GRANGEMOUTH refinery owner Ineos is advancing with its plans to use hydrogen fuel produced on site to help decarbonise operations at the huge complex.

The chemicals giant said it was inviting bids from the world’s best engineering companies to design a hydrogen production plant connected to state of the art carbon capture and storage facilities for the site.

The plant is expected to be operational in time to deliver emissions savings of more than 60 per cent across the Grangemouth site by 2030.

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The chief executive of Ineos’ Olefins and Polymers business,Stuart Collings, said the plant will result in the displacement of hydrocarbon fuels used at Grangemouth, like natural gas, with clean, low carbon hydrogen to power processes and manufacture vital materials used across a wide range of sectors.

Ineos raised the possibility that hydrogen produced at Grangemouth could also be supplied to third parties in the local area. This could support the development of a local hydrogen hub.

It said carbon dioxide from the production plant and related facilities would be routed to the planned Scottish Carbon Capture Cluster, which is expected to utilise depleted North Sea reservoirs to store emissions.

The Scottish cluster suffered a setback in October when it failed to win fast track status under UK Government plans to support the development of such projects. The Government decided to prioritise clusters covering northern England and Wales.

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Chemicals giants and oil majors have responded to calls for curbs to be placed on their activity on environmental grounds by insisting they can support the drive to slow climate change.

Ineos said recently it hoped to use expertise developed at Grangemouth to help develop a new way of producing food packaging from recycled polypropylene plastic.