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Essar Group aims for key role in hydrogen construction market

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North West England Stanlow oil refinery has stood on the banks of the River Mersey for nearly 100 years. But today, the executives want to make sure it has a low-carbon future for the next century. It produces about 17 per cent of the fuel for roads in the UK and heavy investments are being made to decarbonise the facility — financing plans to capture emissions and store them underground, Financial times reported.



Essar Group, the India-based conglomerate, owns Stanlow and believes that through the deployment of carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) technology, the plant can extend its lifespan. The company plans to play a key role in the UK’s plans to build a market for hydrogen, as a low-carbon fuel for heavy industry and transport.

“Our company vision is that carbon capture will be an important part of production for our industry and that is why we are committed to it now,” says Jon bards, Chief Operating Officer of Essar Oil. “We firmly believe that delivering net zero (emissions) is a good thing for us as a company, as the transition to hydrocarbons will be a long one,” he adds, the Financial Times reported.

Much depends on the success of CCUS. The UK government last year supported two CCUS rapid development clusters, including the HyNet northwest project that includes the Stanlow refinery.

CCUS has a checkered history, with the UK government withdrawing funding over the past decade and questioning the effectiveness of some international projects in operation. But the UK government has re-committed to the technology and wants at least five industrial clusters across the country to capture heavy industry emissions.

Essar says the chemistry and engineering are widely used and understood in the oil industry — though generally for maximizing output by reinjecting CO2 into oil fields to squeeze out extra supply, rather than cutting emissions. Reduce.

As part of the HyNet cluster in the North West of England, the plant will be used for the production of so-called blue hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is made from gas, but with the emissions captured to create a low-carbon or zero-carbon fuel. This could replace the gas used to power the facility and kick-start a broader hydrogen economy, by providing a low-carbon fuel for other industries, the Financial Times reported. “We want to demonstrate that this is a viable technology solution and that we can implement and run it sustainably, as part of the company’s own transition to lower carbon emissions,” said Barden. “The goal is to reach zero by 2040, but it is possible to reach 70-80 percent of net zero within 10 years.”

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