The Kraft Heinz Company is exploring the feasibility of a green hydrogen production plant at its Kitt Green factory site in Wigan, as part of a new partnership with Carlton Power.

The consumer goods giant and the energy developer are hoping to work together to develop a 20MW green hydrogen production facility, where hydrogen will be produced using water electrolysis processes powered by 100% renewable electricity.

This hydrogen would then be used to replace fossil fuels in heating processes at the Kitt Green factory. Kraft Heinz estimates that the proposed project could meet at least half of the factory complex’s natural gas demands while reducing its annual power-related carbon emissions by 16,000 tonnes.

Kraft Heinz notably has a global goal to become net zero by 2050. This is supported by an interim goal of halving emissions across all scopes between 2021 and 2030.

Subject to planning approval and financing, the hydrogen facility could begin its first production in 2026. The next 18 months will see Kraft Heinz and Carlton Power applying for planning permissions and also for financial support through the second tranche of the UK Government’s Hydrogen Production Business Model funding. Consultations will be held ahead of these applications.

Trafford Council Leader and Greater Manchester’s Green City-Region lead Cllr Tom Ross said: “Greater Manchester is making great strides towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2038, but we need everyone pulling in the same direction.

“Businesses and organisations across the city-region have a vital role to play in that effort by moving away from fossil fuels in their operations. That’s why it’s great to see Kraft Heinz and Carlton Power collaborating to drive forward our path to net zero, making Wigan home to Kraft Heinz’s first-ever green hydrogen-powered plant. This represents a long-term investment in green jobs right here in our city-region, and a major boost for establishing a hydrogen economy in Greater Manchester.”