Budweiser gets the green light for new hydrogen project

Budweiser Brewing Group and Protium have been granted planning consent for a large-scale green hydrogen project which once live is expected to save 11,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
March 28, 2024
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Samlesbury Brewery project given the green light

A new green hydrogen project has been given planning consent. The scheme which will be constructed at the Samlesbury Brewery in Lancashire, England will be developed by Protium for the Budweiser Brewing Group, and once fully operational it aims to save up to 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually[i].

Hydrogen produced at the site will be fed directly into the Brewery’s boilers, replacing gas which is currently used. Budweiser hopes that all future demand for thermal energy at the Brewery will be met using green hydrogen. In addition, hydrogen will replace diesel used in on-site vehicles, further the heat from the hydrogen production facility will also be recovered and used in Budweiser’s bottling process. Protium are hoping to have the project completed by the end of 2025, with grid connections having already been secured and front-end engineering design (FEED) studies completed.  

Chris Jackson, CEO of Protium, has said: “Samlesbury Net Zero is an investment in our environment, community, economy and our future. We’re thrilled to announce our intentions to deliver this major investment into green hydrogen energy in Lancashire.”[ii]

He added: “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.”[iii]

How is hydrogen extracted and what makes ‘green hydrogen’ the most promising in terms of emissions?

We discussed in a previous insight how hydrogen was gaining interest as an alternative fuel source in the wake of the cost-of-living crisis, which at the time saw gas prices skyrocket[iv]. You can read more here:  Cost of living crisis: Hydrogen is rising up the agenda as an alternative fuel source

Touted as a renewable and clean fuel source, most hydrogen produced at present is, in fact, ‘grey hydrogen’ produced from fossil gas. An alternative to this process is so-called ‘blue hydrogen’, which uses carbon capture to reduce emissions produced from using fossil gas, however this method reportedly fails to capture between 5% and 15% of the CO2. The most promising extraction method is ‘green hydrogen’, which is produced by splitting water using electricity from renewables with minimal emissions. As mentioned above, green hydrogen is the extraction method set to be installed at Samlesbury, with hydrogen manufactured by electrolysing water to split its hydrogen and oxygen components.

How hydrogen is extracted

Source: The Guardian[v]

UK’s second Hydrogen Allocation Round currently underway

Protium and Budweiser hope that their new project at Samlesbury will be able to secure financial backing from the UK Government as part of the Hydrogen Allocation Round 2. Launched last December, the scheme offers funding for low-carbon hydrogen projects, with the overall aim of the UK government being to support up to 1GW of electrolytic hydrogen being in construction or operational by 2025 in total[vi]. This forms part of the UK’s wider strategy, where the government is presently aiming to develop up to 10GW of low carbon hydrogen by 2030, subject to affordability and value for money. The intention is that at least half of this will be from green hydrogen[vii].


[i] The Project – Samlesbury Net Zero

[ii] Protium and Budweiser Brewing Group begin plans for hydrogen energy project at Samlesbury brewery - Protium

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Cost of living crisis: Hydrogen is rising up the agenda as an alternative fuel source (zerocarbonacademy.com)

[v] Green hydrogen could counter energy crisis, says British firm | Green economy | The Guardian

[vi] Second Hydrogen Allocation Round (HAR2): application guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk)

[vii] Hydrogen Allocation Round 2 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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Lauren Foye
Head of Reports

Lauren has extensive experience as an analyst and market researcher in the digital technology and travel sectors. She has a background in researching and forecasting emerging technologies, with a particular passion for the Videogames and eSports industries. She joined the Critical Information Group as Head of Reports and Market Research at GRC World Forums, and leads the content and data research team at the Zero Carbon Academy. “What drew me to the academy is the opportunity to add content and commentary around sustainability across a wealth of industries and sectors.”

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