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Cheshire's Ambitious Stanlow Complex Secures Green Light for UK's 'Largest' Blue Hydrogen Hub Project

Image Credit: EET Hydrogen

In the heart of Cheshire, the UK's 'largest' blue hydrogen hub has received the enthusiastic green light from the local council, marking a significant milestone in the endeavor to combat emissions from heavy industrial players in the region. Developer Essar Energy Transition (EET) Hydrogen is the driving force behind this ambitious project, which aims to deliver a staggering 1.35GW of hydrogen production capacity to bolster the HyNet CCS industrial cluster.

Nestled within the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in Ellesmere Port, this hydrogen hub is poised to take shape in two distinctive phases, promising a dynamic blend of production capabilities. The initial phase is anticipated to yield a substantial 350MW production capacity, while the subsequent phase promises an impressive 1GW.

What sets this project apart is its focus on 'blue' hydrogen, a remarkable innovation achieved using fossil gas with cutting-edge carbon capture technology. This innovative approach captures the lion's share of emissions generated during production. The first 350MW facility is on track to commence production as early as 2027.

The brains behind this initiative are EET Hydrogen, a joint venture uniting the formidable Essar Oil UK and the pioneering Progressive Energy. Their collective vision extends far beyond the initial phases, with a grand ambition to provide a staggering 4GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity at this site by 2030.

The significance of this development cannot be overstated, as it forms a pivotal component of the HyNet industrial decarbonization cluster. This visionary endeavor envisions the 'blue' hydrogen produced at EET Hydrogen's Stanlow hub replacing fossil fuels at various neighboring industrial giants, including industry titans such as Tata Chemicals, alongside esteemed glass manufacturers Encirc and Pilkington.

EET Hydrogen's substantial investment, totaling approximately £1 billion in the HyNet cluster, anticipates a remarkable reduction of carbon emissions in the industrial region by an astonishing 2.5 million tonnes annually.

Richard Holden, EET Hydrogen's project manager for the first phase of the Ellesmere Port hub, described the proposed facility as the "largest low carbon hydrogen project in the UK and one of the most advanced in the world."

"It is a vital piece of the North West's journey to net zero, underpinning HyNet and providing the opportunity for manufacturers in the region to decarbonize their processes and support UK jobs," he said.

In this innovative process, fossil gas sourced from Essar's Stanlow oil refinery undergoes a remarkable transformation, splitting into its constituent elements to yield hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

EET Hydrogen, the visionary architect of this groundbreaking initiative, sets its sights on an awe-inspiring target: capturing up to 97 percent of the CO2 generated during this intricate procedure, as meticulously outlined in the planning documents. The captured hydrogen, symbolizing sustainability, finds its permanent sanctuary within the depleted gas fields beneath the pristine waters of Liverpool Bay.

This monumental endeavor perfectly aligns with the UK government's vision, which has designated HyNet North West as one of its paramount industrial decarbonization clusters. This strategic partnership reflects the government's ambitious objective to harness the transformative power of CCS technology to capture and securely store an impressive 20 to 30 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030.

Simultaneously, EET Hydrogen unveils its grand vision for the Ellesmere Port hydrogen hub. It is poised to emerge as a pivotal player in realizing the government's audacious goal of achieving 10GW of operational hydrogen production capacity across the United Kingdom by 2030. Notably, this collective endeavor anticipates that up to half of the total capacity could be attributed to the cutting-edge realm of blue hydrogen.

This monumental development took a significant step forward when the esteemed Cheshire West & Chester Council granted its coveted stamp of approval, marking a massive stride towards a sustainable and low-carbon future. As the project continues to gain momentum, it promises to redefine the landscape of hydrogen production and carbon capture on a grand scale.

"We have worked closely with regional stakeholders and are delighted to obtain this important approval for the project as we move from ambition to action," said Holden.

In a further boost for the UK's hydrogen industry, energy firm ScottishPower announced today that it has teamed up with hydrogen aircraft pioneer ZeroAvia to explore the potential development of green hydrogen supply services and infrastructure at several UK airports.

Indeed, here's the concluding paragraph that seamlessly integrates the provided information:

ScottishPower has made a significant announcement today in a further boost for the UK's burgeoning hydrogen industry. The energy firm has forged a strategic alliance with hydrogen aircraft pioneer ZeroAvia, embarking on an exciting journey to explore the potential development of green hydrogen supply services and infrastructure at many UK airports. This collaboration promises to reshape the aviation landscape and contribute to the nation's transition towards a more sustainable and hydrogen-powered future.

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