Equinor and SSE Thermal have awarded two key contracts for work on the proposed hydrogen storage facility at Aldbrough, in the UK, a sign of their commitment to kickstart a low carbon hydrogen economy in the region.

Engineering company Atkins and sustainability consultancy Environmental Resources Management (ERM) have been awarded major contracts, representing an important milestone in the proposed development of what is expected to be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities.

Atkins has been awarded the contract to conduct a feasibility study to assess the design of the hydrogen storage caverns as well as the corresponding pipeline to transport hydrogen to and from the proposed new Humber Low Carbon Pipelines (HLPC) being developed as part of the Zero Carbon Humber partnership. The outcome of the assessment will provide the foundation for the next phase of scoping work as the project matures. The contract also includes the option for subsequent pre-FEED (front end engineering design) work.

ERM’s contract covers the environmental, health, safety and permitting aspects of the scheme.

The Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage project is a collaboration between Equinor and SSE Thermal which plans to store low carbon hydrogen either within the existing natural gas storage facility or at a new hydrogen storage site adjacent to the Aldbrough Gas Storage facility in East Yorkshire.  This could be in operation by early 2028, with an initial expected capacity of at least 320 GWh – enough to power 860 hydrogen buses a year. 

Hydrogen storage will support fuel switching in many sectors including flexible power generation alongside intermittent renewables, industrial use and heat. It will also support optimal production of both blue and green hydrogen production as the hydrogen economy grows, providing back-up where large proportions of energy are produced from renewable power.