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Essar Oil (UK) Ltd announced today that it had submitted a planning application to Cheshire West and Chester Council, seeking approval for the construction of hydrogen production plants at its Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in Ellesmere Port.
The proposed hydrogen plants will form a central pillar of the landmark ‘HyNet North West’ initiative, a ground-breaking low carbon energy project that will position the region at the leading edge of the UK’s transition to net zero.
The construction of two blue hydrogen production hubs at Stanlow will attract £750 million in total investment and support a hydrogen economy across North West England and North East Wales. If approved, construction work is scheduled to begin on site by the end of 2022, with hydrogen production set to commence by the mid-2020s.
Essar Chief Executive Officer, Deepak Maheshwari, commented: “Essar is committed to delivering on its transition to low carbon operations. The planned evolution of our Stanlow Refinery is set to power the UK’s low carbon revolution for years to come, creating jobs and helping local communities flourish.”
The application will request full planning permission for the majority of the first phase of the development, comprising the first process plant capable of producing 350MWth of high purity low carbon hydrogen. It will also request outline planning permission for elements of a supporting plant for phase 1, plus a second hydrogen production plant with a capacity of 700MWth of hydrogen and supporting plant.
In the following years, follow on capacity growth is planned to reach 80% of the Government’s new target of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen for power, transport, industry and homes by 2030.
The application marks a major step forward in the planned evolution of Stanlow as a low carbon energy cluster. Together with HyNet, Essar has also announced plans to create a new facility to convert non-recyclable household waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use by airlines operating at UK airports. The project involves Essar, Fulcrum BioEnergy and Essar’s subsidiary company Stanlow Terminals Limited and will convert several hundred thousand tonnes of pre-processed waste, otherwise destined for incineration or landfill, into approximately 100 million litres of low carbon SAF annually.