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Essar to build UK’s first refinery-based hydrogen furnace in £45mn investment

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UK-focused downstream energy company Essar Oil UK plans to install a new £45m furnace at Stanlow that will be able to use hydrogen as its fuel source – a UK first.

This marks another major milestone in Essar’s continued commitment to becoming the UK’s first low carbon refinery. Following the launch last month of a new joint venture, Vertex Hydrogen, led by Essar, the company will invest £1bn over the next five years to reduce emissions, including the development of a new hydrogen production plant at Stanlow, forming a hub for the HyNet North West decarbonisation cluster part.

The plan (subject to planning approval) involves decommissioning three existing furnaces (including a chimney approximately 140m high) and replacing them with a high-efficiency furnace, including a chimney approximately 71m high.

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The program will provide a number of improvements that will benefit Stallo and the surrounding area, including lower carbon emissions due to pure gas combustion and new burners that emit lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels, as well as future assurance of future use sustainable fuel types such as hydrogen. The stove is currently being manufactured in Thailand. The largest single module is 26.5 meters long, 18.5 meters high and 14.5 meters high, and the furnace will be delivered on site, almost completely built.

The £45 million investment in the new furnace is a key part of the company’s strategy to reduce its own carbon emissions. The furnace is unique in that it is able to run entirely on hydrogen, making it the first of its kind in a UK refinery. Compared to existing furnaces, it is 4% more energy efficient, will save 16,600 tons of CO2 per year, and reduce routine maintenance costs.

The furnace will be installed in 2022 and will be fully operational next year. From 2026, it will fuel hydrogen produced by Stanlow as part of the HyNet North West decarbonisation cluster. Essar’s new joint venture, Vertex Hydrogen, will develop the world’s first and largest blue hydrogen production plant in Stanlow. Hydrogen will be used on-site and distributed to industrial businesses in the region to support their own transition to low carbon.

Deepak Maheshwari, CEO of Essar Oil UK, commented: “We have ambitious plans for Stanlow and are committed to making it the UK’s first low carbon refinery. By impacting a significant and rapid transition to hydrogen, we are Securing the long-term future of this vital national asset, while also playing a key role in supporting the UK’s plans to build a low carbon economy of the future. We would like to thank our community for their continued support of our refinery at Stanlow.”

Complete News Source : Construction Week

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