Photo: Equinor

Equinor, SSE Thermal transition to hydrogen with Triton Power acquisition


United Kingdom – The UK’s efforts to reduce carbon emission and transition to using hydrogen in the Saltend Power Station, Equinor and SSE Thermal are beginning the process of purchasing power company Triton Power from Energy Capital Partners (ECP).

The Saltend Power Station, with an installed capacity of 1.2 GW, is the main facility bought with Triton Power. This is a typical natural gas-powered combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT). This power plant’s primary function today is to supply electricity during times when solar and wind energy production is low. With a goal of eventually operating at 100 percent hydrogen, Equinor and SSE Thermal are now beginning work on preparing the power plant to use up to 30 percent hydrogen starting in 2027.

The hydrogen may come from Equinor’s H2H Saltend hydrogen project, which would convert natural gas into hydrogen through carbon capture and storage while retaining more than 95% of its CO2 content. The hydrogen project’s anchor customer would then be Saltend Power Station. By making the purchase, Equinor and SSE Thermal could start the process of decarbonizing flexible power generation while also helping to stimulate the production of low carbon hydrogen for industrial use.

Decarbonization is crucial

With annual emissions of over 12 million tonnes of CO2, more than 50% more than the second-largest region, the Humber is the UK’s most industrialized region. In order for these industries to continue operating as society moves toward net zero emissions, decarbonization is crucial. The H2H Saltend hydrogen project will support industries in switching from coal to hydrogen in addition to providing flexible power to support variable generation from renewable sources. This includes the Saltend Chemicals Park’s factories, which are already supplied with steam and electricity by the Saltend Power Station.

Triton Power will be purchased by Equinor and SSE Thermal for a total of £341 million. Equinor and SSE Thermal will jointly own Triton Power once the deal is done, in a 50:50 split. Subject to UK National Security Filing and EU Merger Control approval, the transaction is anticipated to close in September.

The acquisition of Triton Power broadens the range of low-carbon options available to Equinor and SSE Thermal in the UK. In Scotland’s Keadby and Peterhead, there are already plans for hydrogen power plants, hydrogen storage, and CCGTs with carbon capture and storage.