Business, Freight News, Sea

Port of Corpus Christi to Submit Hydrogen Hub Proposal

[ January 11, 2023   //   ]

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstration has encouraged the Port of Corpus Christi Authority to submit a full application for its Horizons Clean Hydrogen Hub (HCH2) through the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs Program.
The Port of Corpus Christi, as a landlord port authority and the owner of the most improved, most efficient ship channel on the U.S. Gulf Coast, is the prime applicant for the HCH2 and is the common denominator to each of the roughly two dozen discrete clean hydrogen production projects in the proposed Hub. The HCH2 Concept Paper, submitted to the DOE on November 7, names around 30 private sector team members as owners, developers and/or operators, offtakers, and end users of various hydrogen value chain projects and supporting infrastructure
Hydrogen, which can be produced using either renewable electricity or natural gas feedstocks, has long been recognized as a flexible energy carrier with a wide range of applications. Existing operations around the Port of Corpus Christi already use hydrogen as part of the refining process, and a number of other industries may transition to hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas to power their operations. HCH2 projects will use — and add to — the 110 miles of existing hydrogen pipelines to move hydrogen through the region. When it is to be exported from the Hub by rail or ship, hydrogen likely will be reacted into ammonia, which is a larger, more stable molecule that can either be used directly as an energy source or processed to yield free hydrogen.
“The Port of Corpus Christi is thrilled and grateful that our hydrogen hub development concept has resonated with the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi. “As a public port authority with large tracts of available land and a burgeoning industrial complex, we find ourselves in a unique position to integrate multiple links in the clean hydrogen production value chain creating efficient H2 campuses offering high efficacy returns on these precious federal investments.”
HCH2 will connect large-scale clean hydrogen production in the West South-Central U.S. with in-region, extra-regional, and international end users by way of common carrier, connective infrastructure that will de-risk and accelerate multiple projects. HCH2 includes three waves of deployment — all under development now with staggered maturation — to supply existing and developing demand. The project developers in the HCH2 are a combination of cornerstones of the energy marketplace, including longstanding Port customers as well as well-capitalized start-ups vetted by the Port.
“The Port of Corpus Christi is leveraging its prominence in the energy marketplace to accelerate hydrogen market adoption and realize substantive decarbonization of key industrial sectors,” said Jeffrey Pollack, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi. “We’re building on our long history of community engagement as the economic engine of the region to create new jobs and accentuate community benefits that truly reflect community priorities.”