A HYDROGEN energy company has secured a site on Teesside to build a production facility.

Protium has secured the location on Wilton Universal Group’s Port Clarence site.

The project aims to generate green jobs and economic opportunities for the local community and region, the company said. 

Current plans are for the site to include up to 40MW of electrolysis capability, developed in two phases, including hydrogen storage.

The building of a hydrogen production facility will provide Protium with the infrastructure necessary to generate renewable green hydrogen energy, with plans to supply local manufacturers once built.

The project will include the development of green hydrogen storage to support the largest PEM electrolyser in Teesside, thus enabling local manufacturing and logistics businesses to transition from natural gas and diesel energy sources.

The project will be completed by 2026, subject to planning and engineering works – creating jobs during the construction and sustained employment during its operation.

Chris Jackson, chief executive of Protium, said: “We are pleased to announce that Protium will be embarking upon building the largest green hydrogen facility in the North East at the Wilton Universal Group’s site in Teesside.

"The project will allow us to work with local businesses to decarbonise their operations, and the area’s deep industrial legacy provides the perfect infrastructure foundations for us to leverage.

“The growing hydrogen hub offers a faster route to market for the deployment of this clean energy source, so we’re very excited to be part of the transition to a greener economy and future in the heart of Tees Valley.”

The company's decision follows the announcement in March that the Government would invest £3 million to develop Tees Valley as the UK’s first ever hydrogen transport hub, which could create up to 5,000 new jobs as part of the ‘build back greener’ campaign.

The announcement that there would be a Tees freeport was another factor in Protium's decision.

The company says it believes there is immense value in securing strategic land parcels in the area and helping to create a ‘hub’ infrastructure project, placing Protium in a prime position to provide green hydrogen to surrounding off-takers as well as the ability to tap into the maritime market.

The location of the proposed plant at Wilton Universal Group’s site, adjacent to the River Tees, is within the Tees Valley Freeport. Wilton Universal Group recently acquired 58 acres of land and facilities at Haverton Hill, which abuts its existing Port Clarence Offshore Base, taking its site to 112 acres to expand its own operations as well as welcome other companies, such as Protium.

Bill Scott, CEO of Wilton Universal Group, said: “In addition to expanding our own capacity, the acquisition of the Haverton Hill site will enable other companies like Protium to take advantage of Teesside’s exceptional skills and expertise in the energy sector and our location within the freeport, and to play a major part in this area’s contribution to the energy transition and a low carbon future.”

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, said: “I am delighted that Protium will be developing a green hydrogen production facility in Teesside, contributing to making our region the leading production site of green hydrogen fuel in the UK.

“From carbon capture to offshore wind and hydrogen production Teesside is at the forefront of delivering the government ambitious target for the U.K. to be net zero by 2050. This is just the latest investment that is delivering the cleaner, greener and healthier future for local people right across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”