Kraft Heinz has inked a deal with Carlton Power to develop a green hydrogen plant at its Wigan factory.
The site, located in Kitt Green, is one of the largest food processing plants in Europe and one of Kraft Heinz’s largest facilities in the world.
It produces a quarter of a million tons of food annually and employs approximately 850 people.
The proposed 20MW plant, the first of its kind from Kraft Heinz, will meet more than 50% of the site’s annual natural gas demand and reduce its carbon emissions by 16,000t/yr, according to the company.
The hydrogen will be produced by an electrolyser, using electricity generated from sources of renewable energy – primarily wind and solar power.
The £40m scheme is forecasted to enter operation in 2026, subject to planning approval and financing.
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), which was launched to support UK industry’s switch to hydrogen and encourage growth of the hydrogen economy across the country.
Over the next 12 to 18 months, Kraft Heinz and Carlton Power will seek to obtain planning permission for the scheme.
In parallel, the two companies will work together to obtain grant funding and operational financial support from the UK Department of Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ) with a target to deliver hydrogen to Kitt Green in 2026/27.
A submission to DESNZ will be made this year via HAR2, following consultations with local and national stakeholders.
“Our agreement with Carlton Power is an important step forward in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions and achieve our global goal of net zero emissions by 2050, with a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030,” said Kraft Heinz president for Northern Europe Jojo Lins De Noronha.
“We’re excited to partner together to develop our first, renewable hydrogen energy project globally and hope to see more projects like these in the future,” Lins De Noronha added.