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    Essar Joins UK Blue Hydrogen Drive


Gas from the Stanlow refinery will be used to produce blue hydrogen as part of the $1bn HyNet project.

by: Joe Murphy

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Essar Joins UK Blue Hydrogen Drive

Indian-owned Essar Oil has teamed up with the UK's Progressive Energy to produce blue hydrogen at its Stanlow oil refinery in northwest England, it said on January 13.

Natural gas and fuel gases from the refinery will be used to produce the hydrogen, while CO2 emissions from the process will be captured and stored offshore in sub-surface reservoirs in Liverpool Bay. The project will form part of the HyNet initiative led by Progressive and gas distribution operator Cadent,  which aims to produce 3 TWh/year of low-carbon hydrogen from 2025.

The hydrogen from the refinery will be used to cover Essar's own energy needs and those of other industries in the region. It can also fuel buses, trains and heavy goods vehicles, heat homes and generate electricity, Essar said.

HyNet is slated to produce 9 TWh/yr of hydrogen eventually, after the construction of a second production facility. This is enough fuel to meet Liverpool's entire heating needs, Essar said. The combined cost of both plants will be £750mn ($1bn). 

The project will put Stanlow on track to becoming the first net-zero emissions refinery in the UK, Essar Oil UK CEO Stein Ivar Bye said in a statement, removing 2mn metric tons/year of CO2 from the atmosphere. 

"With the support from the government to establish the appropriate business incentives, together with Progressive Energy, we are committed to undertaking the development and the financing of its construction," he said. "Hydrogen has a central role to play in our low carbon energy solution. We are demonstrating that the industry is committed to play its part of the UK’s transformational hydrogen strategy."