Several major occupiers already call Saltend home. Credit: px Group

Hull site picked for £180m hydrogen proposal

PX Group’s 370-acre Saltend Chemicals Park has been chosen to house the renewable power project led by Meld Energy.

Saltend, on the banks of the Humber, is billed as a hub for manufacturing, chemicals and renewable energy businesses.

Occupiers include Triton Power, Mitsubishi Chemical, Ineos Acetyls and BP.

Based in Surrey, Meld is an international hydrogen development company currently bidding for support from the UK’s Net Zero Hydrogen Fund.

Should this be successful, engineering design work for the Saltend site could begin in November this year, with building starting within a year, subject to planning. The operator plans to be operational by 2026.

World Kinect Sustainability Ventures, part of Florida-headquartered World Fuel Services, acquired a 50% stake in Meld last year.

Meld said that the facility would be the UK’s largest green hydrogen production facility, with an initial installed capacity of 100MW and the potential to increase its capacity to over 200MW in a second development stage.

The green hydrogen would be produced at the facility using electrolysis, which involves using electricity to split water into its constituent elements: hydrogen and oxygen.

Through using renewable electricity for this process, the hydrogen produced would be “green” hydrogen, as compared to grey and blue hydrogen, which is more carbon-intensive. Meld would utilise PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) with renewable energy suppliers.

Geoff Holmes, chief executive of PX Group, 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.”

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.

“This project can be online within three 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.”

Hydrogen is seen as a major part of cutting the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, with a range of projects being put forward across the country, including the North West’s HyNet cluster.

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