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Plans approved for pioneering H2 production facility in Hull

Green H2 developer Meld Energy has received approval from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to construct a £250 MM, 100-megawatt green H2 production facility at Saltend in Hull. The project will position the Humber as a center of excellence for H2, helping facilitate the government’s goals for reducing emissions and increasing H2 utilization.

Meld Energy is now preparing to build the green H2 production facility at Saltend Chemicals Park, a move that will create the capacity to meet up to 30% of the park’s existing H2 demand. This significant increase in green H2 production will lead to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by a staggering 125,000 tpy, a substantial step towards a more sustainable future.

Saltend Chemicals Park is a hub for top-tier chemical businesses such as BP Petrochemicals Technology, Vivergo Fuels, Yara, Mitsubishi Chemicals UK, Ineos, and Air Products, as well as the Triton Power station.

H2 can be used as a replacement for natural gas, as a fuel for various modes of transport such as buses, heavy goods vehicles, and cars or as an ingredient for clean H2 derived fuels. When burned, it does not produce carbon, which makes it compatible with legislation aimed at addressing climate change. Meld’s green H2 will be produced through electrolysis, a process that involves using electricity to split water into H2 and oxygen. H2 is crucial for the chemical industry’s transition to net zero, as it offers a viable path to decarbonization, especially considering the industry’s significant use of gas.

Meld Energy submitted a bid to access funding from round two of the government’s H2 Production Business Model in April of this year. Successful schemes are expected to be announced later this year, with the government aiming to support up to 875 megawatts of H2 production in total.

The Humber region is the UK’s industrial center and the largest industrial emitter of CO2 in the UK – with over 5% of the UK’s overall emissions and 50% more than the next largest region. This makes it an ideal location for H2 production. The provision of cleaner fuels is essential to the region’s journey towards decarbonization and will provide a vital boost to the local economy, securing jobs and encouraging inward investment.

Geoff Holmes, CEO of px Group, said, “It is hugely positive that Meld has received planning permission for its green H2 production facility here at Saltend Chemicals Park and we look forward to collaborating with them further throughout the development and build phase. 

“We have a host of world-class industrial companies on site and major investments like this show once again that Saltend is the go-to location for industrial decarbonization and the UK energy transition.”

Meld Energy’s CEO Chris Smith said, “Meld Energy’s ambitious plans for the Humber are poised to accelerate decarbonization efforts in the region. This outline planning approval is an important milestone for the development of our project which is the first of several that we will be bringing forward in the Humber and across the UK.

Our Saltend Chemicals Park project will enable decarbonization for our customers on the park and sets the baseline for accelerating and reducing the cost of the energy transition. We couldn’t be more excited with this news and look forward to being able to share more in the coming weeks.”