines criss-crossing the UK. It also offers the exciting prospect to further develop plans for a hydrogen hub at Grangemouth, centred on our low- carbon hydrogen plant investment.”

At a recent project launch event, bringing together project partners, including local councils (Falkirk, West Lothian and Edinburgh City), OFGEM and the Health and Safety Executive, SGN explained the project progress to date and outlined the next steps. With the initial phases of the £30m project already complete, SGN, operators of the gas transmission network, is now getting into the more detailed elements of the project, including the specific interfaces with INEOS.

Paul concluded, “There was a lot of energy in the room during the launch event and positive support of what is being seen as a ground breaking, UK if not world first project. For all the partners, this is very much a shared learning journey that will have significance for the energy sector and associated industries as well as for the domestic consumer.”

As the project progresses, we will continue to update you as milestones are reached. In the meantime, click here for an animated explanation of the project.

Image - From left to right: Andy Nelson, Sustainability Engineering Manager, INEOS; Gemma Simpson, Project Director, SGN;  Mark Wild, CEO SGN; Colin Pritchard, Sustainability Director, INEOS; Greig Cawkwell, Project Manager, INEOS; Paul Barrett, Sustainability Project Engineer, INEOS

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