French firm Technip Energies to design world's largest CCS facility. [Image credit: ExxonMobil]

By Dale Lunan

US major ExxonMobil said January 30 it had awarded a contract to France’s Technip Energies for front-end engineering and design (FEED) on what it says will be the world’s largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its Baytown refining complex in Texas.

The low-carbon hydrogen, ammonia and CCS project, announced in March 2022, targets the production of 1bn ft3/day of low-carbon hydrogen from natural gas, while capturing and sequestering more than 98% of associated CO2 emissions, or about 7mn metric tons/year.

The CCS network being developed for the project is part of ExxonMobil’s ambitious plan to develop the Houston area of Texas as a major CCS hub on the Gulf Coast, with an initial target to capture 50mn mt/yr of CO2 by 2030 and 100mn mt/yr by 2050. As such, the Baytown capture and storage network will be made available to third parties.

“This project allows us to offer significant volumes of low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia to third party customers in support of their decarbonisation efforts,” said Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “In addition, the project is expected to enable up to a 30% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from our Baytown integrated complex by switching from natural gas as a fuel source to low-carbon hydrogen.”

A final investment decision on the project is expected by 2024, ExxonMobil said, subject to stakeholder support, regulatory permitting and market conditions.