Kimberly-Clark firms up plans for three UK-based green hydrogen projects
Consumer goods giant Kimberly Clark expects the wind farm that will serve its first UK-based green hydrogen project to come online by the end of the year, after Government support for the electrolysers was confirmed last week.
The firm, which owns brands such as Andrex and Huggies, is celebrating the fact that the project near Barrow-in-Furness was successful in securing a place on the UK Government’s Hydrogen Business Model Strategy Shortlist. The Shortlist was announced last week as part of a bumper day of green policy publications, detailing 20 projects set to share public funding support and benefit from streamlined planning processes.
Led by Carlton Power, the project is seeking to co-locate 35MW of electrolyser facilities and a 40MW energy storage system at the Cumberhead West Wind Farm. The 126MW wind farm is currently under construction and completion is expected later this year. Green hydrogen production should then be able to commence in 2025.
Kimberly-Clark is planning to offtake green hydrogen from the project to serve its paper mill in Cumbria, replacing natural gas. This plan was first announced to the general public in the summer of 2022, but the confirmation of Government support is a significant step forward.
Until the hydrogen production begins, Kimberly-Clark will offtake renewable electricity from the wind farm via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). It will use this electricity at three manufacturing sites and two distribution centres across the UK.
Two additional green hydrogen projects involving Kimberly-Clark were also detailed on the UK Government’s Hydrogen Business Model Strategy Shortlist – one in Northfleet, Kent, and the other in Flint, North Wales.
Both of these projects are being led by HYRO, a joint venture between RES and Octopus Energy’s generation arm. HYRO’s long-term vision is to invest £3bn green hydrogen in the UK.
The two electrolyser projects will have a combined capacity of 22.5MW. As with the project in Cumbria, they will use renewable electricity to electrolyse water, thus producing green hydrogen. The hydrogen will be stored and fed into hydrogen-ready boilers within Kimberly Clark sites. A timeline has not yet been announced for the completion of the renewable arrays nor the electrolysers.
Kimberly-Clark’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, Dan Howells, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into developing the green hydrogen projects and it’s fantastic to see the UK government selecting them for the funding shortlist.
“These developments represent a significant stepping stone towards our big ambition to move solely to renewable energy to manufacture Andrex, Kleenex, Huggies, WypAll and Scott in the UK by 2030. We can only reach our decarbonization goals via innovative partnerships and cutting-edge technology.”
Other manufacturers exploring hydrogen as a natural gas replacement in the UK include Unilever, Pilkington Glass, Quorn Foods, Kelloggs, PepsiCo, Essity, Encirc and Jaguar Land Rover.
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