Teesside strikes green with 40MW hydrogen project
Image credit: Getty Images
Protium, the UK’s largest green hydrogen energy company, has confirmed that it will base its 40MW flagship green hydrogen project in Teesside.
Current plans for the site are to build up to 40MW of electrolysis capability in two phases. The building of a hydrogen production facility will provide the company with the essential infrastructure for generating green hydrogen energy. The project will involve the development of green hydrogen storage to support the largest PEM electrolyser in the area.
The project is scheduled for completion by 2026, subject to planning and engineering works.
Protium plans to supply local manufacturers with green hydrogen-based energy once built, offering an alternative to natural gas and diesel as energy sources. It aims to generate green jobs and provide economic opportunities for the community and region.
'Green' hydrogen is produced by splitting water by electrolysis, whereas so-called 'blue' hydrogen is produced by splitting natural gas. While green hydrogen can be a zero-emission fuel when electrolysis is powered by renewables, blue hydrogen can only be described as a net-zero carbon fuel when used in conjunction with carbon capture and storage. A recent study found that blue hydrogen is more carbon-intensive than natural gas, coal or diesel when used as a source of heat.
Teesside is emerging as the UK’s hydrogen heartland. In March this year, the UK government announced £3m investment to develop Tees Valley as the first “hydrogen transport hub” with a view to creating 5,000 green jobs. Around the same time, BP announced plans to build Britain’s largest hydrogen plant by 2030 – 'H2Teesside' – which will have capacity of up to 1GW of blue hydrogen. This BP facility could meet a fifth of the UK’s 2030 target for hydrogen capacity.
Additionally, the Spring Budget declared Tees Valley as one of the first and largest areas to gain Freeport status in the UK. The location of the proposed plant at Wilton Universal Group’s 112-acre site, adjacent to the River Tees, is within the Tees Valley Freeport.
These factors, Protium said, means there is considerable value in securing strategic land parcels in the area and helping to create a hub infrastructure project. This will place Protium in the prime position to provide green hydrogen to surrounding off-takers, as well as the ability to tap into the maritime market.
“We are pleased to announce that Protium will be embarking upon building the largest green hydrogen facility in the North East at the Wilton Universal Group’s site in Teesside,” said Protium CEO Chris Jackson. “The project will allow us to work with local businesses to decarbonise their operations and the area’s deep industrial legacy provides the perfect infrastructure foundations for us to leverage.
“The growing hydrogen hub offers a faster route to market for the deployment of this clean energy source, so we’re very excited to be part of the transition to a greener economy and future in the heart of Tees Valley.”
Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley, added: “I am delighted that Protium will be developing a green hydrogen production facility in Teesside, contributing to making our region the leading production site of green hydrogen fuel in the UK.
“From carbon capture to offshore wind and hydrogen production, Teesside is at the forefront of delivering the government's ambitious target for the UK to be net zero by 2050. This is just the latest investment that is delivering the cleaner, greener and healthier future for local people right across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”
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