India’s Essar has formed a new joint venture with Progressive Energy to build the UK’s largest hydrogen hub at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex.
The new £1 billion joint venture, Vertex Hydrogen Ltd, in which Essar is the majority shareholder, will underpin the development of a hydrogen economy across North West England and North Wales as a central part of the HyNet decarbonisation cluster.
The hydrogen hub will be built at Essar Stanlow, in the HyNet low carbon cluster. It will produce a total of 1 GW/year of hydrogen, across two units, from 2026. Waste fuel gases from Essar Stanlow, and natural gas, will be converted by Vertex Hydrogen into hydrogen, with CO2 safely captured and stored by HyNet partner Eni SpA, underground offshore in Liverpool Bay.
The hydrogen will replace fossil fuels in the industry across the HyNet region and will heat homes and fuel buses, trains and trucks. The hydrogen produced will initially be used by Essar at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex.
When it comes to supply hydrogen industries, Vertex will provide low carbon hydrogen to companies such as Tata Chemicals Europe, Encirc, InterGen, Solvay, Ingevity, Novelis, Glass Futures and Saica Paper.
More widely in the region, companies such as Pilkington demonstrate hydrogen in their facilities. Cadent Gas Ltd is also developing the UK’s first multi-user hydrogen distribution network within HyNet.
Prashant Ruia, Essar Chairman, said, “Essar is massively committed to investing in energy transition and is building a portfolio of companies in this space.”
Deepak Maheshwari, Essar CEO, added, “Vertex Hydrogen is a critical investment for Essar in helping it achieve its vision of becoming the UK’s first low carbon refinery and supplying UK markets with the sustainable fuels of the future.”
Chris Manson-Whitton, Director at Progressive Energy, commented, “As the founding developer of HyNet, we see the launch of Vertex Hydrogen as a key milestone.”