Essar and Progressive Energy have joined forces to set up a venture to produce low carbon hydrogen at Essar’s Stanlow Refinery in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, and create a hydrogen economy across North West England and North East Wales.
Thought to be the UK’s first low carbon hydrogen hub, the project will initially produce 3 terawatt-hours (TWh) of low carbon hydrogen each year from 2025. This will then be followed by a facility twice the size, giving a total capacity of over 9TWh of hydrogen per annum, with a total investment of approximately £750m.
Follow on capacity growth is planned to reach 80% of the Government’s new target of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen for power, transport, industry and homes by 2030.
The project will use Johnson Matthey’s Low Carbon Hydrogen (LCH™) technology. In partnership with SNC-Lavalin, engineering is well advanced with funding provided by the UK Government’s hydrogen supply competition.
Commenting on the development, Chris Manson-Whitton, Director at Progressive Energy, said, “We cannot reach net zero without decarbonising industry. Today brings a key milestone in that journey as Progressive Energy and Essar Oil UK sign a Memorandum of Understanding setting out how we will work together to deliver this exciting project at Stanlow Refinery.”
“Delivering net zero requires a transformation of our energy system. HyNet offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create real change in energy production and consumption, creating a cleaner world for future generations. It will unlock the low carbon hydrogen economy in the North West, reducing emissions and creating and safeguarding jobs.”
Stein Ivar Bye, Chief Executive Officer, Essar Oil UK, added, “Essar is committed to innovative growth as a means to create positive impact to both economy and environment. HyNet and hydrogen production is integral to Stanlow’s strategy and will set it on a journey to be the UK’s first net zero emission refinery with the ambition to avoid emissions of over 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere per year, the equivalent of taking nearly a million cars off the road.”
“With the support from government to establish the appropriate business incentives, together with Progressive Energy, we are committed to undertaking the development and the financing of its construction.”
“Hydrogen has a central role to play in our low carbon energy solution. We are demonstrating that the industry is committed to play its part of the UK’s transformational hydrogen strategy.”
Today’s agreement between Essar and Progressive Energy provides the basis to take the project through final development and into construction and operation.