A new consortium, Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL), has submitted a proposal to develop an electrical substation, green hydrogen production facility and maritime refuelling hub on unused land next to the existing Flotta terminal in Orkney.

The terminal is currently a major crude oil reception, processing, storage and export facility led by Repsol Sinopec Resources, which is collaborating with OWPL, as well as local firm EMEC Hydrogen and multinational Uniper on the proposed hydrogen hub. It has been in operation since 1976 and under Repsol Sinopec’s leadership since 2000.

Repsol Sinopec’s chief executive Jose Luis Munoz said the project “would enable the terminal to be progressively transformed over time into a diversified energy hub where conventional oil and gas operations continue, co-existing alongside the development of a sustainable long-term green future for the facility”. He added that it would help to create a “secure future for skilled oil and gas workers in Scotland”.

OPWL’s proposals have been submitted to the Crown Estate Scotland for its offshore wind leasing round. If the application is successful, the facility would come online in the late 2020s, with the consortium foreseeing a 25-year operational life.

The consortium has not yet revealed the likely capacity of the hydrogen facility but has submitted plans for a 2GW wind farm to power its operations, whereby electrolysis will be used to split water. Hydrogen generated at the plant could be exported, blended into the gas grid at St Fergus and/or used to refuel ships.

“The production of green hydrogen is a hugely exciting opportunity for both offshore wind and the Scottish supply chain,” said the Renewable Infrastructure Development Group’s commercial director Mike Hay.

“Projects with substantial capacity factors, such as the West of Orkney Windfarm, could deliver highly competitive power to facilities like the Flotta Hydrogen Hub which could, in turn, supply demand for hydrogen both nationally and internationally.”

For more information visit www.repsol.com

14th October 2021