£600m Liverpool City Region bio refinery to create 800 jobs

15th February 2021

A new £600m bio-refinery that will convert non-recyclable household waste into aviation fuel is to be built on the banks of Liverpool City Region’s River Mersey, creating 800 jobs.

Stanley oil refinery operated by Essar Oil UK

Essar Oil (UK) is teaming up with US-based Fulcrum BioEnergy and Essar’s subsidiary company, Stanlow Terminals, to build the facility at the Stanlow oil refinery at Ellesmere Port next to the river.

The new plant will convert several hundred thousand tonnes of pre-processed waste, which would have otherwise been destined for incineration or landfill, into approximately 100m litres of low carbon aviation fuel every year.

It will use Fulcrum’s proven waste-to-fuel process, which is already being deployed at its pioneering facility outside of Reno, Nevada in the US, where operations are due to begin later this year.

The development will see Fulcrum, whose parent company is based in California, construct, own and operate the plant within Essar’s Stanlow manufacturing complex. This will be the first Fulcrum plant outside the United States.

Essar will assist with the blending and supply the new fuel to airlines, with Stanlow Terminals providing product storage and logistics solutions for the project under a long-term agreement.

Stein Ivar Bye, chief executive of Essar Oil UK, said: “Stanlow has produced high quality energy products for over 60 years and we intend to remain a key national supplier of energy for the UK into the future.

“Our sights are firmly set on helping to drive the UK’s decarbonisation strategy. This landmark development supports our long term sustainability ambition to deliver the energy solutions of the future and position Stanlow as the UK’s leading sustainable aviation fuel hub.

“It also complements the announcement last month regarding a blue hydrogen development at Stanlow as part of the HyNet project. Together, these initiatives will help diversify the refinery in a greener direction, and help achieve the UK’s decarbonisation goals.”

Essar’s Stanlow facility employs around 1,000 people. It supplies 16% of all UK road transport fuels and each year produces 4.4bn litres of diesel, 3bn litres of petrol and 2bn litres of jet fuel.

The global Essar Group acquired the then loss-making Stanlow in 2011 from Shell and has since invested £650m turning it into a sustainable and profitable business. It now generates annual revenues of more than £4bn

The project, which will fully integrate Essar, Stanlow Terminals and Fulcrum assets and technology, is part of a number of innovative projects at Stanlow designed to cut carbon emissions and contribute to the UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Named Fulcrum NorthPoint, the project will create 800 direct and indirect jobs during the design, build and commissioning process and over 100 permanent jobs during its operation. Plans for Fulcrum NorthPoint are expected to be complete at the end of this year and subject to planning consent, will be operational in late 2025.

Patrick Walters, chief executive of Stanlow Terminals, added: “By offering efficient low carbon logistics solutions to develop third party business we support diversification of the traditional refinery business and become a fundamental part of the UK drive to become carbon neutral.”

And Jeff Ovens, managing director, UK & Europe Fulcrum, also said: “We are excited to be announcing this project, located within one of the UK’s most important energy producing assets, which will help reduce the burden on landfills and industry’s reliance on fossil fuels.”

Read more about Liverpool City Region’s energy and environment sector HERE.

15th February 2021