Budweiser invests in hydrogen energy at Samlesbury site

By Tim Aldred

15 Mar 2023

Samlesbury Brewery Aerial

Aiming to achieve net zero emissions, Budweiser Brewing Group is planning to build a green hydrogen production facility at its Samlesbury site.

Green hydrogen energy specialist Protium will fund, build and operate the site for the brewery. The two have worked together before, announcing a similar partnership at its Magor brewery in South Wales.

This latest project, which has been named ‘Samlesbury Net Zero’ would see green hydrogen created through a process called electrolysis, where electricity from renewable sources is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. There are no carbon emissions released during the production of green hydrogen.

Once produced, the hydrogen would be fed directly to hydrogen-ready boilers allowing the brewery to meet the thermal demand of its brewing processes, as well as its other heating requirements.

It would also supply a hydrogen refuelling station for use by hydrogen-ready heavy goods vehicles. These fuel cell electric vehicles only emit water vapour while filtering particulate out of the air as they move. The heat from the HPF will also be recovered and used in Budweiser’s bottling process.

The brewery plans to have the facility operational by the end of 2025, after which it hopes to save up to 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to taking 5,800 cars off the road, offsetting the emissions of 11,156 London to New York return flights, or planting 440,000 trees.

The new facility would be built next to the brewery, which lies just off the A59 between Preston and Blackburn. The facility (the electrolyser, associated plant and refuelling station) would cover an area similar in size to one and a half full-size football pitches. A planning application for the project will be submitted this spring following consultation with neighbours, the community, and other local stakeholders.

Luiz Brandao, head of procurement and sustainability at Budweiser Brewing Group, said: "Sustainability is core to our business at Budweiser Brewing Group as we work towards net zero ambitions. Innovative solutions like hydrogen have huge potential for reducing our carbon footprint in the UK and moving us towards our ambitious sustainability goals."

Chris Jackson, CEO of Protium, added: “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.

"Working with the local community will be at the heart of this project. We want to use the local supply chain where possible and engage with the education and business communities to provide upskilling opportunities for the region in green hydrogen energy production."

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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