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BP Cherry Point mulling green hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuel

Updated facilities could bring $1.5B to Whatcom over several years

BP has discussed plans to transition to green energy production with Whatcom County leadership
BP has discussed plans to transition to green energy production with Whatcom County leadership (Trenton Almgren-Davis/Cascadia Daily News)
By Julia Lerner Staff Reporter

Sustainable developments may be in the works at BP’s Cherry Point Refinery, where company leadership is exploring sustainable aviation fuel production and green hydrogen facilities. 

Leadership has identified the facility as one capable of producing sustainable aviation fuel — similar to traditional aircraft fuels but with a significantly smaller carbon footprint — to help push the aviation industry to lower carbon emissions. 

Discussions between the petroleum company and Whatcom County leadership have been “exciting,” county Executive Satpal Sidhu shared during the March 7 county council meeting. 

Earlier this month, Sidhu met with several BP Cherry Point employees, who shared details about “the possibility” of the two low-carbon projects at the refinery. 

“If built, these two facilities would produce significant amounts of low-carbon energy while creating new jobs,” Sidhu told county council members. “The projects would help solidify BP Cherry Point’s early transition from a refinery into an integrated energy hub.” 

Sidhu said the projects would require significant investments from the company, totaling more than $1.5 billion over the next six or seven years. Facility upgrades, too, would create hundreds, if not thousands, of new construction jobs over three years of work. 

“I welcome this good news to bring large capital investments into Whatcom County,” Sidhu said. “We are excited about this possibility of moving these projects forward in the coming months and years.” 

At this point, BP has not confirmed concrete plans to convert the facility near Ferndale to green energy, nor has the company submitted requests for construction permits or proposals to the county. 

BP did not provide comment prior to publication. 

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