A pioneering hydrogen project in Wales is celebrating its six-month milestone as one of the first operational hydrogen production facilities in the UK. Spearheaded by green hydrogen leader Protium, Pioneer 1 not only contributes to decarbonisation but also aligns with Protium's mission to usher in a cleaner, healthier future for the U.K.
Sited on the University of South Wales Hydrogen Centre in Baglan, Pioneer 1 has been a vital source of hydrogen for local bus trials and numerous businesses, propelling Wales to a greener tomorrow.
Chris Jackson, Chief Executive Officer at Protium, said: “Pioneer 1's success is a testament to the pressing need for hydrogen facilities like this to transition industry and transport away from fossil fuels. We extend our gratitude to all who have made this milestone possible. Protium proudly stands as a growing Welsh employer and ecosystem enabler, fostering partnerships spanning industry, academia, and government bodies."
He adds: “Pioneer 1 isn't merely a flagship project; it serves as a blueprint for helping to scale up projects as well as adopt the latest tech such as the use of AI to refine operational, maintenance, and asset capabilities.”
Protium's commitment to Wales extends beyond Pioneer 1, with exciting projects on the horizon. Pioneer 2, set to provide green hydrogen to Welsh businesses and transport, also promises to play a pivotal role in hydrogen-only flight trials within the Project HEART program.
Magor, another upcoming hydrogen production facility planned for the UK’s largest brewery, will displace the natural gas used in the brewery’s hot water boilers and the diesel used for the brewery’s HGV fleet and forklift trucks. It will prevent 15,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to removing around 3,300 cars from UK roads.
In the last six months Pioneer 1 has also welcomed visits from representatives from government and companies like Wales and West Utilities, helping to educate and inform around future hydrogen projects and policy. It also offers the university the opportunity for learning and research around green hydrogen and its value within the renewable energy sector.
Sarah Williams, WWU Director of Regulation, Asset Strategy & HS&E said: “Our visit to the Protium site in July provided a valuable opportunity to see the Pioneer 1 electrolyser in action and to understand more about the potential benefits of scaling up operations like this to help us deliver on decarbonisation and net zero targets.
“The Protium operation provides added assurances about the future role of green hydrogen and the potential for supporting the delivery of our forward-thinking hydrogen projects across Wales and the south west of England.
“We look forward to continued collaboration with Protium and on this six-month milestone, wish the team every success for the future”
Protium and Pioneer 1 are driving Wales forward on the path to a sustainable, hydrogen-powered future, setting a high standard for innovation, collaboration, and environmental responsibility.