Kimberly-Clark to support green hydrogen generation project in Cumbria

Pictured: The paper mill in Barrow-in-Furness

The agreement, announced today (31 August), confirms Kimberly-Clark’s intention to source hydrogen for the project to power operations at its paper mill complex in Barrow-In-Furness once it is operational. The hydrogen will be used to replace natural gas, in a switch that the business estimates can reduce its overall use of gas for manufacturing in the UK and Ireland by 30%.

Carlton Power is intending to bring the electrolyser online for commercial operations in 2025. It is still subject to planning and financing decision, with £40m required to develop the initial capacity of 35MW. Carlton Power has signalled that it is exploring possibilities for further expansions in phases in the future.

The electrolyser, to be based on land adjacent to Kimberly-Clark’s paper mill, is being developed by a consortium led by Carlton Power. The other consortium members are the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Barrow Borough Council, Cadent Gas and Electricity North-West.

Kimberly-Clark’s partnership does not just cover energy procurement. The corporate will also work with the consortium to conduct local consultations and will collaborate on the project’s technical specifications.

Carlton Power’s hydrogen projects director Eric Adams said: We are delighted to have entered a commercial agreement with Kimberly-Clark, who embrace the importance of green hydrogen in their operations at Barrow and potentially across their global operations. The development of green hydrogen projects like our Barrow hub is critical if major energy users, like Kimberly-Clark, are to decarbonise their operations.”

Kimberly-Clark’s sustainability transformation leader for the EMEA region, Oriol Margo, called the agreement “an exciting opportunity” that “demonstrates how cooperation among a wide set of stakeholders from business and the Government is critical to making green hydrogen commercially viable.”

Laying the hydrogen foundations

To this point on Government involvement, the project going ahead is contingent on the funding from Whitehall being provided through the Hydrogen Investment Package. Carlton Power has stated that it will submit an application within three months.

The Hydrogen Investment Package comprises the Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund and the Hydrogen Business Model – both of which were officially opened in July, following an increase to the UK’s 2030 low-carbon hydrogen production targets through the Energy Security Strategy in April.  The Fund, first confirmed earlier this year, will provide up to £240m of grant funding from Government coffers to projects developing and building low-carbon hydrogen production projects. The first tranche of funding will go to green hydrogen production.

Kimberly-Clark is not the only manufacturer with UK operations to begin laying the groundwork for hydrogen procurement. February saw Quorn announcing a partnership with hydrogen production and services Protium for its factory in Billingham. Then, in April, HyNet North West revealed that it had struck agreements with 28 manufacturers, including Unilever, Kelloggs, PepsiCo, Kraft-Heinz, Jaguar Land Rover and Pilkington Glass.

Hear from Kimberly-Clark during edie’s Sustainable Development Inspiration Sessions

With just eight years left to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 underlying targets, it’s clear that business must step up if we’re to have the positive impact on society which the Goals ultimately exist to deliver.

So, on 22 September from 12.30pm BST, edie is hosting the Sustainable Development Inspiration Sessions – an afternoon of live, interactive webinar presentations and discussions – all dedicated to giving businesses the tools and knowledge to maximise their contribution to the Global Goals. These sessions are kindly sponsored by The Woodland Trust and Neighbourly.

Kimberly-Clark’s Oriol Margo has been confirmed to speak during the second session, providing a case study on the business’s work to provide “better care for a better world”. Click here for a full agenda and to register.

Comments (2)

  1. Tom Bedwell says:

    When I read in the opening piece that it was to be 35W, didn’t think that would quite cut it!! Missed an M. But a bit dismayed that a huge roof like that has no PV on it – surely there’s a huge energy reduction right there, at understood, unsubsidised payback.

  2. Roger Munford says:

    Absolutely, the lack of PV just sticks out a mile.

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