Exxon Mobil Corp. disclosed on Jan. 30 its plan to start operations at its large-scale hydrogen plant in Texas in 2027 or 2028, Exxon's Low Carbon business president Dan Ammann told Reuters.
The unit is part of Exxon's efforts to create a new business to make money out of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from other companies looking to decarbonize their own operations. Exxon estimates 10% or more of return for the business.
Exxon has budgeted $7 billion for hydrogen, carbon capture and biofuels projects between 2022 and 2027. A final investment decision for the hydrogen project is expected by 2024.
"People will see that this works and that it can be economically viable," Ammann said.
Exxon said its Baytown facility in Texas is expected to produce 1 Bcf of blue hydrogen per day. The fuel, which produces no emissions when burnt, is targeted at heavy industries trying to switch from fossil to renewable fuels.
Blue hydrogen is made from natural gas in combination with carbon capture. Exxon plans to permanently bury underground 98% of the associated CO2 produced, or about 7 million metric tons annually.
Last year, Exxon struck its first commercial carbon storage deal with the world's top ammonia maker CF Industries under an effort to target a projected $4 trillion CCS market by 2050. Ammonia in its liquid form can be used to transport hydrogen to different parts of the world, as a hydrogen carrier.
"You are starting to see the foundation of our low carbon solutions business taking shape," Ammann said.
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