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    Port of Corpus Christi in early blue hydrogen agreement


Port authorities signed a memorandum of understanding on hydrogen production with a regional midstream company.

by: Daniel Graeber

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Port of Corpus Christi in early blue hydrogen agreement

A memorandum of understanding with a midstream energy company could launch the Port of Corpus Christi as a potential hydrogen hub, the port authority said August 12.

The Port of Corpus Christi signed the agreement with Howard Midstream Energy Partners, which operates the Javelina refinery. The port authority said the Javelina refinery has the capacity to produce as much as 60mn ft3/d of hydrogen through a combination of so-called blue production processes and from the utilisation of waste gas.

Currently, any hydrogen produced at the refinery is sold off to the domestic market, though the partners envision scaling up output in order to make exports possible. Where there is no carbon capture, this is known as 'grey' hydrogen.

Reforming methane with steam separates hydrogen, known as 'blue' hdyrogen, from CO2..The agreement calls on the midstream company to capture any CO2 emitted during the hydrogen production process.

“To the extent that our identity as the leading export gateway for US produced hydrocarbons has been solidified, we see an elegant symmetry in the prospect of becoming the nation’s premier hub for carbon management,” said Jeff Pollack, the chief strategy and sustainability officer for the Port of Corpus Christi.

A study published in the journal Energy Science & Engineering finds the greenhouse gas footprint for blue hydrogen is actually 20% higher than burning natural gas. This was based on a worst-case scenario. Nevertheless the authors found that “the use of blue hydrogen appears difficult to justify on climate grounds.”