Lancashire’s biggest brewery to utilise green hydrogen


Lancashire’s biggest brewery, in partnership with Protium, has announced plans to cut its carbon emissions by developing a green hydrogen energy production facility at the site. The project supports the region’s wider net zero ambitions, with both South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council aiming to get their operations and activities to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The Samlesbury Net Zero project, coupled with other initiatives, aims to help Budweiser Brewing Group‘s iconic Samlesbury brewery meet its thermal demand, heating and transport needs through green hydrogen energy.

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

Made possible by a partnership with leading UK green hydrogen energy services company Protium, the Samlesbury Net Zero project, when operational, should be capable of saving up to 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. 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.

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

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

As part of the project, Budweiser Brewing Group would also make the change to hydrogen 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 are thrilled to announce our intentions to deliver this major investment into green hydrogen energy in Lancashire,” said Chris Jackson, CEO of Protium.

“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 hydrogen energy production.

“Removing carbon emissions from sectors like manufacturing is one of the biggest challenges we face in reaching net zero. Green hydrogen 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.”

Globally, Budweiser Brewing Group has ambitious sustainability goals which include 100 per cent of its electricity coming from renewable sources and achieve net zero across its value chain by 2040. It also said that it has removed all plastic rings from its beers and decreased its use of plastic shrink wrapping, removing 850 tonnes of plastic waste from its supply chain.

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