Local News

Transporting Hydrogen To Where It Is Needed : EMEC’s Tube Trailers

European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has been awarded £454,000 for two hydrogen tube trailers that will contribute towards improved hydrogen supply in Orkney. £400,000 came from the Scottish Government with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) contributing £54,000.

The tube trailers will be used to transport hydrogen, produced from marine renewables in Eday, to Mainland.

Hydrogen is made by passing electricity through water – electrolysing – this separates oxygen and hydrogen in the water. The electricity being produced in Eday is from tidal power – and so the island is making what is known as ‘green hydrogen’. Tube trailers are just what you would expect – trailers with very large steel tubes containing the hydrogen. The trailers can be loaded onto the ferry to Kirkwall. From there it is a short road journey to Kirkwall Airport’s hydrogen-powered combined heat and power engine.

EMEC Managing Director Neil Kermode said:

“EMEC is really grateful for this important funding. We’ve seen huge growth in the interest in hydrogen in recent years and we need the means to transport the gas to where it is to be used. These trailers will improve the logistics and support exciting new projects.

“Since EMEC first produced hydrogen in 2017, we have helped projects explore the use of hydrogen for the decarbonisation of planes, road vehicles and ferries, but we feel we have barely scratched the surface. There is a lot more to do. These trailers will allow us to use the existing electrolyser more fully and will position EMEC to expand hydrogen production in the coming years.”

To announce the funding, Michael Matheson, Net Zero & Energy Secretary in the Scottish Government visited the onshore operation in Eday and the facilities at Kirkwall Airport on Wednesday 17th of August.

Michael Matheson said:

“Scotland has the resources, the people and the ambition to become a world leader in hydrogen production – no more so than in Orkney, which is at the vanguard of our green energy revolution.  

“The Scottish Government is committed to working with the energy sector to establish hydrogen as an important part of our a cleaner, greener energy system and deliver a fair and just transition to net zero.

“Our partnership and support of EMEC has helped to pave the way for a number of world-first tidal and hydrogen demonstration projects in Orkney. These projects have been instrumental in developing both hydrogen supply and demand on the islands. These trailers will help support a number of hydrogen projects on Orkney and help it continue to lead the way in Scotland’s emerging hydrogen sector.”

HIE Area Manager Graeme Harrison who was also on the tour of the hydrogen operation from Eday to Kirkwall said:

“It is great to be able to support EMEC with this investment which will help maintain Orkney’s place at the global forefront of renewable energy development. Green hydrogen production is set to play a key role in Scotland’s journey towards a net zero future and could support the creation of many high quality jobs.”

Fiona Grahame

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