CHESHIRE West will soon be home to the UK's largest hydrogen production plant after plans were approved for EET Hydrogen's first large scale, low carbon plant at Stanlow.

Consisting of two plants (HPP1 and HPP2), the 'hydrogen hub' will enable local industrial and power generation businesses to switch from fossil fuels to low carbon energy. EET Hydrogen say this will help to reduce the North West's carbon emissions by 2.5 million tonnes a year - the equivalent of taking 1.1 million cars off the roads.

Based in Ellesmere Port, the hydrogen will be used locally by the Essar refinery and other major manufacturers in the region, including Tata Chemicals, Encirc and Pilkington, to create the first low carbon refining operations, glass and chemical manufacturing sites in the world.

EET will develop the hydrogen hub in phases with the first plant (HPP1) at 350MW (megawatt) capacity, the second (HPP2) at 1,000MW capacity and an overall target capacity of 4,000MW+ by 2030.

Wirral Globe: Images of the proposed HPP1 (top) and HPP2 (bottom) plants.Images of the proposed HPP1 (top) and HPP2 (bottom) plants. (Image: EET Hydrogen.)

These plants are critical to meet the UK’s hydrogen and industrial decarbonisation targets and enable the critical hydrogen infrastructure.

The development is a key pillar of HyNet - the UK's leading industrial decarbonisation cluster. Construction is anticipated to start on HPP1 in 2024, with low carbon produced at the site by 2027.

Richard Holden, HPP1 Project Manager at EET Hydrogen, said: "This is the largest low carbon hydrogen project in the UK and one of the most advanced in the world. It is a vital piece of the North West’s journey to net zero, underpinning HyNet and providing the opportunity for manufacturers in the region to decarbonise their processes and support UK jobs.

"We have worked closely with regional stakeholders and are delighted to obtain this important approval for the project as we move from ambition to action."

David Parkin, HyNet Project Director at Progressive Energy said: "We are delighted that HyNet’s low carbon hydrogen hub has been given the green light to begin construction. The plant will provide locally produced hydrogen to industry across the region, enabling them to switch their fuel to a low carbon alternative.

"Owned by EET Hydrogen and located at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, this will be the UK’s first large scale, low carbon hydrogen production facility, placing the North West region at the forefront of the UK’s journey towards net zero carbon emissions. The plant will support the creation of new jobs, safeguard existing roles and attract investment."