Spectral Shift: Stanlow's Hydrogen Horizon

StanlowImage Source: Essar


Essar Energy Transition Hydrogen's plans for a large-scale blue hydrogen production at Stanlow refinery in northwest England have gained approval, a crucial step in the UK government's HyNet project for regional industrial decarbonization. The joint venture, EET, secured planning consents for the first 350 MW plant, with construction set to begin in 2024. Hydrogen produced will be used at Essar's refinery and supplied to regional manufacturers, supporting the UK's net-zero goals.


In a significant development, Essar Energy Transition Hydrogen (EET) has received approval for its plans to establish large-scale blue hydrogen production at Stanlow refinery in northwest England. This approval is a pivotal milestone in the UK government's HyNet project, designed to decarbonize heavy industry in the region.

Essar Energy Transition Hydrogen, a joint venture between Essar and Progressive Energy, has obtained the necessary planning consents for the first 350 MW plant (HPP1). The subsequent 1,000 MW plant (HPP2) is awaiting full planning permission as the design progresses. The hydrogen produced by these plants will not only be utilized at Essar's refinery but also supplied to regional manufacturers like Tata Chemicals, Encirc, and Pilkington.

The construction of HPP1 is anticipated to commence in the current year, with production scheduled to kick off by 2027. The plant will incorporate Johnson Matthey's Low Carbon Hydrogen (LCH) technology, known for capturing up to 99% of CO2 produced during hydrogen manufacture. The captured CO2 will be stored in gas fields beneath the sea in Liverpool Bay.

KBR, awarded the contract last year, will design the HPP2 plant and license its technology for the project. Richard Holden, HPP1 project manager, emphasized the project's significance, calling it the largest low-carbon hydrogen project in the UK and one of the most advanced globally. It plays a crucial role in the North West's journey to achieving net-zero emissions, supporting regional manufacturers in decarbonizing their processes and contributing to UK jobs.

The overall capacity of the Stanlow development is expected to reach 4 GW by 2030. This aligns with the broader HyNet project, a UK government priority Track-1 cluster along with an East Coast cluster, receiving £1 billion of taxpayer support. In December, the government outlined plans for the UK to lead in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), inviting more CCUS projects to connect with the HyNet cluster.


In conclusion, Essar Energy Transition Hydrogen's approval for large-scale blue hydrogen production at Stanlow is a monumental step towards realizing the UK government's HyNet project goals. This project, consisting of the HPP1 and HPP2 plants, is poised to be a cornerstone in decarbonizing heavy industry in the North West. The utilization of advanced technologies, including Johnson Matthey's LCH, showcases a commitment to low-carbon hydrogen production. With construction set to begin and production anticipated by 2027, Stanlow's hydrogen initiative is not just a local endeavor but a crucial contributor to the broader net-zero ambitions of the UK.

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