The diverse building products manufacturer located in Fermanagh is 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 vital phase of its very ambitious and innovative energy transformation programme, which will see it 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 onsite green hydrogen (H2), a more sustainable, zero emission fuel created using renewable energy, to replace the use of diesel in over 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 imported expensive, 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 plans 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 onsite 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 four 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 was a successful applicant in the NZHF, Mannok 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 this forum, Mannok revealed its Energy Valley concept and the genuine benefits a decarbonised economy will bring to the region, as it will provide a sustainable powerhouse of employment, clean energy, and future economic prosperity.
At this Council Forum, Eugene Heaney, Green Economy Business Development Manager at Invest Northern Ireland, commented on how impressive the Mannok Energy Valley concept is, saying,
“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 utilisation of carbon capture technology, 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 sector as well as leading research institutions, government bodies and international equipment providers. Realisation of the concept will ensure the business becomes a truly sustainable entity for the next and future generations.