Kraft Heinz has paired up with developer Carlton Power to explore the creation of a green hydrogen facility at its Kitt Green plant in Wigan.
The multinational food manufacturer announced on Monday it would work with Yorkshire-headquartered Carlton on a scheme of up to 20MW, which it says could replace up to 50% of the plant’s gas demand.
Kitt Green is one of the largest food processing plants in Europe and one of the company’s largest facilities in the world, producing a quarter of a million tons of food annually and employing approximately 850 people. It makes and processes over 1.3 billion cans of food every year, including staple Heinz products such as baked beans.
The £40 million hydrogen project – Kraft Heinz’s first such effort across its global operations – could reduce the plant’s carbon emissions by 16,000 tonnes per year, it said. Green hydrogen would be produced via an electrolyser using renewable electricity sourced largely from wind and solar power.
The facility would be Carlton Power’s fifth hydrogen facility under development in the UK, standing alongside projects in the works at Barrow and Trafford which recently secured government backing, and another industrial partnership in Stirling.
Eric Adams, the firm’s hydrogen projects director said it was “critical” that more projects such as Kitt Green are brought forward to help British companies reach net zero, especially in manufacturing.
Subject to planning approval and financing over the next 12-18 months, the £40m scheme is slated to enter operation in 2026.
Its construction will be contingent on securing financial support from the UK Government’s second Hydrogen Allocation Round (HAR2) of the Hydrogen Production Business Model (HPBM) – a support scheme aimed at driving hydrogen uptake.
A submission to DESNZ will be made this year via HAR2, the pair said, following consultations with local and national stakeholders.
The project was welcomed by local and regional politicians.
Lisa Nandy, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development and MP for Wigan said: “It’s welcome news that Kraft Heinz has chosen Kitt Green as a key site for investment in clean power. Transitioning to net zero is essential to protect local jobs and defend the environment.
“It is a sign of confidence in Wigan that Heinz has identified Kitt Green as the first site for investment. We look forward to working with them and the local community to develop this pioneering project.”
Councillor Tom Ross, Greater Manchester lead for the Green City-Region added: “Greater Manchester is making great strides towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2038, but we need everyone pulling in the same direction. Businesses and organisations across the city-region have a vital role to play in that effort by moving away from fossil fuels in their operations.
“That’s why it’s great to see Kraft Heinz and Carlton Power collaborating to drive forward our path to net zero, making Wigan home to Kraft Heinz’s first ever green hydrogen-powered plant. This represents a long-term investment in green jobs right here in our city-region, and a major boost for establishing a hydrogen economy in Greater Manchester.”
Recommended for you