SOG Group and Vertex Hydrogen have signed a ‘Heads of Terms’ agreement which will see Vertex supply low carbon hydrogen to the proposed Heath Park development in Runcorn, Cheshire.
The hydrogen will be delivered to Heath Park from Vertex Hydrogen, the UK’s first low carbon hydrogen plant to be constructed at Essar Oil UK’s Stanlow refinery at Ellesmere Port. Vertex is the principal low carbon hydrogen production plant at the heart of the HyNet Northwest industrial decarbonisation cluster.
SOG, owner and operator of The Heath Business and Technical Park, wants to see its site transformed into a 21st century Net Zero version of Port Sunlight*, a sustainable and futuristic environment where people can work, live and play. Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram describes Heath Park as a ‘Beacon Project’ for the region. It is also one of 35 ethical projects from across the UK promoted by Government through the UK’s Global Investment Atlas.
John Lewis MBE, SOG’s owner, says: “The Heath Business and Technical Park is a well established and thriving centre that is currently home to 124 individual businesses supporting around 2,000 jobs. Our vision is to build on this success by meeting the challenges of climate change through the creation of Heath Park, a vibrant Net Zero carbon environment of residential, commercial and retail space to complement the existing Park. There’s also a ground-breaking Vertical Farm, powered by renewable energy, that is focal to a scheme that has superb ESG credentials.
“Access to reliable sources of low carbon energy is absolutely vital to our Net Zero aspirations. The agreement we have now signed with Vertex Hydrogen ensures our entire Heath Park project will be ultimately powered by low carbon energy. I view this as a landmark agreement that will enable us to deliver a world-leading business and community environment in the North-West which will benefit future generations.”
Mr Lewis adds: “The agreement is for SOG to take around 1.5% of the hydrogen from the Stanlow refinery. This equates to around 8 megawatts to power the main Heath Park scheme plus a further 1 megawatt for our proposed vertical farm. It also includes an uplift of 30% as a contingency for investors and developers in delivery of the project. At Heath Park, a dedicated hydrogen plant will be constructed to convert the hydrogen into electricity to power the homes, businesses and other facilities which are part of the Heath Park programme.”
Joe Seifert, CEO of Vertex Hydrogen, says: “We are delighted to be supporting SOG – another leading business in the North-West who are seizing the initiative and paving a path to decarbonisation using our low carbon hydrogen.”
An outline planning application on the Heath Park masterplan has been submitted to Halton Borough Council. It revolves around adapting the existing business and science park to include:
- 545 Net Zero homes including 59 senior living and extra care apartments
- Ancillary commercial use including hotel and leisure use
- A 55,000 sq. ft state-of-the-art Vertical Farm powered by hydrogen
- 20,000 sq. ft retail
*Heath Park’s ethos is modelled on ‘Port Sunlight’, the Victorian village built by industrialist Viscount Leverhulme in the 1800s. Reacting to appalling living conditions at the time, Lord Leverhulme’s inspiring idea created houses and community facilities in a healthy environment for workers of his soap factory
About SOG Group
SOG Group is one of the UK’s top independent operators of business and science parks and are renowned site regeneration specialists. SOG own The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn, Cheshire, which is home to over 120 individual businesses that between them support the employment of around 2,000 people. Using The Heath business model, SOG created a consultancy operation under the name of ‘Fusion’. SOG’s Fusion team spearheaded the regeneration of a massive site in east London, formerly home to a global pharmaceutical company, where it created Londoneast-uk Business and Technical Park. Until February 2019, SOG operated Londoneast-uk as a sister Park to The Heath before selling it to a company owned by the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. Through its Fusion concept, SOG helped to generate over £2 billion of inward investment to the Dagenham site regeneration programme.
SOG’s Runcorn operation is a unique example of how a successful science and technology park should operate. Many of the organisations located in the facilities are at the very cutting-edge of scientific R&D, with firms specialising from nanotechnology to carbon emissions research and from pioneering work on hip and knee joint replacements to water and waste-water treatment technology. As The Heath site has reached full capacity, SOG has embarked on a new build-programme which allows existing fast-growing resident businesses to move out of multi-occupancy units into their own exclusive bespoke buildings, designed and built by SOG’s team.
SOG is currently working on the vision to transform The Heath into a Net Zero carbon environment over the next decade through the creation of Heath Park. For full details go to: www.heathpark-uk.com
About Vertex Hydrogen
Vertex Hydrogen is a leading player in the energy transition, which is developing the first large scale, low carbon hydrogen production hub in the UK. This will produce (in its initial phases) 1GW of hydrogen capacity (enough to power a city like Liverpool) and capture some 1.8 million tonnes of carbon per annum (equivalent to taking 750,000 cars off the roads). By 2030, Vertex expect to deliver nearly 4GW of low carbon hydrogen – 40% of the UK Government’s national target.
The organisation is investing an expected £1bn in the UK’s largest industrial region (the North-West) to enable businesses to switch from fossil fuels to low carbon energy, helping to secure and grow vital industries and jobs and unlocking billions of pounds of related investment. An integral part of HyNet, one of two of the UK Government’s Track 1 clusters for industrial decarbonisation that was included in the UK Government’s Plan for Growth, Vertex has been selected as one of four hydrogen projects to proceed to the due diligence phase in the Phase-2 Cluster Sequencing Process by the UK Government.
For full details go to: www.vertexhydrogen.com
Issued on behalf of SOG Group
Media contact: Paul Smith Associates (PSA) +44 (0) 7771 623 007
Media contact for Vertex Hydrogen: Michelle Lewis, Director of Corporate Affairs, Essar Oil UK: email@example.com +44 (0) 7805 85416