Company set to generate renewable energy with recent Government green energy scheme
MANNOK, the Fermanagh-based manufacturers of diverse building products, are one of two companies in Northern Ireland to secure funding in a new £240 million UK Government green energy scheme.
The funding will support Mannok in the first phase of their ambitious and innovative energy-transformation programme, which will see them reach true energy independence derived entirely from renewable sources, as the company works towards net zero by 2050.
The first phase of the programme, which the funding will support, is the generation of on-site green hydrogen (H2), a more sustainable zero-emission fuel, created using renewable energy, to replace the use of diesel in more than 70% of the company’s 150 heavy-goods truck fleet.
The UK Government introduced the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF) to deliver a ‘radical shift in the energy system’ towards cleaner, more affordable energy sources to power more of the UK from the UK, after decades of relying on expensive imported foreign fossil fuels.
Hydrogen will play an important role in helping intensive industries convert to using clean energy and, as one of Northern Ireland’s successful NZHF projects, Mannok plan to design a project that will generate local green hydrogen using a direct wire connection from local wind assets and a 5MW electrolyser.
Commenting on the company’s success in this competitive application process and the positive impact the generation of green hydrogen will have to its wider energy transformation programme, Mannok’s operations director, Kevin Lunney, said: ‘We are very pleased our application has been successful and that we will receive support to produce cleaner energy on site to fuel our fleet and potentially our cement manufacturing business.
‘The application process is extremely competitive and to have success at this early stage of our sustainability programme illustrates the merit of our projects and strategy. Our energy transformation programme, the Mannok Energy Valley, underpins the numerous and wide-ranging sustainability initiatives defined in our sustainability strategy, the Mannok 2030 Vision.
‘Mannok Energy Valley is a 15-year, multi-phase energy transformation programme, with each of the phases complementing each other. It will close our energy loop, enabling us to have a circular energy economy as we aim to reach true energy independence and support the nation’s net-zero target.
‘The generation of green hydrogen is the first major step for the Mannok Energy Valley, with the potential to reduce our diesel usage by 4 million litres per year and support our cement manufacturing process with oxygen, which is a by-product of hydrogen production.’
‘In addition, we are working closely with wider industry and academia aimed at facilitating a green hydrogen transition through the HyLIGHT programme.’
On the same day that the Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced Mannok were a successful applicant in the NZHF, the company held a cross-border council forum with its three local councils, Cavan County Council, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and Leitrim County Council, along with Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.
At the forum, Mannok revealed their Energy Valley concept and the genuine benefits a decarbonized economy will bring to the region, as it will provide a sustainable powerhouse of employment, clean energy, and future economic prosperity.
Speaking at the forum, Eugene Heaney, green economy business development manager at Invest Northern Ireland, said: ‘The Mannok Energy Valley is a fabulous concept. Mannok’s Energy Valley and 2030 Vision are immensely ambitious, and I think it would be great to see them evolve. With the involvement of councils, Invest NI support and other partnerships, I would like to see the concept move forward in the next number of years.’
To deliver the Mannok Energy Valley, which includes the utilization of carbon capture technology, the generation of oxygen and green hydrogen, and the production of e-fuels, the company is collaborating with numerous technology providers, including specialists in the renewable energy sector as well as leading research institutions, government bodies and international equipment providers.
Mannok say realization of the concept will ensure the business becomes a truly sustainable entity for the next and future generations.