Essar Oil UK wants to make a series of changes to the way the Ellesmere Port refinery is operated in preparation for the creation of HyNet’s low-carbon energy production facility at the site.
HyNet is a consortium that includes Peel L&P, the University of Chester and Unilever, among others.
The consortium is aiming to reduce carbon emissions in the North West by 10 million tonnes by 2030.
The creation of a hydrogen production facility across 160 acres at Stanlow forms a major part of HyNet’s strategy.
The plant will be subject to a separate planning application and could be operational by 2025.
In preparation for that, Essar has lodged an application with Cheshire West & Chester Council requesting to add natural gas to its processes at Stanlow.
In addition, the amount of hydrogen and other “flammable and environmentally hazardous” substances permitted at the site are to be increased.
The Stanlow hydrogen plant, being developed by Progressive Energy on behalf of HyNet, will work by reforming natural gas.
The reformation process produces both hydrogen and C02. The hydrogen would be piped to industrial consumers, while the C02 would be stored in subsea gas fields in Liverpool Bay.
Last year, the project received £7.5m from the government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
In May, Essar was awarded £72m to fund the wider decarbonisation of the refinery.