A £180 million new green hydrogen production plant has been proposed for the Humber.
Saltend Chemicals Park has been selected for a first UK site by Meld Energy, adding to a cluster of projects being brought forward in the region for cleaner fuel development on the road to Net Zero.
Initially proposed with a 100MW capacity, it could scale up to double that – with investment potentially hitting £240 million. An initial operational team of nine is eyed, supported by contractors, with hundreds of roles in development and construction.
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Meld, a British start-up with strong US backing, is currently bidding for development support from the UK’s Net Zero Hydrogen Fund.If successful, front end engineering design is expected to begin in November, running concurrently with a planning application. If approved building would begin within the year, with a target operation in early 2027.
Chris Smith, chief executive and founder of Meld Energy, said: “Saltend Chemicals Park is the perfect site for our green hydrogen facility. Saltend has a rich knowledge of decarbonisation projects and, importantly, has future users of the hydrogen to be produced already in place.”
The former GE director added: “This project can be online within four years and would deliver an immediate reduction in emissions once production commences. The facility will have the potential to double its production as demand for hydrogen increases in the future to meet Net Zero targets.”
The company secured a 50 per cent equity backing from US Fortune 500 global energy management company World Fuel Services Corporation late last year, via its subsidiary World Kinect Sustainability Ventures. They are working on hydrogen supply chains.
Saltend Chemicals Park, which is owned and operated by PX Group. (Image: Supplied by px Group) If built today it would be the largest green hydrogen production plant in the UK, with electrolysis as the chosen method. Electricity, bought from renewable power generators under agreements, would be used to split water into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen.
PX Group chief executive Geoff Holmes said: “Meld Energy’s decision to invest at Saltend Chemicals Park proves once again that Saltend is the go-to location for industrial decarbonisation and the UK energy transition.
“Meld’s plans are on a scale that will make a significant impact on domestic decarbonisation – it is a project that the government should find impossible to ignore.
“We have a host of world-class industrial companies on site at Saltend and this potential major investment shows once again the strength of the Saltend offering.”
Saltend, once the centre of BP’s East Hull operations, is the venue for Equinor’s Hydrogen to Humber plans, with a significantly larger 600MW output proposed.
This would be of a similar scale to the first phase of Gigastack, a project progressing on the South Humber Bank, with a consortium including ITM Power, Phillips 66 and Orsted.
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