Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas announce hydrogen partnership

Today, Governors John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas announced that their states have entered into a bipartisan, three-state partnership to establish a regional center for the development, production and the use of clean hydrogen for fuel and manufacturing. raw material.

By entering into the agreement, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas intend to compete as a unit for funding established in the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021, in which the US Department of Energy (DOE) is tasked with seeking to identify and select regional clean hydrogen hubs to fund. The law specifies that these hubs must be selected by the DOE based on the mix of feedstocks available to produce hydrogen, available hydrogen users, geographic locations and potential employment effects, among other considerations.

“The State of Louisiana, along with our partner states in this effort, has a long history of producing and transporting fuels and feedstocks in both liquid and gaseous form, as well as a large population of industrial end users who may need ‘to use hydrogen as a fuel or as part of manufacturing processes,’ Governor Edwards said. ‘This is an extension of Louisiana’s ongoing efforts to diversify the composition of our energy sources and ensure an economically and environmentally balanced approach to cleaner use of traditional fuels and transition to potential new energy sources.”

“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 the creation of this hydrogen economy. Like our partners, we believe that creating as many end-use cases for commercialization with as many private partners is the fastest and best mechanism to drive real demand for this clean energy. The resources and opportunities in Oklahoma are complementary to our partners and tailor-made for a diverse hub application to compete with others across the country,” Governor Stitt said.

“In Arkansas, we have a growing and diverse energy portfolio and natural resources vital to any thriving regional center. We are proud to be home to leading partners and companies essential to American commerce with a strong history of environmental leadership and track record of reducing emissions. We are thrilled to join our neighbors in Louisiana and Oklahoma to present a winning bid,” Governor Hutchinson explained.

Each governor has named the following individuals from their respective state to serve as delegates to the partnership: Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Thomas Harris; Oklahoma Energy and Environment Secretary Kenneth Wagner; and Arkansas Energy and Environment Secretary Becky W. Keogh. The designated individuals will serve as the primary authority and point of contact to coordinate government, research and private sector efforts to promote the development and use of hydrogen.

These states are perfectly situated to demonstrate the entire hydrogen value chain and ideally situated to tackle hard to decarbonize sectors like industry, manufacturing and transportation. The partnership builds on existing advantages, such as an inland seaport system that stretches from Oklahoma to Arkansas and down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana, existing intermodal rail, existing pipeline infrastructure that runs from Oklahoma through Arkansas to the Gulf of Mexico. , and some of the most valuable interstate freight highways in the United States. More importantly, hydrogen is already available for demonstration with new large clean hydrogen production centers expected to come online in the near future.

Hydrogen is currently used in many manufacturing processes and is attracting increasing interest as a clean-burning fuel source that could help reduce carbon emissions from manufacturing, heavy industry and long distance trucking. Currently, a large amount of hydrogen is produced in the partner states by splitting methane into its hydrogen and carbon components. Although this process still produces waste carbon, the process can be made much cleaner by capturing waste carbon and injecting it into permanent underground storage areas. There has also been growing interest and investment in making the electrolysis of water to release hydrogen more commercially available.

All three states have focused on hydrogen as an additional resource in their overall approach to a diverse and clean energy portfolio. In late 2021, a hydrogen from natural gas project with carbon capture and sequestration was announced in Louisiana and a large electrolytic production center was announced in Oklahoma.

“Here in Louisiana, we have already seen and participated in actions to produce more hydrogen through cleaner processes, and with our state’s partnership with Arkansas and Oklahoma sharing government-level information from state, between our research institutions and between our industry groups, we expect to be able to accelerate progress in the production and use of hydrogen,” Governor Edwards said.

“From our shared industrial base and established pipeline infrastructure to our shared history of supplying fuel and raw materials to end users in our states, Louisiana and our partners in this effort have the potential to play a leading role. in the future of hydrogen development and its participation in the transition from traditional fuels to what is coming next,” Louisiana Secretary Harris said.

The agreement also includes provisions regarding:

  • Promoting investment in low-carbon hydrogen production and transport infrastructure
  • Prioritize direct carbon capture for all phases of hydrogen development
  • Work with industry, transport networks and ports to connect key high carbon footprint facilities to hydrogen infrastructure for fuel blending and reduced CO2 emissions Work to support hydrogen production to to support all phases of industry that can use hydrogen as a fuel source

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