Danish power company Ørsted and British oil and gas company BP have agreed to jointly develop a large-scale renewable hydrogen project at the latter’s Lingen Refinery in Emsland, north-west Germany.

The Lingen Green Hydrogen project will feature a 50MW electrolyser system with a capacity to produce nearly 9,000tpa of renewable hydrogen.

It would be enough to replace around 20% of the refinery’s fossil-based hydrogen consumption while offsetting around 80,000tpa of carbon emissions.

Ørsted’s North Sea offshore wind farm is expected to supply clean energy to the electrolyser.

Ørsted executive vice-president Martin Neubert said: “Heavy industries such as refineries use large quantities of hydrogen in their manufacturing processes.

“They will continue to need hydrogen, but replacing the currently fossil-based hydrogen with hydrogen produced from renewable energy can help these industries dramatically lower their CO2 footprint.”

The project is expected to become operational in 2024. Once completed, it could support the longer-term objective to build more than 500MW of renewable hydrogen capacity at Lingen.

The renewable hydrogen would be enough to meet the refinery’s hydrogen demand, as well as provide feedstock for future synthetic fuel production.

BP gas and low carbon executive vice-president Dev Sanyal said: “Hydrogen will have an increasing role to play in meeting the energy demands of a decarbonising world. And we are determined to build a leading position in this emerging industry.

“Bringing together Ørsted and BP, Lingen Green Hydrogen offers the opportunity both to accelerate significant emissions reduction in our refinery and build experience of large-scale green hydrogen production and deployment.

“This has the potential to play an important role in the development of a hydrogen economy, in Germany and beyond.”

For the Lingen Green Hydrogen, Ørsted and BP also applied for funding from the EU Innovation Fund.

In addition to green hydrogen generation, the project will focus on maximising the efficiency of the electrolyser system and allowing flexible operation and complete integration into the refinery.