EET Hydrogen, UK Government enter final talks on Ellesmere hydrogen plant

Essar Group’s EET Hydrogen, formerly Vertex Hydrogen, has signed a statement of principles with the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero for its flagship HPP1 low-carbon hydrogen plant in Ellesmere, entering final negotiations concerning the project, with a final decision expected later this year.

Illustration; Archive; Courtesy of EET Hydrogen

The signing of the statement of principles marks an agreement milestone between the two parties on key aspects of negotiations to date, EET Hydrogen said, adding that it also represents a major milestone for the UK hydrogen industry, for the HyNet Cluster and for the company’s progress towards its goal of developing 4 GW of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030.

“The hydrogen will be provided to industrial businesses across the North West of England to decarbonize their operations, protecting jobs and driving economic growth. The project is the cornerstone of the HyNet cluster and is essential for the cluster to commence construction later this year,” EET Hydrogen noted.

Joe Seifert, CEO of EET Hydrogen, stated: “This is a critical milestone for EET Hydrogen and the hydrogen sector in the UK. We are very proud to be leading the way and look forward to starting construction later this year.”

Tony Fountain, Managing Partner of EET, added: “Today’s statement of principles is a great outcome for both EET and the UK. Scaling hydrogen capacity is essential to decarbonizing heavy industries. This is an important step in our ambitious decarbonization plan to transform our business and the North West. We appreciate the Government’s partnership which will contribute to protecting skilled jobs in the region and ensuring our industries remain competitive.”

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, commented: “We have already halved our emissions from 1990 levels, and hydrogen will play a vital role in the UK’s journey towards net zero by providing businesses large and small with cleaner energy in the future. By moving into final negotiations with the Ellesmere project, we are working to deliver our ambition of up to 10 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity, in an industry expected to support up to 12,000 jobs by 2030.”

To note, according to EET Hydrogen, HPP1, located at the heart of the HyNet industrial decarbonization cluster, will have an initial production capacity of 350 MW and will capture around 600,000 tons of CO2 a year, the equivalent to taking around 250,000 cars off the road. Its construction is expected to begin later this year.

HPP1 completed FEED in September 2021 and was selected by the UK Government in March 2023 as one of two initial large low-carbon hydrogen plants in the country.

EET Hydrogen said that combined with the company’s HPP2 plant, the hydrogen hub will enable local industrial and power generation businesses to switch from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy, helping to reduce the North West’s carbon emissions by 2.5 million tons every year.

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