Report detailing UK’s first large scale low carbon hydrogen production plant unveiled

Vertex Hydrogen, the joint venture between Essar Oil UK and Progressive Energy, has today unveiled a report detailing the development of the UK’s first ever large-scale low carbon hydrogen production plant.

The report has been launched by consortium partners Essar, Progressive Energy, Kent and Johnson Matthey to share learnings as to how they are designing and developing the ground-breaking hydrogen production plant. Hydrogen is critical to the UK’s future energy mix, providing a low carbon solution to fuel vital to heavy industry.

The plant, to be owned and operated by Vertex Hydrogen, is being engineered by Kent and will use UK company Johnson Matthey’s best in class Low Carbon Hydrogen (LCHTM) technology at Essar’s Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. The Front End Engineering Design (FEED) was funded by the Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (‘BEIS’) hydrogen supply competition.

The report explains how natural gas, and refinery fuel gas, will be converted into low carbon hydrogen whilst capturing carbon dioxide to be permanently stored under the sea bed in Liverpool Bay. The hub will produce 1GW of low carbon hydrogen with first the production line starting in the mid 2020’s.

Low carbon hydrogen will replace fossil fuels in industry across the North West England and North Wales, helping the UK to decarbonise towards our net zero commitments and positioning a hydrogen economy as a catalyst for low carbon growth. Industry in the region across the chemicals, ceramics, paper, glass and flexible power generation sectors have already made commitments to reduce their carbon footprint using low carbon hydrogen from HyNet. This includes a wide range of companies such as Tata Chemicals Europe, Encirc, InterGen, Solvay, Ingevity, Novelis, Pilkington Glass and Saica Paper.

The report follows Vertex’s submission of the company’s plans to BEIS last month to build the UK’s first low carbon hydrogen production hub with the HyNet cluster as part of the Government’s Cluster Sequencing process.

The UK’s first low carbon hydrogen plant will sit at the heart of the HyNet low carbon cluster, the UK’s leading industrial decarbonisation cluster. HyNet is vital for the North West of England and North Wales to hit their net zero targets by 2050, playing their part in the fight against climate change. By 2030, HyNet aims to be a significant contributor to the Government’s target to produce 5GW of low carbon hydrogen for power, transport, industry and homes.