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


Essar Oil UK and Progressive Energy have joined forces to launch Vertex Hydrogen, which will look to provide a catalyst for a low carbon economy across North West England and North Wales.

On 26 January, Vertex Hydrogen announced that around £1bn will be committed to deliver a low carbon hydrogen plant, generating over 1GW of hydrogen, as a central plant of the HyNet decarbonisation cluster. Vertex Hydrogen has submitted its plans to build the hub as part of the government’s cluster sequencing process.

The plant would be expected to begin production from 2026 and will see waste fuel gases form Essar Stanlow and natural gas converted into hydrogen, with carbon dioxide then safely captured and stored by HyNet partner, Eni SpA, underground offshore in Liverpool Bay. The resulting hydrogen will be used to replace fossil fuels in industry across the HyNet region, as well as heating homes, fuelling buses, trains and trucks.

At first, the hydrogen will be used by Essar to reduce its carbon footprint at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, though Vertex will also provide low carbon hydrogen to businesses across a range of areas, including in chemicals, ceramics, paper, glass and flexible power generation sectors. The likes of Tata Chemicals Europe, Encirc, InterGen, Solvay, Ingevity, Novelis, Glass Futures and Saica Paper have all already expressed interest.