A MISSION to create a hydrogen production hub near Ellesmere Port has announced an agreement to supply low-carbon hydrogen to a Merseyside glass manufacturer.

Vertex Hydrogen, which will convert waste fuel gas and natural gas produced by Essar Stanlow into hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide, has signed a ‘Heads of Terms’ offtake agreement for low carbon hydrogen with Pilkington UK.

St Helens’ Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, has led the flat glass sector in the switch towards low carbon fuels, completing two world-first trials of hydrogen being fired in a glass furnace.

The agreement sets Vertex up to supply Pilkington UK with hydrogen as the manufacturer continues to develop low-carbon ways of manufacturing glass.

The NSG Group recently announced an increased level of ambition to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through a re-certified Science Based Target.

It follows Pilkington UK marking 70 years since Sir Alistair Pilkington invented the float glass process, a pivotal moment which transformed the glass industry.

Pilkington UK glass products help control internal building temperatures and save energy, with one type of glass having a uniquely patterned UV enhanced coating to reduce bird collisions with windows.

Joe Seifert, CEO of Vertex Hydrogen, said: “Pilkington has long been admired as an innovator in the glass industry and led a world first trial of flat glass from hydrogen in 2021 at its famous St Helens facility.

"The offtake agreement is another iconic name in the north west manufacturing region switching to Vertex’s low carbon hydrogen.”

Neil Syder, managing director of Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, said: “We are fully committed to our NSG Group target of achieving net-zero by 2050.

"Firing the float glass furnace using hydrogen instead of natural gas is a key part of our strategy to reduce carbon emissions. Decarbonising the glass making process represents a significant challenge so it’s critical that we partner with academics and industry groups, particularly here in the North West."