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Government backs ‘greener’ Cheshire and Aberdeenshire hydrogen plants

Aerial shot of Stanlow refineryImage copyright
ESSAR OIL UK

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Stanlow Oil Refinery will be used as a hydrogen production plant by the middle of this year

The first low-carbon hydrogen energy production plants in the UK have been granted government funding.

Facilities at Stanlow Oil Refinery in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire and St Fergus Terminal in Aberdeenshire will produce hydrogen for manufacturing industries.

St Helens glassmakers Pilkington and Unilever in Port Sunlight will trial using hydrogen to cut carbon emissions.

The £70m investment follows the government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases to “net zero” by 2050.

Hydrogen is a low or zero-emission substitute for fossil fuels.

Scientists hope to demonstrate that it can be used instead of natural gas in a range of industrial settings, helping companies’ transition to a low-carbon future.

More than 95% of the carbon used in the process at Ellesmere Port will be captured and stored, said operator HyNet.

The pilot projects at Unilever and Pilkington’s Greengate Works have been allocated £5.2m of the government’s investment.

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Scientists hope hydrogen can be used as a replacement “low or zero-emission” fuel for industries

Director of Energy Lancaster at Lancaster University, Prof Harry Hoster, acknowledged that the schemes were “expensive but it is our only way of doing it at the moment”.

He added that he hoped production costs would eventually fall for hydrogen, as well as being “greener in the long run”.

The North West Hydrogen Alliance seeks to promote the region as a pioneer for the greater use of hydrogen in industry.

Chairman Prof Joe Howe said the investment put the UK at the “forefront of a global agenda”.

He said: “It is a significant step and I welcome the opportunity for industries to trial it.”

In the North West, operator Cadent Gas will distribute hydrogen through a pipeline network.

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By Laura Price

Laura is the senior writer and Smartphones section editor responsible for managing software updates and smartphones section. She is very passionate about Gadgets & Technology and always looking around to use them in an innovative way in daily life. She reviews Gadgets & Applications to tell users about their optimum use to get the most out of in which they’ve put their time and hard earned money.
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