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Essar to invest £3 billion in UK and India energy transitions

27 February 2023

Indian multinational conglomerate Essar Group has announced the formation of Essar Energy Transition (EET) to drive the creation of an energy transition hub in North West England. EET plans to invest a total of £2.9 billion in developing a range of low carbon energy transition projects over the next five years, of which £1.9 billion will be invested across its site at Stanlow and £1 billion in India.

Stanlow Refinery - Image: Shutterstock
Stanlow Refinery - Image: Shutterstock

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

- EET Biofuels, which is investing in developing 1 MT of low carbon biofuels

Essar Group believes 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, will contribute to North West England becoming one of the leading post-carbon industrial clusters in Europe, Essar said in a statement. 

Essar said that EET’s strategy is founded on the fact that hydrogen and biofuels are fast becoming globally significant fuels of the future and that the UK is positioned strongly to spearhead the rapid growth of the European low carbon fuels market. The UK already benefits from an advanced regulatory and policy framework to support low carbon energy production, including the UK government’s target of achieving 10GW of hydrogen production by 2030, alongside developing low carbon hydrogen infrastructure, expertise and significant customer demand. Such is the scale of the market growth opportunity that EET estimates approximately two-thirds of its aggregate cash flows could come from diversified low carbon sources before the end of the decade, it said.

As a core part of the HyNet cluster, Essar’s Stanlow site is already playing a role in the UK’s energy transition planning framework, following the selection of HyNet by the UK government in 2021 as one of only two hydrogen clusters in the country to potentially be supported through to full operations. 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.

In addition to the £1.9 billion investment in the UK, EET will also invest £1 billion in developing 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.

Prashant Ruia, Director, 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."

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