Essar Group has announced the formation of Essar Energy Transition (EET) to help drive the creation of the UK's leading energy transition hub in North West England.
The company said it will invest a total of $3.6 billion (€3.4bn) in developing a portfolio of low carbon energy transition projects over the next five years. Of this, $2.4bn (€2.2bn) will be invested across its site at Stanlow - located between Liverpool and Manchester - and $1.2bn (€1.1bn) in India.
EET will include Essar Oil UK, the company's refining and marketing business in North West England; Vertex Hydrogen, which is developing 1 gigawatt (GW) of blue hydrogen for the UK market, with follow-on capacity set to reach 3.8GW; EET Future Energy, which is developing 1 GW of green ammonia in India, targeted at UK and international markets; Stanlow Terminals Ltd, which is developing enabling storage and pipeline infrastructure; and EET Biofuels, which is investing in developing 1 MT of low carbon biofuels.
Essar said that EET’s investment programme will play a major role in accelerating the UK’s low carbon transformation, supporting the government’s decarbonisation policy and creating highly skilled employment opportunities at the heart of the "Northern Powerhouse" economy.
The investments, across a range of hydrogen production technologies, decarbonisation, biofuels (road and aviation), and infrastructure projects, aims to contribute to North West England becoming one of the leading post-carbon industrial clusters in Europe.
EET believes these investments will support the reduction of around 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, around 20% of the total industrial emissions in North West England.
The Stanlow refinery itself will also achieve a 75% reduction in carbon emissions before the end of this decade as part of EET’s decarbonisation plans, making this strategically critical fuel supplier to the UK one of the most sustainable refineries in Europe.
EET's investment of $1.2 billion (€1.1bn) in India will see the organisation develop a cost-efficient global supply hub for low carbon fuels in India, including green hydrogen and green ammonia. Ammonia will be shipped from India to the UK, Europe and globally to meet expanding market demand for green hydrogen.
EET’s investment in India will help deliver on the country’s emerging hydrogen ambition. The Indian government’s supportive regulatory framework is designed to help position the country as a leading global hub of green hydrogen production and exports, as set out in its National Green Hydrogen Mission, approved by the Indian government on 4 January 2023.
Prashant Ruia, director at Essar Capital, said: “The launch of EET is a major milestone in Essar’s long-standing commitment to put the UK at the forefront of low carbon energy. We are excited about the opportunity to drive the UK’s energy transition by producing low carbon future fuels which will help eliminate around 20% of the industrial carbon dioxide in Northwest England. In doing so, it will provide a blueprint for how traditional industries globally can be successfully transformed into hubs for the production of future energies."
Tony Fountain, managing partner of Essar Energy Transition, said: “EET’s ambitious investment plans will not only help deliver the UK’s net zero ambitions and the enormous environmental benefits therein, but will also secure the long term sustainable future for Stanlow, protecting and creating new highly skilled job opportunities at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse economy for generations to come.”