Alaska’s state-owned gas corporation is pitching the U.S. Department of Energy for the state be designated for one of DOE’s “hydrogen hubs” authorized in the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress in 2021. The concept, proposed November 7 by the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., requests $850 million in DOE funding that would be matched with $3.75 billion in private-sector funds that are backed by offtake agreements from hydrogen customers in the U.S. and Asia.
DOE envisions six to 10 hydrogen hubs in the U.S, supported by $7 billion in federal funds. Alaska’s proposal includes a rebuilding of a closed ammonia plant at Nikiski, near Kenai in south Alaska, as well as pipelines and injection facilities to sequester carbon dioxide in depleted gas reservoirs in Cook Inlet.
On Oct. 4 ADGC, Mitsubishi Corp., Toyo Engineering and Hilcorp Energy, a major Cook Inlet gas producer, agreed to study the commercial feasibility of producing ammonia from gas and sequestering CO2.
“Natural gas is an essential fuel for the U.S. and other nations to achieve future emissions targets, first as a replacement for wide-scale coal use and eventually as a source of zero-emission hydrogen,” said Frank Richards, AGDC’s president.
However, the project would also require construction of the Alaska LNG Project to access 35 trillion cubic feet North Slope gas now stranded because of the lack of a pipeline.
AGDC hopes the ammonia project could become a major customer for gas moved through a 42-inch, 800-mile pipeline that could be built as part of the Alaska LNG Project, which would also export conventional liquefied natural gas from Kenai. The ammonia project export liquid ammonia carrying hydrogen to be used in turbines for power generation, becoming a clean-fuel alternative to natural gas.
Japanese utilities are interested in the concept to meet their goals to switch to cleaner burning fuels.
Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the Alaska LNG project, with costs estimated at about $40 billion, is fully-permitted and at an advanced planning stage. “Adding hydrogen production to this project enhances and extends Alaska LNG’s financial rationale with climate benefits,” Murkowski said in a statement.
DOE’s guidelines require that projects it funds be capable of producing 50 tons of hydrogen per day. Alaska LNG feels its project can produce 600 tons of hydrogen daily and 1,000 tons per day with an expansion.
State and federal geologists say Cook Inlet has the best potential for carbon sequestration of any site on the west coast due to the characteristics of depleted reservoirs that would store carbon dioxide separated during the manufacture of ammonia. There is an estimated 50 gigatons of CO2 sequestration capacity, according to reports.
Existing infrastructure in Cook Inlet, a decades-old oil and gas production region, includes a major ammonia plant owned by Agrium that operated from 1969 until 2010, when gas reserves in Southcentral were being depleted. Studies have been underway for several years on the potential for reopening the plant but the key consideration has always been a reliable supply of natural gas.
Hydrogen, in the form of liquid ammonia, emits no CO2 when used to produce energy and is easier to store than liquid hydrogen, AGDC said its Nov. 7 statement,
Post a comment as anonymous
Watch this discussion.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.