The UK’s largest fuel cell facility is set to be built to help power a chemical plant in Essex. The facility has also been planned in an effort to generate clean energy for the county.
The project is a joint venture between power company AFC Energy and Industrial Chemicals Limited (ICL) and is expected to produce 1MWe of electrical energy, enough to power 500 homes. This will help the plant in Essex to manufacture chlorine and caustic soda, which is used in products like detergents, household cleaning products and water treatment.
The fuel-cell is expected to help ICL reduce its dependence on grid electricity by making use of hydrogen that would typically be discharged into the atmosphere.
Ian Williamson, CEO of AFC Energy said: “The UK and Europe are lagging behind the USA and Korea in their support for base load power from fuel cell technology. This clean energy opportunity would enable a European technology to demonstrate cost effectiveness compared with other forms of power generation.”
The fuel cell industry is expected to create 500,000 jobs globally over the next decade.