Essar Oil UK, the firm that operates the Stanlow oil refinery in the UK, announced a new 45 million pound investment to install the United Kingdom’s first refinery furnace capable of running on 100 per cent hydrogen fuel.
It will reduce Stanlow’s carbon emissions through the improved energy efficiency of the design, saving 16,600 tonnes of CO2 per annum, the company said in a statement.
“This marks another significant milestone in Essar’s continued commitment to becoming the UK’s first low carbon refinery.
“It follows the launch of Vertex Hydrogen last month, a new Essar-led joint venture, in which the company will invest £1 billion over the next five years to drive down emissions, including the development of new hydrogen production plants at Stanlow, forming a central part of the HyNet North West decarbonisation cluster,” it said.
The furnace is currently being fabricated in Thailand. With an investment of £45 million, the new furnace forms a key part of the company’s strategy to reduce its own carbon emissions. The furnace is unique in that it will have the capability to run entirely off hydrogen, becoming the first of its kind based at a UK refinery.
“It has an improved energy efficiency of 4% compared to existing furnaces, which will save 16,600 tonnes of CO2 per annum, as well as reducing ongoing maintenance costs,” the statement said. Set to be installed in 2022, the furnace will become fully operational next year.
Essar’s new joint venture, Vertex Hydrogen, will develop the world’s first and largest blue hydrogen production plant at Stanlow. Hydrogen will be used at the site and will be distributed to industrial businesses in the region to support their own transition to low carbon. As well as being used by Essar, the hydrogen will be supplied to a wide range of businesses across the North West, including Tata Chemicals Europe, Encirc and InterGen.