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Protium and Budweiser Brewing Group begin plans for H2 energy project

Lancashire’s biggest brewery in partnership with Protium announced plans to cut its carbon emissions by developing a green H2 energy production facility at the site. The project supports the region’s wider net zero ambitions. South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council both have an ambition for their own operations and activities to be carbon neutral by 2030, and the UK is working towards a 2050 net zero target.

The Samlesbury Net Zero project coupled with other initiatives aims to help Budweiser Brewing Group’s iconic Samlesbury brewery, which has been in operation for over 50 years, meet its thermal demand, heating and transport needs through green H2 energy.

As well as reducing the brewery’s carbon emissions, it will lead to cleaner air and reduced vehicle noise with heavy goods vehicles also being powered by H2.

Made possible by a partnership with leading UK green H2 energy services company Protium, the Samlesbury Net Zero project, when operational, will save up to 11,000 tpy of CO2. This is equivalent to taking 5,800 cars off the road, offsetting the emissions of 11,156 London to New York return flights, or planting 440,000 trees.

The new facility would be built next to the brewery, which lies just off the A59 between Preston and Blackburn. The facility (the electrolyzer, associated plant and refueling station) would cover an area similar in size to one and a half full-size football pitches.

Under the plans, Protium would fund, build, and operate the site for the brewery and is targeting the end of 2025 for it to be operational. A planning application for the project will be submitted in the coming spring following consultation with neighbors, the community, and other local stakeholders.

Projects like this play an important role in meeting the UK Government’s net-zero targets, in particular the green H2 target of 5 GW by 2030.

Minister for Investment Lord Johnson, said, “This government is committed to maximizing the opportunities a shift to net-zero can bring to the UK, something that’s been echoed in the British Energy Strategy. Announcements like this promote the Strategy, such as its target to support over 450,000 clean jobs by the end of the decade. I look forward to working with companies like Budweiser and Protium to work towards a cleaner, greener future.”

Luiz Brandao, Head of Procurement and Sustainability at Budweiser Brewing Group, said, “Sustainability is core to our business at Budweiser Brewing Group as we work towards net zero ambitions. Innovative solutions like H2 have huge potential for reducing our carbon footprint in the UK and moving us towards our ambitious sustainability goals.”

As part of the project, Budweiser Brewing Group would also make the change to H2 fuel cell electric vehicles which have the potential to improve local air quality and reduce vehicle noise.

“Samlesbury Net Zero is an investment in our environment, community, economy and our future. We’re thrilled to announce our intentions to deliver this major investment into green H2 energy in Lancashire. Working with the local community will be at the heart of this project. We want to use the local supply chain where possible and engage with the education and business communities to provide upskilling opportunities for the region in green H2 energy production,” Chris Jackson, CEO of Protium.

“Removing carbon emissions from sectors like manufacturing is one of the biggest challenges we face in reaching net zero. Green H2 is the hugely exciting next step in global energy transition, happening right here in Lancashire, to drive down these emissions and futureproof our vital industries. This is a great opportunity for Samlesbury, South Ribble and Lancashire to take a lead in tackling the climate challenges facing us all.”