PX Group has more to come after securing Saltend Chemicals Park land deal with Equinor

Equinor’s signing of a land deal at Saltend Chemicals Park comes with more inward investment in the pipeline for PX Group.

The agreement was announced as the submission of the huge hydrogen production plant to the government’s cluster sequencing competition was made.

And it has been warmly welcomed by those heading up the sprawling former BP site, hot on the heels of Pensana’s commitment to the Humber Bank location.

Read more: Humber Zero heads to Westminster as part of industrial cluster clean-up plans

Patrick Pogue, business development director, was in an early presentation of the H2H Saltend scheme at the city’s Holiday Inn almost two years ago, ahead of the July 2020 public reveal, and was delighted to see the significant steps taken.

He said: “It is a milestone, and there is still a lot of work to do, but it is really important to get to this point.

Patrick Pogue, and Saltend Chemicals Park. (Image: PX Group)

“It is important for the site, the area outside of Saltend, the Humber region and nationally in terms of the significance of what it offers in terms of the Prime Minister’s 10 point plan.”

Hydrogen fuel switching is seen as a key step towards decarbonisation and the Net Zero ambition fostered. Six industrial users have backed Equinor’s plan – with four on Saltend Chemicals Park.

“It is a jigsaw and great to see the pieces coming together and progressing – and we have a couple of others in the pipeline just as significant., and following a path,” Mr Pogue said.

Pensana is looking into renewable energy with the products and plans, Equinor now another part of it, but ultimately on the same path. Now we have others signed up to site under exclusivity agreements, real projects happening, all looking at decarbonisation and clean fuels.

“We have been on site just over three years now, and have always said it was a fantastic platform to attract investment. Now, bringing these projects through , we can’t believe just how much that has turned out to be, and it keeps moving on forward.”

While new investment will always pique interest, Ineos’ take-over of remaining BP assets and the ‘unmothballing’ of the Vivergo bioethanol plant are seen as just as significant from PX’s perspective.

“To get to these big milestones that make the headlines is so important, but at the same time so much is going on behind the scenes,” he said.

“The amount of people working on bringing Vivergo operations back, they’re building up a team working with site partners, it is a huge effort from everyone – and not just on our site, but with local authorities and wider government. It feels like a huge machine working to the same goals.

“We have seen fabulous success over the last 12 to18 months, and a lot of hard work has been done by a lot of people.” Mr Pogue told how the 110 acres of availability a year ago is narrowing somewhat, with talks underway to potentially expand with ABP – with whom it has the long-term lease for the site.

“Now we are looking for further opportunities to expand our presence in and around Saltend and the wider Humber, as well as nationally,” he said.

And while the plug and play nature of the assets has been a major attraction – with power, steam, gas and other requirements almost on tap – investment from PX could also come hand-in-hand.

“The jetty is so important to so many of the processes. And as projects come on there is need for more infrastructure, big capital project investments will necessitate it.

“We will need to add to the place to grow and provide the capacity, but we’re fortunate we’re not coming from a clean sheet. We have assets and infrastructure there, and we can build from that rather than have to start from fresh. It is a good use of funding and there is support to do that.”

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