Welcome

Welcome to the project website for Magor Net Zero: a ‘UK-first’ green hydrogen scheme at Budweiser Brewing Group UK & I’s Magor Brewery, South Wales.

Proposals

What are we proposing to develop? 

Consultation

and Project Documents

The Technology

Contact / Feedback

The facility will save approximately 15,500 tonnes of CO2e per year from 2027, equating to the removal of roughly 3,300 cars from UK roads or 12,000 long haul flights per year.  

The proposals, which are still in the early stages of being developed, will be deemed a ‘Development of National Significance’ (DNS) under current legislation in Wales, and so will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate Wales for consideration, before being decided by Welsh Ministers. 

This website will be updated regularly to keep you informed about the proposals and the upcoming planning and consultation process.

Keep in touch

We’re right at the beginning of our planning process to develop these proposals, so please do keep checking this website for the latest updates. Very soon we’ll be embarking upon the early stages of the planning process, and soon after that we’ll announce how and when you can feed into the consultation on the plans.

Click here to sign up for updates and we’ll make sure to keep you informed of progress.

About Magor Net Zero

Magor Net Zero is a joint project between Protium Green Solutions and Budweiser Brewing Group UK & I’s Magor Brewery.

Protium is a UK‐based green hydrogen energy services company (HESCO). Founded in 2019,  Protium’s mission is to enable UK industries and local government to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this, Protium develops, builds and finances renewable energy and green hydrogen infrastructure to manufacture zero-emission hydrogen from water and renewables. We focus on projects and sectors where early commercial traction is viable without relying on government grants or subsidies. 

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I is the trading name of AB InBev UK Limited, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium. Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I remains a proud part of AB InBev globally. In the UK, Budweiser Brewing Group employs 1,400 people in our three breweries in Magor, South Wales, Samlesbury, Lancashire and Enfield, North London and in our local headquarters in Central London. 

With a view to creating the first green hydrogen supply to a brewery, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, the UK arm of global brewer AB InBev, and Protium are seeking to deploy zero emission green hydrogen at Magor brewery in South Wales, which is one of the largest breweries in the UK. 

Project Scope

The project involves construction of a Hydrogen Production Facility (HPF) on the brewery site near Junction 23a of the M4. The hydrogen produced will be used to fuel the brewery’s production, as well as its key logistics assets including Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and forklift trucks. The HPF will produce green hydrogen via renewable electricity generated by wind turbines and solar PV panels close to the site. The use of green hydrogen technology will help to provide zero carbon power and fuel for all its operations, bringing emissions close to net zero. The project also reaffirms Budweiser Brewing Group’s long-term commitment to the site as a significant local employer. 

Electrolyser Site: Indicative CGI of the site

“The facility will save approximately 15,500 tonnes of CO2e per year from 2027, equating to the removal of roughly 3,300 cars from UK roads or 12,000 long haul flights per year.”  

As this project will include the delivery of energy generating assets delivering more than 10MW of renewable energy, it will qualify as a Development of National Significance (DNS) under the Planning (Wales) Act 2015. Protium must therefore apply to the Planning Inspectorate Wales, which will make a recommendation to Welsh Ministers on whether or not to grant planning permission. 

Where is the site?

The proposed site of the Hydrogen Production Facility (HPF) is situated adjacent to the existing Brewery site just off Junction 23a of the M4, at Magor, South Wales. 

Further proposed infrastructure, such as wind turbines and solar panels would likely be sited in close proximity to the existing brewery site to ensure ease of connection to the site to deliver the required green energy. 

As we progress through the pre-application process, further information and documents will be available to download from the Project Documents page.

Frequently asked questions

These initial FAQs provide some initial information about the proposals. They will evolve and expand over time to incorporate additional information and address queries that arise as the Project progresses.

Who will decide whether or not this Project receives planning permission?

As this project will deliver up to 20MW of renewable energy it will constitute a Development of National Significance (DNS) under the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 and we must apply to the Planning Inspectorate Wales, which will make a recommendation to Welsh Ministers on whether or not to grant planning permission. 

Ultimately, Welsh Ministers will decide whether or not to approve the application, however many other parties will have the opportunity to influence the proposals, including host local authorities, Monmoutshire County Council and Newport City Council, as well as local communities and interested parties. 

How can local communities and interested parties influence the development of the proposals? 

We are proposing to undertake an extensive pre-application community consultation exercise prior to submitting an application to the Planning Inspectorate. This will involve at least two rounds of public consultation, including a formal consultation period as required by the DNS regulations set out in the Planning (Wales) Act 2015. 

We will be communicating further information about this consultation and how local residents and interested parties can be involved later this year. All information will be available to view on the project website (www.magornetzero.co.uk) and will be publicised via a number of channels in due course. 

How will the proposed Project support the local community, economy and involve the local supply chain? 

Due to the fact that Magor Brewery is already a significant local employer, the proposals will help to safeguard hundreds of existing jobs, plus generate new ones through the construction process. Further permanent jobs would also be created for the ongoing running of the new facility. 

Additional investment through the local supply chain will also prove to be a benefit with contractors and construction workers looking to make use of local shops and services during the construction period. 

Further information on community benefit, supply chain and economic investment opportunities will be made available in due course. 

When will the application be submitted? 

We are currently aiming to submit an application to the Planning Inspectorate Wales in late 2022. Pre-application consultation with consultees and the local community will take place through 2021 and further details on submission timings will be confirmed in due course.

