Sheffield-based manufacturer signs five-year deal with Shell Hydrogen

Posted on 10 Jul 2020 by James Devonshire

Sheffield-based Chesterfield Special Cylinders (CSC), a world-leading manufacturer of bespoke, high-pressure gas containment solutions, has signed a 5-year framework agreement with Shell Hydrogen to supply ultra-large hydrogen storage cylinders for use at refuelling stations across Europe.

The first branded fuel retailer to sell hydrogen at one of its retail sites in the UK in 2017, Shell has been a key player in leading the drive for cleaner energy solutions, particularly hydrogen. 

But storing hydrogen under pressure requires specialist ground storage solutions. Furthermore, different territories have different safety standards for storing hydrogen, which is why Shell Hydrogen needed a precise, highly reliable and versatile technical solution.

Through a collaborative partnership, CSC has developed a specialist hydrogen storage solution that satisfies both European and US standards, the first standardised solution of its kind.

Speaking about the framework agreement, Jake Martin, CSC commercial manager, said: “There is an unprecedented demand for new, clean energy solutions and hydrogen is leading the way. Storing hydrogen under high pressure requires a highly technical solution and we are specialists in this field.”

“[This Framework Agreement] is an acknowledgement of our core strengths in innovation, design and manufacturing capabilities. Working closely with Shell, we have developed a highly effective solution for their hydrogen storage requirement that meets the stringent demands of international safety standards”.

Hydrogen’s role in helping the UK meet ‘net zero’

Up to a third of greenhouse emissions produced in the UK come from heating homes. If the UK is to stand any chance of hitting the government’s challenging ‘net zero’ target by 2050, this has to be addressed.

Hydrogen is often cited as a promising solution because it is abundant in the natural world and has the potential to cleanly and efficiently power the next-generation of gas appliances. In fact, according to Aurora Energy Research, hydrogen can meet up to half of the UK’s final energy demand by 2050.

However, the transition to hydrogen in homes would not necessarily be easy. The UK’s existing gas network would need to be repurposed to deliver hydrogen and there is currently no other country in the world supplying pure hydrogen to homes and businesses. In other words, the UK would have to pioneer everything.

Having said that, the UK already has hydrogen-powered cars; will hydrogen-powered homes follow?

*Header image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons