Clarke Energy are to act as EPC contractor, engineering, installing and maintaining 50MW of hydrogen ready INNIO Jenbacher gas engines to VPI’s expansion at Immingham energy hub, as part of their energy transition investment.
Development of VPI’s new energy hub on the South Humber bank of the UK has reached a significant milestone with contracts awarded for nearly 350MW of fast-response, flexible power generation and the submission of planning and permitting applications for the company’s Carbon Capture plant.
VPI’s combined heat and power (CHP) station at Immingham, North Lincolnshire has been a local landmark for nearly 20 years, providing power to the electricity system and steam for adjacent refinery businesses since it was opened in 2004.
Now, following contract signature with key contractors (details below), expansion is underway with the construction of additional, rapidly-deployable generation capacity to meet peaks in demand which cannot currently be met by renewables.
VPI’s investment in capacity vital to the success of the energy transition includes a 50MW gas reciprocating peaking facility, installed by Clarke Energy, which will be operational early next year, and a 299MW open cycle gas turbine (OCGT), expected to enter service by summer 2025.
Both installations will use established technology which has a track record of highly efficient and reliable operation to support the energy transition whilst maintaining security of supply. They are also capable of being converted to run on a proportion of hydrogen once industrial scale production is established.
In addition to the new power facilities, decarbonisation of the existing CHP is also taking a major step forward with the planning and permitting applications for VPI’s Humber Zero project being submitted to the relevant authorities.
The project will see carbon capture technology retrofitted to two of the three existing gas turbines at the VPI Immingham CHP resulting in the capture and store three million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year which would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas.
VPI Chief Executive, Jorge Pikunic said:
“This investment marks a new era for VPI Immingham as we look to adapt for the energy transition whilst supporting increased power demand. By expanding, Immingham will transform into an energy hub capable of providing lower-carbon power to homes and businesses.Through the Humber Zero project, our carbon capture plant will ensure the continued viability of our existing CHP and make a major contribution to the region’s net zero goals. It is central to decarbonising both the Immingham industrial area and the nationally-important Humber industrial cluster and will be a benefit to the local community and the Humber as a whole.”
Clarke Energy’s, Managing Director, Ben Wilson said:
“We are proud to have been selected as an EPC contractor for a critical portion of VPI’s Immingham’s energy hub. VPI’s expansion at Immingham demonstrates how gas engines will continue to play a significant role in the UK’s plan to decarbonise its energy system by providing critical support to the wider electrical system. Jenbacher engines are decarbonisation ready through their ability to run on all manner of renewable green gases, including hydrogen, and in conjunction with an expanding variety of carbon capture and utilisation technologies. At Clarke Energy we offer a broad selection of complimentary solutions, including waste heat recovery, energy storage and microgrid control systems to combine all forms of generation technology. This can provide a single holistic decentralised power station in the pursuit of optimum energy efficiency, resilience, and sustainability, the 3 key pillars of the net-zero world.”.
The planning and permitting applications for the carbon capture project mark the culmination of the front-end engineering and design phase and work is already underway on the next stage of the development.
The key contractors for the 50MW power plant are Clarke Energy, authorised distributer and service partner for INNIO’s hydrogen ready Jenbacher gas engines, who are appointed as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. For the 299MW installation, Mytilineos (Metka) is the EPC contractor, and Siemens Energy will provide the gas turbine technology.