Plans to help the biggest brewery in the county cut carbon emissions by developing a green energy hydrogen production facility at the site have reached the next stage.

Leading UK green hydrogen energy services company Protium has announced the Samlesbury Net Zero Project has entered the front end engineering design (FEED) stage, which focusses on the technical requirements and specific project expenses.

The FEED will be carried out by Protium’s partner Petrofac – a leading provider of services to the global energy industry.

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

When operational, the project will save up to 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to taking 5,800 cars off the road, 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.

Vicky Paley, lead project manager at Protium, said: “This exciting next stage marks a significant milestone in delivering a project that will put Lancashire, and the brewery, firmly on the UK Net Zero map.

"Green hydrogen is a truly clean energy that will help to drive down emissions and help hard-to-abate sectors, like industry and transport, to transition to a renewable source of energy.

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We look forward to working with Petrofac and Atkins in achieving this critical stage.

"I’d also like to pay credit to our team and partners for getting us to this point so quickly – and thank our stakeholders across the community for their support.”

Last September, Protium entered into a strategic partnership with Petrofac, allowing the two companies to join forces to leverage Protium’s green hydrogen expertise and Petrofac’s engineering, procurement, and construction capabilities.

Petrofac will provide full FEED services for the Samlesbury Net Zero Project to provide green hydrogen to the brewery for thermal and logistics energy demands.

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John Pearson, chief operating officer of Petrofac’s New Energies business, said: “Through our partnership with protium we have been deploying our engineering and project delivery experience to support several of their green hydrogen production projects in the UK.

“The Samlesbury Net Zero Project is both a welcome extension to this partnership and an exciting step in the decarbonisation of the food and drink industry.

"Our team is looking forward to working with Protium and its partners to progress this project onto the next stage.”

The Samlesbury Net Zero a green hydrogen production facility is planned to be operational by 2025, leading to cleaner air and less vehicle noise for residents as the brewery aspires to start deploying hydrogen-ready vehicles.