Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma join the hunt for hydrogen centers

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas are uniting in hopes of becoming one of four “hydrogen hubs” backed by $8 billion in federal infrastructure bill last year, their governors announced on Thursday.

The three states have a long history of producing and transporting liquid and gaseous fuels and raw materials, and industries that could use hydrogen for fuel or in manufacturing, said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat. , in a joint press release with Republican governors. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas.

The states said they would work together to develop, produce and use hydrogen as a fuel and manufacturing feedstock.

“Oklahoma is honored to join in forming this partnership, not out of convenience or necessity, but rather because we share a similar vision and goals for production, use and economic impact that can result from creating this hydrogen economy,” Stitt said. .

Hutchinson said, “In Arkansas, we have a growing and diverse energy portfolio and natural resources vital to any successful regional hub.”

This is at least the third hydrogen hub on offer. Four Rocky Mountain states announced their proposal in February. Earlier that month, SoCalGas proposed one for the Los Angeles Basin.

The proposals are due March 21 at the US Department of Energy.

The ministry should choose centers based on considerations such as the mix of feedstocks available to produce hydrogen, available hydrogen users, geographic locations and potential employment effects.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and is considered a way to reduce emissions from cars, trucks, planes and trains. However, as with electric vehicles, the lack of filling stations limits the market, which limits investments in the production and transport of hydrogen.

The governors said their benefits include pipelines, rail systems and a system of inland seaports that run through all three states.

“Most importantly, hydrogen is already available for demonstration with new large clean hydrogen production centers expected to come online in the near future,” the press release said.

In late 2021, industrial gas supplier Air Products said in October 2021 that it would build a $4.5 billion plant in Louisiana to extract hydrogen from natural gas, by injecting waste carbon into underground wells. to keep it out of the atmosphere. A study last year found that the process produces around 20% more carbon than burning natural gas or coal for heating.

Woodside Energy Ltd of Perth, Western Australia, has the option of buying land in Oklahoma for a large plant that would use electricity to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water, the company has announced. Status as of December 2021. This process is considered cleaner.

Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Thomas Harris and Oklahoma Energy and Environment Secretary Kenneth Wagner will coordinate government, research and private sector efforts to promote the development and use of hydrogen, the governors said.

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