Plans for a $2bn hydrogen-fuelled power plant in Abu Dhabi, set to meet the emirate’s power requirements in future, are still underway according to reports.

BP and Rio Tinto Plc, through their UK-based joint venture Hydrogen Energy, are collaborating with Abu Dhabi’s Masdar to develop the plant, as oil revenue funds new infrastructure and industries.

The partners previously said design work would be completed last year and the facility would produce 500 megawatts, though a report from Fuel Cell Today appears to confirm that BP and its partners are still on track with plans for the site.

In an interview with Bloomberg, BP's President of Middle East and South Asia, Steve Peacock, confirmed that BP and its partners are still conducting engineering and design work for their planned hydrogen-fueled power plant in Abu Dhabi.

BP expects the facility to start in 2013 and to generate 420 megawatts of electricity, it is thought.

Added benefits
The plant will split natural gas into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, with the hydrogen being used to generate power. Abu Dhabi’s National Oil Co. (Adnoc) will then pump the carbon dioxide into oil fields to boost their output - said Vivienne Cox, Chief Executive of BP Plc’s Alternative Energy division.

The process means Adnoc will keep carbon dioxide under ground in what will represent one of the world’s first carbon capture and storage projects, Cox said. BP is also thought to be developing another carbon capture project in California, though less developed than that of Abu Dhabi.

Masdar, a unit of state-owned Mubadala Development Co., was set up in 2006 and is responsible for developing renewable energy in Abu Dhabi.

Back in June 2008, gasworld reported how Masdar planned to invest more than $2bn in the rapidly emerging photovoltaics sector, with the construction of a thin-film solar manufacturing subsidiary.