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Phillips 66 to pursue lower-carbon hydrogento fuel industrial heaters at Humber Refinery

The feasibility study is launched at the Phillips 66 Limited Humber Refinery. Its General Manager and UK Director of Phillips 66 Limited Darren Cunningham (front, second from left) is joined by project team members from Phillips 66 Limited plus specialists from Worley and John Zink International, (back, left to right) Alex Merrall, René Becker, Harry Crocker, Darren Partridge, Alexander Leiser, Jon Gregory, (front) Art Parkinson, Carilo Yarce and the refinery’s Technical Manager Chris Gilbert.

Project aims to reduce onsite CO2 emissions in support of the UK government’s carbon neutrality goals; Worley, John Zink awarded contracts for feasibility study

LONDON – March 22, 2022 – Phillips 66 Limited today announced it plans to pursue the use of lower-carbon hydrogen to refuel industrial heaters at the Phillips 66 Limited Humber Refinery in the UK. The heaters are integral to the refining process because they provide heat necessary to convert hydrocarbons to transportation fuels.


The Refuelling the Humber Refinery project will aim to reduce CO2 emissions at the Humber Refinery and demonstrate the importance of hydrogen for industrial fuel switching as part of the UK government’s carbon-neutrality goals.

Phillips 66 Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company Phillips 66, will conduct a feasibility study that will look at how world-leading technology can be used at the Humber Refinery to refuel geographically remote industrial fired heaters with lower-carbon hydrogen instead of natural gas.

Phillips 66 Limited has committed £500,000 to the Refuelling the Humber Refinery project. UK Research and Innovation, the largest source of public funding for research and innovation in the UK, has matched the funding through its Industrial Energy Transformation Fund.

Phillips 66 Limited has awarded contracts for the feasibility study to Worley and John Zink International. The results of the feasibility study could help to develop a template for hydrogen refuelling that could be replicated in industrial facilities across the UK and worldwide.

Phil Gothard, Humber Refinery Project Development Lead, said: “This is great news for the region as well as the Humber Refinery. It is another project helping the Humber Refinery play its part in the energy transition and toward its position as a ‘refinery of the future.’”

Bradley Andrews, President at Worley, said: “This project highlights the important role Phillips 66 Limited plays in the decarbonisation of the Humber region, and our global expertise will help it achieve this vision. This is another step on our journey as we work with our customers to help adapt existing assets and decarbonise industrial hubs in a common vision to achieve net zero.”

Camilo Yarce, Regional Customer Advisor at John Zink International, A Koch Engineered Solutions Company, said: “We are honored to participate in this project along with Worley and Phillips 66. 

“We trust that this feasibility study will become a footprint for other plants across the globe to transform their operations into more sustainable ones.”

The Humber region is estimated to emit around 12.4 million tonnes of CO2 every year, making it the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial cluster. The Phillips 66 Limited Humber Refinery is a major asset to the region, providing more than 1,000 jobs and significantly contributing to the regional economy.

The Refuelling the Humber Refinery project will demonstrate at large scale how renewable hydrogen, such as from the proposed Gigastack electrolytic hydrogen plant, can be used to decarbonise the refinery. It further complements the Humber Zero Project, which stands to capture CO2 from the main centralised stacks, helping to reduce overall Humber Refinery emissions by over 90%.  

Phillips 66 Limited is increasingly focused on products from the Humber Refinery that help advance a lower-carbon future. The refinery was the first in the UK to produce renewable diesel from used cooking oil, and it is Europe’s only maker of specialty-grade petroleum coke for use in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

Phillips 66 Limited also recently entered into a multiyear agreement to supply sustainable aviation fuel to British Airways, making the flagship carrier the first airline in the world to use UK-produced SAF.

Dr Matthew Blackmur, Innovation Lead for Energy at Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, said: “The businesses supported by the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund are at the forefront of the green industrial revolution, taking proactive steps to future-proof their operations and drive positive benefits for local communities across the UK.

“The projects they’re delivering are a positive step toward Net Zero, reducing their energy consumption and carbon emissions whilst maintaining their competitive edge. Delivering innovative approaches to net-zero manufacturing is a huge opportunity for the UK, and we are pleased with the strength of the IETF Phase 1 Summer 2020 cohort of projects.”

For more information on UK Research and Innovation, visit www.ukri.org  

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