A joint venture formed by Octopus Energy Generation and solar- and wind-power electricity developers RES is seeking planners’ permission to run the Welsh operations of multinational paper-maker Kimberly Clark on green hydrogen.

HYRO, the power pair’s £ 3 million participation vehicle, has put in an application to electrolyse hydrogen with renewably sourced electricity, and feed the gas into the manufacturers’ paper mill at Coleshill, Flint, near the River Dee.

The carbon-free hydrogen will be burned to heat a new hydrogen-ready boiler, located inside the mill.  It will replace the factory’s current boiler, fuelled by only natural gas.

Kimberly-Clark, makers in Europe of brands such as Andrex, Huggies and Kleenex, announced in April that HYRO will undertake a similar refit at its mill in Northfleet, Kent.

Via a power purchase agreement signed two years ago, Kimberly-Clark already sources clean electricity from Octopus’ Cumberhead new wind farm in the Scots Borders, which began generating this year.

Octopus and RES formed HYRO to foster on-site electrolysis of hydrogen by manufacturers relying on processes feared too difficult to strip of carbon, or who for other reasons find the leap from gas to electric heat too hard.

Today’s application related to the Flint plant follows consultations since April with local stakeholders.

Iain Buchanan, development manager for Coleshill’s combustion conversion, explained:  “Green hydrogen projects are a critical component of the broader strategy to deliver energy security and create green economic growth across Wales and the UK.

Oriol Margo, Kimberly-Clark’s European sustainability transformation boss added: “This development at our Coleshill site in Flint and our partnership with HYRO represents a huge step towards our ambition to move solely to renewable energy to manufacture Andrex, Kleenex, Huggies, WypAll and Scott in the UK by 2030.”


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