The UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) has welcomed the involvement of two UK refineries in separate hydrogen-related projects.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has awarded £13m towards funding for hydrogen projects involving the Essar Stanlow Refinery in Ellesmere Port.

The funding given to the HyNet consortium, of which Essar Oil UK is a member, includes plans to develop a low carbon hydrogen plant at Stanlow, which will produce 3TWh of low carbon hydrogen while also pioneering carbon capture storage (CCS) technology to capture and store over 95% of carbon used in the process.

The funding will also support a front-end engineering design (FEED) study for a new hydrogen-fired combined heat and power (CHP) at Stanlow.

And Phillips 66’s Humber Refinery is involved in a renewable hydrogen Gigastack project in Northern Lincolnshire.

Working in partnership with offshore wind company Ørsted and hydrogen producers ITM Power, and also with funding from BEIS, the Gigastack project will allow the Phillips 66 site to utilise ‘green hydrogen’ produced from renewable energy in its operations and processes.

UKPIA director-general Stephen Marcos Jones said both projects demonstrated the important role the oil sector could play in decarbonising the UK. He added: “With such innovative investments, UK refineries of the future will not only be able to cut emissions and protect high-skilled jobs but also increase the amount of low-carbon liquid fuels they produce as well, further supporting the UK’s ambition to reach ‘Net Zero’ by 2050.”