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Essar Oil UK to build carbon capture facility

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Essar Oil UK Limited has announced its plan to build a major new £360m CO2 capture facility Stanlow refinery in line with its ambition to become a leading low-carbon refinery by 2030.



Essar is investing over £1bn in a range of energy efficiency, fuel switching and carbon capture initiatives designed to significantly decarbonise its manufacturing processes by 2030 and put Essar at the forefront of the UK’s shift to low carbon energy.

Essar’s energy transition strategy is based on five principles: to operate Stanlow’s key refining processes as efficiently and safely as possible; decarbonising Stanlow’s operations; building a hydrogen future by launching Vertex hydrogen (“Vertex”) and as a key part of the HyNet Consortium; development of green fuels (including sustainable aviation fuels); and setting up the UK’s largest biofuel storage facility through Stanlow Terminals Limited.

Essar will meet its decarbonisation targets through a combination of incremental (energy efficiency and operational improvements) and transformational projects, including the announced £360 million carbon capture facility, but also as a result of Essar’s significant investments in hydrogen and biofuels.

Kent plc has been awarded a pre-FEED engineering contract to develop the facility that will control the CO2 emitted by one of Europe‘s largest full-residue fluidized catalytic cracker, located at the Stanlow Refinery.

The gas will be permanently stored in depleted gas fields under the sea in Liverpool Bay, as part of the HyNet cluster infrastructure in the North West of England.

Once completed in 2027, the plant will eliminate an estimated 0.81 million tons of CO2 per year – taking the equivalent of 400,000 cars off the road, eliminating nearly 40% of all Stanlow emissions.

The project was selected by BEIS earlier this summer as a winner of Phase 2 in the CCUS cluster sequencing process and as such is currently going through the due diligence phase.

Deepak MaheshwariCEO of Essar Oil UK said: “This new carbon capture plant is the largest initiative to decarbonise our processes and a core element of our hugely ambitious low carbon strategy. Our ambition is to become a leading low carbon refinery. This is a huge undertaking, but it’s a journey we’re fully committed to, not only is it the right thing to do for the environment, it will future-proof the critical Stanlow refinery for the long term, protect jobs and industry and so will Stanlow at the top center of the UK’s energy transition.”

Essar is already making rapid progress towards its broader decarbonization goals. In September EOUK announced it had signed a Heads of Terms off-take agreement with Vertex, a joint venture with Progressive Energy, to supply 280MW+ of hydrogen.

The hydrogen will be used to decarbonise Essar’s existing production facilities, including the new hydrogen-powered furnace that was delivered in August this year. The £45 million furnace is the first of its kind in the UK to run 100 per cent hydrogen and will replace three existing furnaces at Stanlow.

Vertex is developing the UK’s first large-scale, low-carbon hydrogen production hub, as part of the HyNet cluster. This will produce (in the initial phase) 1 GW of hydrogen (the equivalent of the energy consumption of a major UK city like Liverpool) and sequester around 1.8 million tonnes of carbon per year. By 2030, Vertex expects to deliver nearly 4 GW of low-carbon hydrogen, equivalent to 40 percent of the UK Government’s national target.

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