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Company to introduce world's biggest fuel cell energy
8:00am Sunday 15th July 2012 in News
INDUSTRIAL Chemicals Ltd in West Thurrock is hoping to install the UK’s largest fuel cell energy facility at its site.
ICL has joined forces with AFC Energy to build the alkaline fuel cell facility, in Stoneness Road, which could be the biggest of its kind in the world.
The fuel cells would run off the waste hydrogen produced at the plant, generating clean energy, with an electrical output of around 1MWe, enough energy to power 500 homes.
A spokesman for AFC, which would own, operate and maintain the fuel cell systems, said: “It will be installed in stages at ICL’s chlor-alkali plant, which has recently been constructed to manufacture chlorine and caustic soda which have a range of uses including household cleaning products, detergents and water treatment.
“This is the largest fuel cell system announced for installation in the UK to date and the directors believe it to be the largest alkaline fuel cell system announced anywhere in the world.
“Without this fuel cell system, waste hydrogen would typically be discharged into the atmosphere.
“Instead, ICL will be able to reduce dependence on the national grid for its energy needs by creating economic value from its hydrogen.”
The initial work on the project, which the companies are hoping to secure grant funding for, could start later this year, and create a “significant number” of jobs.
Darren Sharpe, energy projects manager at ICL, said: “The prospect of developing a fuel cell capable of producing 1MWe of clean electrical power from hydrogen, that would otherwise be waste from the chlor-alkali process, is exciting in terms of technology advancement together with commercial savings on energy cost, distribution and supplier charges.
“ICL looks forward to working with AFC Energy and benefiting from the potential a large scale fuel cell system offers.”