Essar Oil wants to develop the UK’s first refinery-based furnace fuelled entirely by hydrogen.
The company today (May 25) said it has secured a £7.2m grant from the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to invest in the project that will help decarbonise the Stanlow Refinery in North West England.
Made available through the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the funding will be used to install a new furnace in the crude distillation unit at Stanlow that will be able to run on a 100% hydrogen fuel source.
Essar said the furnace will use hydrogen produced by the HyNet North West project at Stanlow, with the first stage of the initiative set to come on stream in 2025.
Once operational, it is thought the net zero furnace will reduce Stanlow’s emissions by 11% a year and deliver immediate energy efficiency improvements.
Commenting on the ambitious plans, Jon Barden, Chief Operating Officer at Essar, said, “This year has been about beginning to execute the strategy we’ve put in place to decarbonise Stanlow and position the site as a provider of sustainable fuels for the future.
“The investment into CD4, alongside the HyNet and Fulcrum projects, demonstrates our commitment to developing low carbon operations, with the ambition of becoming a net zero site by 2040.
“The funding from BEIS is an endorsement of the steps we’re taking, as well as a signal of the Government’s intent to transform the North West into a clean energy hub supporting jobs and economic growth for years to come.”
Essar’s furnace plans are another element of the company’s transition to becoming a ‘Low Carbon Energy Provider’ of the future, through which is will also support the construction of two blue hydrogen production hubs at Stanlow under the HyNet project.
Together with HyNet, Essar has also announced plans to create a new facility to convert non- recyclable household waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use by airlines operating at UK airports.
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