Kraft Heinz agrees to £40m hydrogen project at Wigan plant

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The project is subject to planning approval and funding. Credit: Kraft Heinz
The project is subject to planning approval and funding. Credit: Kraft Heinz

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Kraft Heinz has signed an agreement with Carlton Power to study the development of a renewable green hydrogen plant at its Kitt Green site in Wigan.

The proposed project has the potential to fuel at least 50% of Kraft Heinz’s Kitt Green manufacturing plant and will cost £40m.

Kitt Green is the fifth green hydrogen project that Carlton Power has developed in the UK, and its third in the North West of England.

The facility in Wigan is one of the largest food processing plants in Europe and one of the biggest Kraft Heinz facilities in the world. It is capable of producing 250,000 tonnes of food each year and employs approximately 850 people.

The proposed 20MW Kitt Green hydrogen plant will meet more than 50% of the plant’s annual natural gas demand and reduce the plant’s carbon emissions by 16,000 tonnes per year. The hydrogen will be produced by an electrolyser that uses electricity generated primarily from wind and solar power.

The scheme is still subject to planning approval and financing, with Kraft Heinz projecting it to enter operation in 2026. Its construction is contingent on securing financial support from the UK Government’s second Hydrogen Allocation Round (HAR2) of the Hydrogen Production Business Model (HPBM).

Over the next 12 to 18 months, Kraft Heinz and Carlton Power will work together to gain planning permission for the project and obtain grant funding and operational financial support from the UK Department of Energy Supply and Net Zero (DESNZ).

Kraft Heinz president for Northern Europe Jojo Lins de Noronha described the agreement with Carlton Power as an “important step forwards​” in the group’s bid to cut carbon emissions and achieve its global goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and cutting emissions in half by 2030.

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​,” de Noronha added.

Meanwhile, hydrogen projects director at Carlton Power Eric Adams commented: “We’re delighted to be working with Kraft Heinz to bring forward a green hydrogen facility at Kitt Green to help the company accelerate its efforts to decarbonise their operations.

“It is critical that projects like this are brought forward to support British companies, especially in manufacturing, in reducing their carbon emissions and reaching Net Zero​.”

In other news, Aqua Pura’s owner has announced a multi-million pound investment in its Cumbria site.

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