Essar’s JV to set up UK’s largest hydrogen hub

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Conglomerate Essar and Progressive Energy have formed a new new joint venture, Vertex Hydrogen, to build the UK’s largest hydrogen hub at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex.

Led by Essar as the majority shareholder, Vertex Hydrogen has been formed to provide the catalyst for development of a hydrogen economy across northwest England and north Wales.

“A total investment of approximately 1 billion pounds will be committed to deliver the hydrogen production hub,” Essar said in a statement.

Besides, the company said that the initiative is a core part of a wider strategy by Essar globally to focus on investing in energy transition through the transformation of existing portfolio companies, and investments in new ventures.

“The UK’s first low carbon hydrogen facility at Essar Stanlow will sit at the heart of the ‘HyNet’ low carbon cluster, to produce a total of 1GW per year of hydrogen, across two units, from 2026.”

“This is equivalent to the domestic heating energy used by a major British city region, such as Liverpool.”

As per the statement, waste fuel gases from Essar Stanlow, and natural gas, will be converted by Vertex Hydrogen into hydrogen, with carbon dioxide safely captured and stored by ‘HyNet’ partner ‘Eni SpA’, underground offshore in Liverpool Bay.

“The hydrogen production hub will provide low carbon energy to replace fossil fuels in industry across the ‘HyNet’ region, as well as heating homes, and fuelling buses, trains and trucks.

“The hydrogen produced will, in the first instance, be utilised by Essar to reduce its carbon footprint at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex.”

In addition, Vertex will provide low carbon hydrogen to a wide range of businesses, including companies from the chemicals, ceramics, paper, glass and flexible power generation sectors, such as Tata Chemicals Europe, Encirc, InterGen, Solvay, Ingevity, Novelis, Glass Futures and Saica Paper “all having expressed interest already”.

Essar Chairman Prashant Ruia said: “Essar is massively committed to investing in energy transition and is building a portfolio of companies in this space. Vertex Hydrogen is a central component of that vision, which will be instrumental in helping create a hydrogen future for northwest England and northeast Wales.”

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