Protium to build 40MW green hydrogen site in Teesside

By Dominic Ellis
Protium's green hydrogen project on Wilton Universal Group’s site in Teesside, UK, aims to open in 2026

Protium has secured a location on Wilton Universal Group’s site in Teesside, marking the area’s largest announced green hydrogen project to date.

The project – which cements Teesside’s position as the leading green hydrogen zone in the UK – aims to generate green jobs and economic opportunities for the local community and region.

Current plans are for the site to include up to 40MW of electrolysis capability, developed in two phases, including hydrogen storage. The building of a hydrogen production facility will provide Protium with the infrastructure necessary to generate renewable green hydrogen energy, with plans to supply local manufacturers once built.

The project, due for completion in 2026 subject to planning and engineering works, will include the development of green hydrogen storage to support the largest PEM electrolyser in Teesside, thus enabling local manufacturing and logistics businesses to transition from natural gas and diesel energy sources.

In March, the UK government announced its £3 million investment to develop Tees Valley as the UK’s first ever hydrogen transport hub, which could create up to 5,000 new jobs as part of the ‘build back greener’ campaign.

Additionally, as part of the March 2021 UK Spring Budget, Tees Valley was announced as one of the first and largest areas to gain Freeport status in the UK. These two factors mean Protium believe there is immense value in securing strategic land parcels in the area and helping to create a ‘hub’ infrastructure project, which will place Protium in the prime position to provide green hydrogen to surrounding off-takers as well as the ability to tap into the maritime market.

The location of the proposed plant at Wilton Universal Group’s site, adjacent to the River Tees, is within the Tees Valley Freeport. Wilton Universal Group recently acquired 58 acres of land and facilities at Haverton Hill, which abuts its existing Port Clarence Offshore Base, taking its site to 112 acres to expand its own operations as well as welcome other companies, such as Protium.

Chris Jackson, CEO of Protium, was pleased to announce that Protium will be embarking upon building the largest green hydrogen facility in the North East at the Wilton Universal Group’s site in Teesside. "The project will allow us to work with local businesses to decarbonise their operations, and the area’s deep industrial legacy provides the perfect infrastructure foundations for us to leverage," he said. “The growing hydrogen hub offers a faster route to market for the deployment of this clean energy source, so we’re very excited to be part of the transition to a greener economy and future in the heart of Tees Valley.”

Bill Scott, CEO of Wilton Universal Group, said: “In addition to expanding our own capacity, the acquisition of the Haverton Hill site will enable other companies like Protium to take advantage of Teesside’s exceptional skills and expertise in the energy sector and our location within the freeport, and to play a major part in this area’s contribution to the energy transition and a low carbon future.”

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, was delighted that Protium will be developing a green hydrogen production facility in Teesside, contributing to making our region the leading production site of green hydrogen fuel in the UK. 

“From carbon capture to offshore wind and hydrogen production Teesside is at the forefront of delivering the government ambitious target for the U.K. to be net zero by 2050. This is just the latest investment that is delivering the cleaner, greener and healthier future for local people right across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”

Further details about the project will be announced towards the end of Q4.

Shell-led consortium explores large-scale liquid hydrogen as Europe unveils Green Hydrogen Manifesto

A consortium of public, private and academic experts led by Shell International Exploration and Production, (Shell), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell (along with McDermott's CB&I Storage Solutions, NASA's Kennedy Space Center, GenH2 and the University of Houston), is pioneering an ambitious path to enable large-scale liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage for international trade applications. This is a largely untapped field with potential for advancing the global commercialization of hydrogen as an accessible, affordable and low carbon energy commodity.

The consortium will collaborate to develop a technically innovative and economically viable concept design for the large scale LH2 storage tank. Additionally, the group will engineer and construct a scaled-down demonstration tank that will be tested to validate the feasibility of the design and the thermal model for commercial-scale design.

"GenH2 is focused on establishing efficient manufacturing capabilities and repeatable processes to mass produce standard solutions for hydrogen production, liquefaction, storage and transfer," said Cody Bateman, Founder and CEO of GenH2, a leader in liquid hydrogen infrastructure. "We're excited to be part of this consortium in demonstrating the viability of LH2 storage solutions that will facilitate a global shift to carbon free energy."

The Green Hydrogen Manifesto, recently presented as part of The smarter E Europe Restart 2021 at Messe München, has attracted 54 signatories so far.

The Manifesto states 12 demands for the EU, national and regional policy makers and governments with actions required to foster hydrogen’s role as enabler of a circular economy and full decarbonisation.

"We want to show policy makers how important green hydrogen is for a circular economy and decarbonisation, and motivate them to take action," says Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe. "In the future, Europe must lead the way in introducing this energy source while also ensuring and enhancing prosperity and prospects. That is our responsibility for the future and for climate protection."


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