The two companies have tied up to set up a venture to produce low-carbon hydrogen that will be used across the UK’s industrial decarbonisation cluster– HyNet North West– which has been developed by Progressive Energy. The move is in line with the UK government’s aim to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.
“HyNet and hydrogen production is integral to Stanlow’s strategy and will set it on a journey to be the UK’s first net zero emission refinery with the ambition to avoid emissions of over two million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere per year, the equivalent of taking nearly a million cars off the road,” Stein Ivar Bye, chief executive officer, Essar Oil UK, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The company said that the project will provide Essar Oil UK low-carbon hydrogen to decarbonise its own energy demand and help create a hydrogen economy across North West England and North East Wales. Natural gas, and fuel gases from the refinery, will be converted into low carbon hydrogen, with carbon dioxide safely captured and stored offshore in subsurface reservoirs in Liverpool Bay.
The hydrogen economy aims to use hydrogen as a fuel and replace fossil fuels. In a recent report, Bank of America Securities said the world will have to look at clean energy sources like hydrogen technology to get to net zero carbon. This technology can generate $2.5 trillion of direct revenues and $11 trillion of indirect infrastructure potential by 2050, a six times increase in volumes, it said.
The UK’s first low carbon hydrogen hub will initially produce three terawatt-hours (TWh) of low carbon hydrogen each year from 2025. In the second phase, a facility twice this size will be set up taking the total capacity of over nine TWh of hydrogen per annum, equivalent to the energy used for heating across the whole of Liverpool.