Tim Shire

This month, we caught up with Tim Shire, decarbonisation projects process engineering and strategy manager. Tim has worked at EET Fuels for 5 years and knows the decarbonisation projects like the back of his hand, so who better to talk to about what a year of progress 2024 will be.

 How would you describe your day-to-day role?

At the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex we have three major refinery projects; a hydrogen-ready combined heat and power plant (CHP) to replace our boiler house, fuel switching the refinery to use low carbon hydrogen, starting with the main crude distillation furnace, and carbon capture for the refinery’s fluid catalytic cracker (FCC).

My role is to ensure that the process designs for these projects are appropriate and that all the projects fit well together and integrate with the rest of the refinery.

I consult with lots of external stakeholders, apply for government support for decarbonisation projects, help support the financial and commercial teams to develop the funding for the projects and I represent EET Fuels at external events.

How has your role been redefined to support EET Fuels in reaching its target to reduce its carbon emissions by 95% by 2030?

Previously my focus was on the day-to-day management of energy and monitoring carbon dioxide (CO2), with a medium-term pipeline of small projects.  My new role is focused much more on large scale transformation and involves putting emerging technologies to work to achieve our objectives. 

What does success look like in your role for 2024?

A key project for the refinery is the long-awaited hydrogen-ready combined heat and power plant (CHP). This is a vital component to deliver our major energy efficiency projects of the future and to meet the future demand for steam and power for the planned carbon capture plant.

We will select our hydrogen-fired gas turbines, secure funding and get the project to Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2024.

We will also get the tie-ins for CHP and the hydrogen-ready crude distillation furnace (CDU4) implemented in 2025.  

We will also be working hard to secure support from the UK Government for our industrial carbon capture project.  This one project will almost halve our emissions.


As a team, how would you say you are contributing to the UK's energy transition?

The UK’s energy transition faces a “chicken and egg” situation. Industrial users need hydrogen to be available to give them the confidence to invest in new or adapted plant technology, and hydrogen developers need to know there is customer demand before they can commit to building large scale plants.  

EET Fuels’ refinery can and will be a customer for EET Hydrogen’s output.  This will get the ball rolling and, we hope, kickstart a wave of investment across HyNet, the UK’s leading industrial decarbonisation cluster. 

On the technical side, we are answering challenging questions by inventing new answers.

We will have the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP) and one of the world’s first carbon capture projects applied to a catalytic cracker.  This can bring specific challenges and constraints and we are resolving many previously unanswered questions on hydrogen firing.

These findings will set a precedent for how the rest of the UK and, perhaps the world, decarbonises.

In your role, what do you think will be the key areas of focus or challenges in the next three years, and how do you plan to address them?

The decarbonisation projects are moving rapidly from ideas and visions to steel in the ground, and the timeline has moved from ‘sometime in the future’, to being actioned right here, right now.

The devil in the detail is about how this impacts the refinery.  Every plant area, and every department and discipline will have to play their part for decarbonisation to become a reality.   Being successful, safe, robust and timely in delivering these projects will require contributions from everyone – alongside their day jobs.

We are conscious that many people want to know more about what the decarbonisation projects mean for them.  So, a key priority this year is to engage, discuss and learn with our colleagues.  We want to share the groundbreaking work we are doing and the progress we are making, both internally and externally to ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction towards the UK’s energy transition to net zero.