Essar Oil UK awards contract for carbon capture facility at its £2bn hydrogen hub close to the River Mersey to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Tony McDonough reports
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has secured a deal to design and deliver a carbon capture facility at the Stanlow Oil refinery in Ellesmere Port.
Engineering and design work has started on the second phase of a £2bn project to create a hydrogen production and carbon capture facility close to the River Mersey.
Vertex Hydrogen, a joint venture between Essar Oil UK and low carbon energy firm Progressive Energy, has been leading the project. Now Vertex is being rebranded as EET Hydrogen and will be a sister company of Essar rather than a subsidiary.
EET Hydrogen has an ambition to deliver around 4GW of low carbon hydrogen by 2030, around 40% of the UK Government’s national target. It secured funding for the project from the Government in March.
Initially the hydrogen will be produced by burning methane gas – a major cause of carbon emissions and a contributor to climate change. This is known as ‘blue hydrogen’. The emissions will be ‘captured’ by the MHI facility.
Once captured the carbon will be piped to depleted gas fields under Liverpool Bay where it will be stored indefinitely.
Carbon capture and storage is a controversial technology. For the process to be viable it has to successfully capture and store between 90% and 95% of the carbon. This has never been achieved on the scale proposed by HyNet anywhere in the world.
Kenji Terasawa, chief executive and head of engineering solutions at MHI, said: “Essar has huge ambitions to lead the overall decarbonisation of the North West.
“EET Industrial Carbon Capture at Stanlow is a significant project which will not only bring considerable benefits to the refinery, but will also make a material contribution to the UK’s overall net zero ambitions.
“We are delighted they have selected us to work with them – this is testament to our world leading carbon capture technology and our proven experience in delivering on large scale complex engineering projects.”
Deepak Maheshwari, chief executive of Essar Oil UK, added: “With the selection of this key technology partner, we are ready to move into the next phase of EET Industrial Carbon Capture.
“This facility is an essential element of our overall ambition to become the UK’s first low carbon refinery, essentially future proofing this key industrial site, protecting jobs and ensuring we continue to play our vital role in the regional and national economy.”