World’s largest green hydrogen hub announced in South Texas

08 March 2022

Green Hydrogen International (GHI) has unveiled plans to create the world’s largest green hydrogen production and storage hub in South Texas.

The project is centered around a hydrogen storage facility in the Piedras Pintas Salt Dome located in Duval County, Texas. Pipelines will deliver the green hydrogen to Corpus Christi and Brownsville where it will be turned into green ammonia, sustainable aviation fuel and other products, or delivered by pipeline directly to hydrogen power plants and other users around the state, the company said.

Hydrogen City, as it will be called, will be an integrated green hydrogen production, storage, and transport hub growing to 60GW in size and producing over 2.5 billion kilograms of green hydrogen per year, the company said.

The project will be powered by 60GW of behind the meter solar and wind power with additional renewable energy drawn from the ERCOT grid during periods of low prices.

“Hydrogen City is a massive, world class undertaking that will put Texas on the map as a leading green hydrogen producer. Texas has been the world leader in energy innovation for over 100 years and this project is intended to cement that leadership for the next century and beyond,” said GHI’s founder and CEO Brian Maxwell.

The project will be built in phases with the first phase expected to commence operations in 2026, consisting of 2GW of production and two storage caverns at the Piedras Pintas salt dome. Access to salt storage is critical to the scaling-up of green hydrogen production as it allows for maximum utilization of electrolysers and serves as a buffer between variable wind and solar production and final delivery of green hydrogen to customers.

Eventually, over 50 caverns can be created at the Piedras Pintas salt dome, providing up to 6TWh of energy storage and turning the dome into a major green hydrogen storage hub, similar to the role Henry Hub plays in the natural gas market.

Negotiations are ongoing with respect to end-use options for GHI produced green hydrogen. These options include:

  • Green ammonia for export markets: GHI is exploring the opportunity to export green ammonia to Asia. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) plans to add 30 million tonnes per year of renewable ammonia to the country’s fuel mix by 2050. Green ammonia for the fertilizer market:Higher natural gas prices has led to skyrocketing fertilizer costs for farmers. Fertilizer produced from green hydrogen can help remove unexpected price volatility.
  • Sustainable aviation fuel: GHI is in discussions with potential off takers of green hydrogen as a feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). GHI believes Corpus Christi is well placed to become a major SAF production hub.
  • Sustainable Rocket Fuel: The company is looking at combining hydrogen with CO2at the Port of Brownsville to create a green methane rocket fuel for launch operations in South Texas.
  • Fuel switching power plants: H2can also be used as a natural gas substitute at power plants. Over 4GW of new gas power plants have been proposed in the US that can burn a combination of hydrogen and natural gas.
  • The plans for Hydrogen City are large enough that eventually the project could supply multiple types of customers. “We see Hydrogen City becoming one of the largest H2 production centers in the world, supplying many different customers with 100% clean H2 fuel,” Maxwell said.

“Hydrogen City is a project perfectly positioned near low-cost renewable resources, plenty of available land, salt domes, and proximity to the large energy port of Corpus Christi. It will be a world cost leader and position GHI to take advantage of the growing demand for green hydrogen,” said Andy Steinhubl, a former McKinsey Senior Partner and GHI board member.

Australian based renewable energy developer Energy Estate is assisting GHI on the development of Hydrogen City. Green Hydrogen International was founded in 2019 by long-time renewable energy entrepreneur Brian Maxwell.

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