Chemicals giant Croda submits plans for £7.5 million biomass boiler and 85ft chimney in Hull

Chemical giant Croda has submitted plans for a £7.5m biomass boiler to cut emissions from its Hull site, saying it is “critical to the preservation of local jobs”.

The Croda site in Hull

In recent years the Oak Road plant, which manufactures polymer additives used in plastics from food packaging through to car bumpers, has had £27m investment to double its capacity.

Croda Europe Ltd, which has been on the site since 1967, currently burns up to 82 gigawatts of natural gas to create process steam, and says without the move the plant will become “increasingly uncompetitive both in terms of energy overheads, carbon and marketing advantage”.

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The plans state that the site “is currently the third highest emitter globally of Stage 1 carbon emissions within the wider Croda business – and the largest in the UK – and the installation of the boiler would be a significant step in the process to becoming carbon neutral.”

About 28,000 tonnes of biomass will be needed a year, and to start with “low grade forest residue” will be used, with the port of Hull potentially a delivery point.

However, the medium-term aim is to establish a supply-chain with local farms and estates.

The Government aims to plant 75,000 acres of new woodland every year by 2025 and Hull and East Yorkshire is among the least wooded in the country with just 2.2 per cent cover.

The plans say the use of wood in the 13 megawatt boiler “will secure the future of local woodlands, improving their health and economic viability and importantly securing the sequester of carbon”.

However, it will mean up to 1,410 HGV transport journeys a year, to bring in the fuel and take away the ash.

The new energy centre, which will house the boiler, will need a chimney stack at least 85ft high.

The Hull site is one of three polymer additive manufacturing plants in Croda, with the others located in Gouda, Netherlands and Mianyang, China.