US picks Shell consortium for pilot hydrogen storage project

Author: Stefan Baumgarten


HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected a consortium led by Shell for a project to demonstrate the feasibility of large-scale liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank storage.

The consortium will seek to show that storage capacity from 20,000-100,000 cubic metres is feasible and cost competitive at import and export terminals.

With the project, the DOE aims to advance the US as a global energy leader in LH2-based international supply chain development and facilitate the commercialisation of both blue and green hydrogen export opportunities.

The DOE has awarded $6m to finance the project. Shell and McDermott International's CB&I Storage Solutions will provide an additional $3m each, for a total project fund of $12m.

"A cost-effective, long-range hydrogen supply chain can have a transformative impact in shaping a sustainable future for energy," Yuri Sebregts, chief technology officer for Shell, said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Our consortium recognises that this project can become a cornerstone in making that future possible,” Sebregts said, adding the project would be “a sizeable engineering challenge.”

In addition to Shell and McDermott, the consortium includes NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the University of Houston, and GenH2, a Florida-based technology company focused on liquid hydrogen infrastructure solutions.

- Shell will lead the project and provide guidance on hydrogen supply chain and safety;
- CB&I Storage Solutions will provide engineering, design and LH2 construction storage expertise;
- GenH2 will design and manufacture a thermal testing device, known as Cryostat-900;
- NASA will work with GenH2 on testing development;
- The University of Houston will work on the creation of detailed thermal models of the proposed insulation systems.

The ability to transport hydrogen between countries via pipelines and ships will be a key element of the future energy system, the consortium partners said.

Multilateral cooperation between government and industry, as well as coordinated investment in infrastructure, ships and international standards, are fundamental to achieving an effective hydrogen supply chain, they added.