RWE aims for hydrogen retrofit at Pembroke plant

To investigate the possibility of converting its 2.2 GW gas-fired power station in Southwest Wales into a power generating, carbon capture utilization system, and hydrogen production center, RWE has signed an agreement with carbon capture expert Fluor.

The biggest gas-fired power station in Europe, Pembroke Power Station, will be retrofitted with post-combustion carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology as part of a six-month trial being conducted by the German energy giant Fluor (CCUS).

The research is anticipated to assist RWE in supporting its ambition to decarbonize its UK business by 2040 by helping the firm discover possible low-carbon solutions for its fossil fuel energy-producing assets.

RWE said it was exploring decarbonization alternatives for the power plant, including the potential use of CCUS technology in conjunction with the generation of low carbon hydrogen, and that the location is well situated for prospective partnerships with other nearby heavy industrial companies.

The energy company is considering the Pembroke Power Station’s possible role in the larger South Wales Industrial Cluster, which includes businesses and possibilities throughout the whole low-carbon value chain, including the capture, transportation, and storage of CO2 as well as the creation of hydrogen.

The research, which is expected to submit its findings early next year, is, therefore, a component of RWE’s ambition to take part in the government’s CCUS cluster sequencing process, which seeks to have at least two industrial clusters operational by the middle of the 2020s and four by the end of the decade.

Julian Marschewski from RWE Generation’s strategic development department stated, “Starting this technical feasibility study with Fluor is a crucial step towards developing real choices for our lighthouse decarbonization project at Pembroke. We will have a better knowledge of how to decarbonize RWE’s larger fleet of gas-fired assets as a result of the expertise acquired.

The Pembroke Net Zero Centre (PNZC) of RWE, which was established earlier this year and combines the company’s knowledge from its offshore wind, gas-fired generation, and hydrogen businesses “to create green energy solutions” throughout the South Wales area, is in charge of the project.

By the end of the decade, RWE hopes to have invested £15 billion in green energy projects in the UK.

The company also reached an agreement with the German government earlier this week to advance its ambitions to phase out coal-fired power generating in Germany by 2030.

RWE’s commitment to decarbonizing its UK operations by 2040, according to Richard Little, director of the Pembroke Net Zero Centre, “lies perfectly alongside the government’s objective for a net zero power industry by 2035,” he added.

He said, “Through our PNZC, we will establish a center for our green energy initiatives, including the development of floating wind in the Celtic Sea, the construction of a hydrogen electrolyzer, and the decarbonization of Pembroke Power Station through a blend of carbon capture and hydrogen fuel. “We are already assisting South Wales firms in achieving their decarbonization goals and assisting Welsh Government in realizing its goals for net zero.”