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Essar submits planning application for hydrogen production plants

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Essar Oil (UK) Ltd stated that it had submitted a planning application to Cheshire West and Chester Council seeking authority to build hydrogen production plants at its Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in Ellesmere Port.

The projected hydrogen plants will be a critical component of the ground-breaking ‘HyNet North West’ effort, a ground-breaking low-carbon energy initiative that will position the region at the forefront of the UK’s net-zero energy transition.

The creation of two blue hydrogen production centres at Stanlow will attract £750 million in total investment and will help North West England and North East Wales develop a hydrogen economy. If permitted, construction work on the facility is expected to begin in late 2022, with hydrogen production beginning in 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 seek full planning permission for the entirety of the development’s first phase, which will include the first process plant capable of producing 350MWth of high purity low carbon hydrogen. Additionally, it will seek outline planning permission for elements of a supporting facility for phase 1, as well as a second hydrogen production plant and supporting plant with a capacity of 700MWth of hydrogen.

Following years, capacity expansion is expected to reach approximately 80% of the Government’s new objective of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen for power, transportation, industry, and residences by 2030.

The application is a significant step ahead in Stanlow’s intended evolution as a low-carbon energy center. Essar has also announced intentions to establish a new facility to convert non-recyclable household waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use by planes operating at UK airports, in collaboration with HyNet. Essar, Fulcrum BioEnergy, and Essar’s subsidiary company Stanlow Terminals Limited are collaborating on the project, which will convert several hundred thousand tonnes of pre-processed waste that would otherwise be disposed of incineratively or in landfills into approximately 100 million litres of low-carbon SAF per year.

Nedim Husomanovic

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