Sabic invests £850m in UK cracker restart and conversion

Article by Amanda Jasi

SABIC is investing £850m (US$1.16bn) to restart its hydrocarbon cracker in Wilton, Teesside, UK, and convert it to run on hydrogen.

Olefins 6 is Europe’s second-largest cracker, and produces chemicals such as ethylene, propylene, and butadiene. It has been shut down for more than a year.

The investment will be used to strengthen operation and enable the cracker transformation. This is expected to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by up to 60% in the first phase, making it one of the world’s lowest carbon-emitting crackers says SABIC. In the second phase, a carbon neutrality feasibility study will be undertaken, using hydrogen as a fuel source.

The restart and conversion are expected to create and safeguard more than 1,000 jobs and boost the economy.

Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley, said: “Investments like these within hydrogen, offshore, and carbon capture taking shape across the whole Tees Valley bring about less pollution, and drive forward an environment that, like these industries, is also cleaner, healthier, and safer.”

Jacob Young, MP of the Redcar Constituency, said: “After years of industrial decline, we are seeing a revival in our industry on Teesside…and I could not be more buzzing about what our future holds and the amazing opportunities we are creating here.”

The announcement of SABIC’s investment follows news of other hydrogen investments in Teesside. In March, BP announced a 1 GW blue hydrogen hub in the region. Just last month, green hydrogen energy company Protium announced a 40 MW flagship green hydrogen project and energy infrastructure company Kellas Midstream submitted an application for a low carbon hydrogen facility, H2NorthEast.

October also saw the UK Government select the East Coast Cluster (which includes Humber and Teesside) for the first phase of its £1bn CCUS cluster programme.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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