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Essar Oil UK and Fulcrum BioEnergy reveal SAF plant plans

Essar Oil (UK) Ltd (Essar) has announced that it has join forces with Fulcrum BioEnergy Ltd (Fulcrum) and Essar’s subsidiary company Stanlow Terminals Ltd (STL) to create a new facility that will convert non-recyclable household waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use by airlines operating at UK airports. This innovative biorefinery will convert several hundred thousand tonnes of pre-processed waste, into approximately 100 million litres of low carbon SAF annually.

Essar Oil (UK) Ltd (Essar) has announced that it has join forces with Fulcrum BioEnergy Ltd (Fulcrum) and Essar’s subsidiary company Stanlow Terminals Ltd (STL) to create a new facility that will convert non-recyclable household waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use by airlines operating at UK airports (photo courtesy Essar Oil).

Named Fulcrum NorthPoint, the planned project will see an investment of approximately GBP600 million (≈ EUR 688 million). It will use a proven waste-to-fuel (WtF) process already being deployed by Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. at its pioneering facility outside of Reno, Nevada (NV) in the United States (US), where operations are due to begin later this year.

According to a statement, the planned development will see Fulcrum’s wholly-owned UK subsidiary, Fulcrum BioEnergy Ltd, build construct, own, and operate the plant within Essar’s Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in the North West of England. This will be the first Fulcrum plant outside the US.

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

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. Utilizing the world-class facilities available at Essar, including the impressive jet fuel storage facility at Stanlow Terminals and a direct pipeline to UK airports, Fulcrum, along with its current and future investors, will be able to build and operate its facility more efficiently and sets the ‘gold standard’ for SAF production by fully integrating its new, low carbon fuel technology directly within an existing refinery, said Jeff Ovens, Managing Director, UK & Europe Fulcrum.

Complement existing green energy plans

According to Essar, the Fulcrum NorthPoint venture will complement Essar’s wider plans to build a green energy industrial cluster at the Stanlow site, and will fully integrate Essar, Stanlow Terminals, and Fulcrum assets and technology. Last month Essar Oil UK announced its participation in the production of blue hydrogen under the HyNet project.

The project is part of a number of innovative solutions at Stanlow designed to cut carbon emissions and contribute to the UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. The ambitious plan sets firm foundations to accelerate the UK’s path to net-zero while transforming the economy, boosting employment, and delivering growth.

This is great news for the North West, with hundreds of jobs created as the region takes the lead in making aviation greener. I hope this is a sign of great things to come as we look forward to a sustainable, low carbon future for aviation, helping us push forward towards our 2050 net-zero target, commented Aviation Minister Robert Courts.

Fulcrum NorthPoint is estimated to 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, it would be operational in late 2025.

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, remarked Stein Ivar Bye, CEO, Essar Oil UK.

For Essar’s Stanlow Terminals, this is a breakthrough deal to provide dedicated tank capacity for the storage and blending of fuel products from Fulcrum NorthPoint. It will also utilize direct pipeline access to pump and transport the SAF to UK airports through the Manchester Jet Line and the UK Oil Pipeline network (UKOP).

This landmark announcement of our partnership with Fulcrum after our first year of operations is an excellent example of why Stanlow Terminals Limited was established. 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, said Patrick Walters, CEO, Stanlow Terminals.

GHG reduction and cleaner air

This new development promises to lead the way to a cleaner and more sustainable future in the North West and change the way aviation fuel is made to help decarbonize the UK.

By using SAF derived from residual domestic household and commercial waste, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are reduced significantly on a lifecycle basis when compared to fuels produced from conventional crude oil.

Such emission reductions are approximately 70 percent and have the future potential to be fully carbon neutral. In addition, SAF produced at the site offers a 90 percent reduction in particulates, which may benefit local air quality in and around airports.

Fulcrum’s fuel will enable airlines to reduce their impact on the environment and help put the aviation industry on its path to a more sustainable long-term operation. Aviation is one of the hardest to decarbonise transport sectors and sustainable aviation fuel is a key enabler for the reduction of carbon emissions. Unlike other fuel technologies currently being considered by industry, the use of SAF does not require changes to aircraft, engines, or airport infrastructure. Locating this facility in the North West of England at a strategic location will create new, skilled jobs whilst simultaneously contributing to the UK’s Net Zero 2050 objectives, ended Jeff Owens.

About Essar and Stanlow

Essar Oil (UK) Ltd is a leading UK-focused downstream energy company whose main asset is the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. One of the most advanced refineries in Europe it is situated close to the major cities of Liverpool and Manchester. With a throughput of 75 million barrels per year, Stanlow produces 3.5 billion litres of petrol, 4.9 billion litres of diesel and 2.3 billion litres of jet fuel annually. As such it is designated a key strategic national asset, annually producing over 16 percent of the UK’s road transport fuels while playing an important part in the country’s petrochemical industry by providing key feedstocks.

Located on the south side of the Mersey Estuary close to Liverpool and Manchester, Stanlow Terminals Ltd is the newest and largest third party liquid storage business in the UK, controlling 3 million m3 of capacity. With eight jetties offering import and export of bulk liquids, marine access to terminals at Tranmere and Stanlow, one of Europe’s largest road terminals, excellent links to the UK’s motorway network, and direct connections into the UK’s Oil and Fuel Pipelines, it offers unrivaled connectivity.

Both Essar Oil (UK) and Stanlow Terminals are portfolio companies belonging to India-headed Essar Global Fund Ltd (EGDL) and managed via Essar Capital Ltd.

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