Joint venture set to deliver UK’s first low carbon hydrogen production hub


Essar and Progressive Energy, the developers of HyNet North West, have joined forces to deliver a low carbon hydrogen production hub at Essar’s Stanlow Refinery in Cheshire.

On 13 January, Essar announced that a total investment of around £750mn has been committed to deliver two hydrogen hubs. An initial hub, which it was noted would be the UK’s first, will produce 3TWh of low carbon hydrogen each year from 2025, followed “quickly” by a second facility twice the size, ensuring a total capacity of over 9TWh of hydrogen per annum. Follow on capacity growth is planned to reach 80% of the government’s 2030 target for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen.

Natural gas and fuel gases from Essar’s refinery will be converted into hydrogen, with carbon dioxide captured and stored in sub-surface reservoirs in Liverpool Bay. The hydrogen will be used across the HyNet region, for industries in the low carbon cluster, fuel buses, trains, heavy goods vehicles, the heating of homes and generating electricity. It will also enable Essar Oil UK to decarbonise its own energy demand, while contributing to the creation of a hydrogen economy across North West England and North East Wales.

The agreement between Essar and Progressive Energy is serving as the foundation for the project to be taken through final development, into construction and then operation.