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Meat-free firm Quorn to consider green H2 in production process

UK‐based green hydrogen energy services company Protium, and its consortium partner, Petrofac, will explore the deployment of green hydrogen technology with vegan protein company Quorn.

Quorn’s production facility, Belasis, is based in Billingham, England, and continues to expand its production capacity to support the company’s ongoing growth. Protium and Petrofac will assess how the introduction of dual-fuel boilers (combusting both hydrogen and natural gas blend) can meet their expanding production capacity.

Located close to Quorn’s Belasis production facility, Protium and Petrofac will explore the feasibility of supplying green hydrogen via a pipeline as part of Protium’s green hydrogen project in Teesside.

The project – which would further accelerate the brand’s decarbonization efforts – demonstrates yet another sustainability commitment from Quorn and forms part of their ambitious net positive roadmap.

Following a string of recent updates demonstrating Protium’s project velocity and expanding CAPEX pipeline, this project represents a wider strategic move from Protium who recently announced a planned hydrogen hub, in Teesside, located one mile from Belasis. Here, the team will be utilizing Wilton Engineering’s site to deploy up to 40MW of electrolysis, which will produce over nine tpd of green hydrogen. Initially, Protium would look to displace part of Quorn's natural gas demand with green hydrogen which could save as much as 13,200 tpy of CO2 emissions per year. This would be equivalent to removing 7,600 cars from the road.

"Quorn Foods is committed to being net-positive by 2030. This means we will put more into our planet than we take out. Health, well-being, nature, society, and the way we manage our business sustainably are all part of this journey," said Mark C Taylor, Chief Engineering Officer at Quorn. "We are also aiming for net-zero emissions within our operations by 2030. To achieve this, we are considering all options to drive down the carbon intensity of our process heat and electricity consumption."

"The transformational opportunity which green hydrogen potentially presents is one we are taking very seriously," Taylor said. "Changing well-established manufacturing processes comes with real challenges, and we are excited about working with Protium and their team of partners. The approach that Protium have taken with us has been highly collaborative; engineering based; and commercially pragmatic. We look forward to completing this phase of the project and to fully understanding the green hydrogen opportunity.”

The project could serve as a blueprint for other manufacturing companies looking to decarbonize their manufacturing processes, not only in the vegan protein space but across the broader food and beverage manufacturing sector.

According to a 2021 report by the Waste & Resources Action Program (WRAP), the UK food and beverage industry contributes to 35% of the UK’s total GHG emissions, meaning the industry plays an integral role in tackling climate change and achieving net zero[1].