Budweiser to convert second UK brewery to hydrogen

Samlesbury Brewery in Lancashire is set to be powered by green hydrogen from 2025, according to new plans announced by owner Budweiser Brewing Group.

Adobe Stock

The Samlesbury Net Zero project will see the brewery paired with a new hydrogen production facility (HPF), delivered by UK hydrogen services company Protium. Situated adjacent to the brewery, the HPF will provide green hydrogen to meet the thermal demand of the brewing processes, as well as the building’s other heating requirements.

A refuelling station for hydrogen-ready HGVs will also be developed as part of the project, with heat from the HPF recovered and used in Budweiser’s bottling process. According to Protium, the project will save up to 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year - equivalent to taking 5,800 cars off the road or planting 440,000 trees. It is the second Budweiser brewery Protium has been tasked with converting to hydrogen, with a project at the Magor brewery in South Wales already underway.

“Removing carbon emissions from sectors like manufacturing is one of the biggest challenges we face in reaching net zero,” said Protium CEO, Chris Jackson. “Green hydrogen is the hugely exciting next step in global energy transition, happening right here in Lancashire, to drive down these emissions and futureproof our vital industries.

“Samlesbury Net Zero is an investment in our environment, community, economy and our future… We want to use the local supply chain where possible and engage with the education and business communities to provide upskilling opportunities for the region in green hydrogen energy production.”

Sitting just off the A59 between Preston and Blackburn, Samelesbury is Lancashire’s’ largest brewery, established by Whitbread in 1972. Now operated by Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, it has the capacity to brew 295 million pints per year. Beers produced at the facility include Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, as well as other brands owned by AB Inbev, which is the world’s largest brewer and Budweiser Brewing Group’s parent company.

“Sustainability is core to our business at Budweiser Brewing Group as we work towards net zero ambitions,” said Luiz Brandao, head of Procurement and Sustainability at Budweiser Brewing Group.

“Innovative solutions like hydrogen have huge potential for reducing our carbon footprint in the UK and moving us towards our ambitious sustainability goals.”