The two firms are drawing up plans to produce hydrogen and capture CO2 at an oil refinery in Ellesmere Port
Plans for a major hydrogen production hub are being drawn up in Cheshire, where oil refining firm Essar and technology specialist Progressive Energy are aiming to capture carbon for storage below Liverpool Bay while producing low carbon fuel for heavy industry, transport, and home heating.
The joint venture, announced today, aims to invest £750m to create two plants to convert natural gas and fuel gases from Essar Oil UK’s refinery in Ellesmere Port into low carbon hydrogen, with resulting CO2 emissions captured and stored offshore in sub-surface reservoirs below Liverpool Bay, the companies said.
Hydrogen produced at the facilities would then be used to supply heavy industry and manufacturing at the HyNet North West industrial decarbonisation cluster in the region, which is being spearheaded by Progressive Energy alongside a host of manufacturers backed by £7.5m of government funding.
The hydrogen could also be used to fuel buses, trains, and heavy goods vehicles, as well as to heat homes or provide storage capacity for energy produced by wind and solar facilities in the region, the companies said.
The project would create the UK’s first low carbon hydrogen production hub, the companies claim, and play a major role in ramping up production of the fuel in line with the government’s net zero ambitions to bring 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity online by 2030.
Chris Manson-Whitton, director at Progressive Energy,