WSP performed a technical due diligence for a proposed zero-emission blue hydrogen production facility, incorporating carbon capture and storage systems (CCS or CCUS).

The hydrogen economy is gathering momentum as an option to achieve the decarbonisation needed to avoid climate change. Electrolysis of water, using renewable power, can deliver the ideal: green hydrogen. However, the amount of electricity necessary for this option means that, to generate the amount of bulk hydrogen needed to decarbonise heat and industry, natural gas and coal would have to be used. Producing so-called blue hydrogen – decarbonised hydrogen from fossil fuel-based sources - plants will need to be equipped with carbon capture. Traditional hydrogen production plant configurations, e.g. steam-methane reforming of natural gas, are not optimised for this so must be rethought for new plants.

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Our client has developed an advanced process configuration solving this problem. It utilises a two-stage reforming process to produce hydrogen from natural gas. This is coupled to a novel purification process, which simultaneously delivers a high purity hydrogen product - suitable for a variety of applications - and a carbon dioxide stream that can be reused or permanently stored (sequestered).

We performed an independent technical due diligence evaluation of the proposed hydrogen production and purification facility. Using our industry experience and knowledge we evaluated information both provided by the client and available in the public domain. Based on this, we identified potential technical risks associated with the plant design, reviewed mitigation measures and determined residual risk against a defined set of ranking criteria. We determined that there were no ‘showstopper’ or ‘red flag’ risks, giving our client the confidence to progress with the development of the technology.

Our client also used our report as valuable, independent, evaluation of their technology in discussions with potential investors, partners and public agencies.