How will the process work? 

Renewable energy provided by wind turbines and solar panels will be fed to the site and connect to the Hydrogen production Facility (HPF). The HPF consists of an electrolyser, which takes the renewable energy to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen is produced by using electricity to break water (H2O) down into its component elements – hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2).   

Once produced this hydrogen can then be stored on the site ready for use in cannisters by the forklift trucks, or fed directly to the hydrogen ready boilers. A direct pipeline will also supply hydrogen ready HGVs. 

The diagram below shows an overview of how the process would work at the site. 

The Electrolyser Site:

Whilst much of the new infrastructure required to accommodate the use of hydrogen will be housed within the existing buildings and equipment on site, there will be a new Electrolyser constructed on land adjacent to the existing brewery site. This Electrolyser will use renewable electricity to create the hydrogen by breaking down water into its component elements. It will then capture and store the hydrogen produced before transporting it to the main site to power the brewery, or to the Hydrogen Refuelling site for use in HGV’s and forklift trucks.

Electrolyser

The Hydrogen Refuelling Site:

Once produced at the Electrolyser site, the hydrogen is then transported to the Hydrogen Refuelling site, which stores the hydrogen until its used to refuel HGVs or forklift trucks. As the CGI image shows, this works on a similar concept to petrol stations, with vehicles driving up to the refuelling points, refuelling, and the driving off again.

Why are you using Hydrogen, rather than just renewable energy for these proposals? 

There are a number of reasons why the project is seeking to use hydrogen and not just green energy, but the primary reason is that hydrogen is so flexible. It can provide the solution a numerous energy questions, which is a great benefit for a facility such as this. 

Hydrogen is an exciting opportunity as it’s the lightest and the most abundant element in the universe. There are zero greenhouse gas emissions associated with the hydrogen generation if the energy required for this process originates entirely from renewable sources, such as solar or wind. In this case, the hydrogen is commonly referred to as ‘green’ hydrogen. 

To name a few of its specific benefits, hydrogen can power a fleet of vehicles, provide the energy required for large scale industrial processes, can be stored for use at any point, and can be easily transferred or exported using existing technology/infrastructure. 

Whilst renewable electricity is excellent, there are limitations with things like storage and timing of power provision (e.g. solar power only during the day, wind energy only whilst its windy, etc). If this renewable energy is used to create hydrogen, which can then be stored and used as required for a whole range of uses, it allows for a much more efficient and flexible operation across numerous core elements of Magor Brewery. 

Is the use of Hydrogen like this to power vehicles safe? 

Whilst its relatively new at an industrial scale deployment, the use of hydrogen as a fuel has been around for a long time, and whilst hydrogen is combustible, the technology used for a hydrogen fuel cell in a lorry means that an explosion is very unlikely.  

It is worth keeping in mind the fact that petrol and diesel are flammable liquids, so we are already operating in a world in which we are putting flammable liquids into our cars and then initiating a combustion process to make them go. Whilst cars do catch on fire occasionally, that doesn’t stop us using them, because we understand that the processes involved in the engine mean that catching fire is extremely unlikely.  

Hydrogen does not use combustion to derive the energy from it – it’s more like a battery, and therefore could be seen to be even less likely to explode than a normal car or lorry engine. There is a rigorous testing process that all new technology and vehicles must go through before they are deemed road worthy, and this would also be true of hydrogen powered trucks. 

Finally, it is worth noting that one of the major benefits of hydrogen fuel cells is that they emit only water, and purified air so there are no carbon dioxide emissions and no air pollutants coming from the vehicles.

Consultation materials and project documents

This page will be kept updated with all consultation materials, project documents and any further information as it becomes available.

We’re right at the beginning of our planning process to develop these proposals, so please do keep checking this website for the latest updates. Very soon we’ll be embarking upon the early stages of the planning process, and soon after that we’ll announce how and when you can feed into the consultation on the plans.

Click here to sign up for updates and we’ll make sure to keep you informed of progress.

If you have any queries about the contents of this page, please get in touch.

Contact Us

Thank you for taking the time to read this website. We value your feedback and welcome any comments you might have on the proposed scheme. These can be returned using the form on this website.

If you prefer, you can also provide feedback by calling us on: 0800 699 0081 or by emailing: [email protected]

If you would prefer to post to us, you can send letters to: FREEPOST TC CONSULTATION (no further address or stamp required).

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Privacy Statement

By filling-in this form you are agreeing that Magor Net Zero Ltd. can hold and process your personal data in relation to this public consultation exercise.

Magor Net Zero Ltd. will only share your personal data with companies within the project team, and in certain circumstances, specific project consultants for planning evaluation purposes only.

Your identifiable, personal data will not be used for any other purposes without your consent.

Depending on the nature of your enquiry/feedback, Magor Net Zero Ltd. will only use your data to:

  • Respond to specific questions or enquiries submitted via this portal.
  • Send you updates about a specific project (where you provide us with your contact details).
  • Develop a Pre-application Consultation (PAC) Report (or similar document) about this public consultation that will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate Wales and/or other relevant planning bodies; this will be a publicly available document.

Your comments will be anonymous, and we will only identify you in these reports with your express permission.

If you provide us with your contact details, we might also contact you to ask you more about any comments you’ve made and to keep you informed about the project.

Your data will be stored in line with the GDPR.

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Feedback

We value your feedback and welcome any comments you might have on the proposed scheme. These can be returned using the form on this website.