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Plans announced for 20MW hydrogen fuel plant on Tyneside

Global green and renewable hydrogen production pioneer Lhyfe has unveiled plans for its first UK plant in the North East to support the region’s net zero ambitions.

The proposed facility on Tyneside is receiving support from Shepherd Offshore, a leading maritime and energy service provider, following the signing of a land deal over 1,700 meters of quay frontage and more than 200 acres of overall capacity on the north bank of the Tyne.

If plans are approved, Lhyfe’s facility on the brownfield site of the historic Neptune Bank Power Station in Wallsend would have an initial capacity of 20 megawatts (MW), capable of producing up to eight tonnes of green hydrogen per day.

For perspective, eight tonnes of green hydrogen fuel would enable a hydrogen truck to travel approximately 100,000 km without emitting any CO2, or a car could go around the Earth 20 times, about 800,000 km.

The French multinational’s first plant in Pays de la Loire, Western France, has been operational since the second half of 2021, with two more sites inaugurated in the Occitanie and Brittany regions in December 2023. Several other sites are currently under construction or extension across Europe.

Lhyfe Wallsend aims to supply a range of organisations seeking to decarbonise their manufacturing and transport operations and the company is in advanced talks with several energy-intensive businesses in the area and across the UK, including those with transport fleets that could use hydrogen in their operations.

The announcement comes 18 months after Lhyfe launched its UK subsidiary, headquartered in Newcastle, to meet increasing demand from companies aiming to reduce their reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuels. Lhyfe aims to become a major supplier to energy-intensive industries and transportation in the UK, boosting the country’s energy security and creating new economic opportunities.

Taia Kronborg, chief business officer at Lhyfe, said: “We are excited to announce North Tyneside as the site for our first UK green hydrogen production project. The development of green hydrogen projects is critical if major energy users are to decarbonise their operations. We hope this project will not only help the North East but the whole of the UK reach its net zero targets.

“At Lhyfe, we are demonstrating that green hydrogen is now a reality and a key driver of the clean energy transition. We have a strong ethos of working with partners and communities to create projects that deliver real local value, and this is a key focus in growing our operations in line with demand.”

Charles Shepherd, managing director at Shepherd Offshore, added: “We at Shepherd Offshore are excited to announce the partnership with Lhyfe on the hydrogen production facility in Wallsend. Shepherd Offshore is fully committed to yet another critical milestone in the growing strength and evolution of the River Tyne and looks forward to welcoming Lhyfe to the north bank of the Tyne.”

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