13 February 2006 – A new hydrogen fuelled power plant that would generate clean electricity with minimal carbon dioxide emissions is being planned for California, US.
The $1bn project, being developed by BP and a subsidiary of Edison International, said the first of its kind plant would be located alongside BP’s Carson refinery near Los Angeles and would be capable of producing 500 MW of low carbon generation.
BP and Edison Mission Group aim to complete detailed engineering and commercial studies in 2006, finalize project investment decisions in 2008 and bring the new power plant online by 2011.
The proposed Carson project would combine a number of existing industrial processes to provide a new option for generating electricity without significant carbon dioxide emissions. Petroleum coke produced at California refineries would first be converted to hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases and around 90 per cent of the carbon dioxide captured and separated.
The hydrogen gas stream would be used to fuel a gas turbine to generate electricity. The captured carbon dioxide would be transported by pipeline to an oilfield and injected into reservoir rock formations thousands of feet underground, both stimulating additional oil production and permanently trapping the carbon dioxide.
Final project investment decisions will follow further study by the partners and review by the California Energy Commission and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. BP and Edison are beginning project discussions with state and federal government agencies and local stakeholders and are exploring options for selling the electricity the plant would generate. BP is in discussions with Occidental Petroleum to develop options for sequestering the carbon dioxide in Occidental’s California oilfields.