Vertex Hydrogen is a transformative new joint venture between Essar and Progressive Energy formed to provide a catalyst for a low carbon economy across North West England and North Wales, as a central part of the HyNet decarbonisation cluster. A total investment of approximately £1 billion will be committed to deliver the hydrogen production hub.
Providing low carbon hydrogen across North West England and North Wales
The UK’s first low carbon hydrogen plant will sit at the heart of the HyNet low carbon cluster. Beginning production in 2026, it will generate over 1GW of hydrogen, the equivalent to the energy used by a major British city region, for example Liverpool.
Waste fuel gases from Essar Stanlow, and natural gas, will be converted by Vertex Hydrogen into hydrogen, with carbon dioxide safely captured and stored by HyNet partner Eni SpA, underground offshore in Liverpool Bay. The hydrogen production hub will provide low carbon energy to replace fossil fuels in industry across the HyNet region, as well as heating homes, and fuelling buses, trains and trucks.
The hydrogen produced will, in the first instance, be utilised by Essar to reduce its carbon footprint at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex. In addition, Vertex will also provide low carbon hydrogen to a wide range of businesses, including companies from the chemicals, ceramics, paper, glass and flexible power generation sectors, such as Tata Chemicals Europe, Encirc, InterGen, Solvay, Ingevity, Novelis, Glass Futures and Saica Paper – all having expressed interest already. More widely in the region, companies such as Pilkington are demonstrating use of hydrogen in their facilities. Cadent Gas Ltd is also developing the UK’s first multi-user hydrogen distribution network within HyNet.
Prashant Ruia, Essar Chairman, said: “Essar is massively committed to investing in energy transition and is building a portfolio of companies in this space. Vertex Hydrogen is a central component of that vision, which will be instrumental in helping create a hydrogen future for North West England and North East Wales. This will see over £1 billion of investment, thereby creating jobs and supporting local communities for decades to come.”
Deepak Maheshwari, Essar Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Vertex Hydrogen is a critical investment for Essar in helping it achieve its vision of becoming the UK’s first low carbon refinery and supplying UK markets with the sustainable fuels of the future.”
Chris Manson-Whitton, Director at Progressive Energy, explained: “As the founding developer of HyNet, we see the launch of Vertex Hydrogen as a key milestone. Vertex is central to unlocking the low carbon hydrogen economy, reducing emissions, creating a cleaner world for future generations whilst creating and safeguarding jobs.”
Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port, commented: “Ellesmere Port is ideally positioned to develop as the heart of the UK’s hydrogen economy as the HyNet low carbon cluster continues to grow. Hydrogen is a key catalyst in the green jobs revolution as we evolve our economy to hit net zero by 2050.”