Trinidad and Tobago launched its long-term roadmap for a green hydrogen economy, including the establishment of a green hydrogen market in the twin-island Caribbean country.
A study commissioned by the country assessed Trinidad’s potential “to produce green hydrogen as a major decarbonization option for the power and industrial sectors,” the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) announced Nov. 29 in a press release.
The study was undertaken over the last year by National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd., on behalf of the MEEI and in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and KBR Inc.
Key findings identified by the study include Trinidad’s:
- Opportunity to expand and augment its energy portfolio with low carbon products;
- Need to invest in upstream development of the hydrogen value chain while ensuring expansion of downstream infrastructure for green ammonia and methanol;
- Identification of offshore wind technologies as the best renewable energy source available in the production of green hydrogen; and
- Creation of a framework for development of demonstration projects across the entire value chain to test the end-use applications of green hydrogen.
“The government recognizes the importance of creating the right enablers through regulations, policies and incentives that will support the development of this green hydrogen economy,” the head of MEEI and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart R. Young said in the release.
Trinidad’s economy is heavily reliant on gas used to feed its four-train 14.8 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) Atlantic LNG export plant as well as ammonia and methanol plants. Owing to a lack of gas supply, the LNG plant is only operating with three trains. Ammonia and methanol production has also been affected by the gas shortage.
Ammonia and methanol could underpin Trinidad’s future value proposition for a green hydrogen economy. At the moment, the country’s gas production, which reached 2.84 Bcf/d in Sep. 2022 compared to a peak of 4.52 Bcf/d in Feb. 2010, continues to decline amid a lack of incentives for international oil companies such as BP and Shell, among others.
Pursuit of the green hydrogen roadmap could see Trinidad become one of the first countries to add green hydrogen to its energy product mix as it further enhances the country’s contribution to global decarbonization efforts while generating a new revenue stream for companies and government coffers.
Trinidad’s Green Hydrogen Roadmap
Efforts to create a hydrogen economy is “well within reach of Trinidad and Tobago through government intervention in policy and regulation, careful planning and actions from stakeholders,” according to the 66-page roadmap published in November 2022.
The roadmap is based on a long-term development plan and split into three horizons.
The first horizon spans 2022-2028 and seeks to achieve consensus among local stakeholders, develop the required enabling policies and regulatory framework and establish a visible decarbonization initiative for the country.
Trinidad’s first offshore wind pilot is envisioned near the end of the first horizon.
The second horizon spans 2029-2044, building on the first phase and creating an environment to initiate the nation’s first utility scale renewable energy project as well as green hydrogen production facility in Trinidad.
By the end of the second horizon, it is envisioned that Trinidad will have installed offshore wind capacity of 25 gigawatts (GW) with 10.5 GW of output to feed electrolyzers to produce 1.5 mtpa of green hydrogen.
And finally, the third horizon spans 2045-2065 and reinforces Trinidad’s leadership in the new energy sector with offshore wind capacity expected to reach 57 GW. That would include 25 GW of output to feed electrolyser to produce 4 mtpa of green hydrogen by 2065.
“Trinidad is at the beginning of a challenging and exciting journey… This journey starts with setting up a strong foundation with the right enabling policies, regulatory framework and institutional support to launch Trinidad’s hydrogen economy,” the report said.
Green hydrogen, ammonia and methanol
Trinidad, with a population of about 1.4 million people, according to United Nations data, currently has installed infrastructure capacity for approximately 1.7 mtpa of hydrogen.
Green hydrogen could play an important role in the future in the country’s transportation sector, “through the transition of heavy goods vehicles, long-haul carriers and public transport to green hydrogen vehicles,” according to the roadmap.
Green ammonia and methanol are expected to play an important role in the decarbonization of Trinidad’s shipping sector and provide an opportunity for the country to transition local ferries to green fuels in the future.
“Trinidad is in a unique leadership position, where the country not only possesses an extensive oil and gas heritage, but also the infrastructure associated with the ammonia industry," the report said. Both can be leveraged alongside existing “trade relations and geographical location for the country to position not only as green exporter but also as regional green hydrogen (or green products) storage and trading hub for the Americas and the Caribbean regions.”
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