HyNet secures new hydrogen customers

Article by Adam Duckett

MAJOR producers of food, ceramics, glass, paper and cars – including PepsiCo and Jaguar Land Rover – have signed up to receive hydrogen from the UK’s HyNet project.

The HyNet project will create an integrated CCUS and hydrogen production network to decarbonise industry, homes and transport in north-west England. At the heart of the project is a new hydrogen production plant planned for Essar’s Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port. Until now, partners in the project have included heavy industry majors including Tata Chemicals and Hanson Cement, but this new agreement extends the network into new industrial sectors and neighbouring north Wales.

24 major employers have now signed a memorandum of understanding confirming they want a future connection to the HyNet network and a supply of hydrogen to help decarbonise their operations. Among these are Kellogg’s, which has cereal manufacturing plants in Manchester and Wrexham; PepsiCo which produces crisps in Skelmersdale; Kraft-Heinz, whose plant in Wigan is Europe's largest food processing facility, producing more than 1.3bn cans of food per year; Pilkington Glass’ manufacturing site in St Helens; and Jaguar Land Rover’s car plant in Halewood.

HyNet recently ran a world-first trial using hydrogen to produce sheet glass at Pilkington Glass in St Helens. HyNet plans to run a similar fuel-switching trail with Unilever at its Port Sunlight facility.

The project’s partners have published a manifesto calling on the UK Government to implement a series of measures to accelerate hydrogen and ammonia demonstration projects and incentivise plastics recycling in a bid to speed up decarbonisation and growth in the region.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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