Katie Hedges, Author at


The Prax Group has announced that it has successfully completed the strategic acquisition of Lindsey Oil Refinery and its associated logistic assets in the United Kingdom, following the signing of an agreement in July 2020 to purchase the refinery from energy major Total. Prax has also announced the appointment of Luc Smets as General Manager of the refinery.

Covering a 500-acre site, and located five miles from the Humber Estuary in North Killingholme, North Lincolnshire, Lindsey Oil Refinery has an annual production capacity of 5.4 million tonnes. It is one of Europe’s most advanced refineries, processing over 20 different types of crude including, petrol, diesel, bitumen, fuel oil and aviation fuels, which are transported across the UK and abroad by sea, road, rail and pipeline.

With a strong track record of integrating acquisitions and managing assets in the oil value chain, the Prax Group is a long-standing and trusted partner of Total. The acquisition of the refinery will bring about new investment, and underlines the Prax Group’s determination to support the local economy and the wider community, whilst continuing to explore new business opportunities as part of its long-term growth strategy.

Sanjeev Kumar, CEO of the Prax Group, said: “Our long-term strategy is to be fully integrated across the oil value chain from upstream to downstream, and today marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Prax Group. The acquisition of Lindsey Oil Refinery is a natural progression for the Group, providing the opportunity to integrate the refinery and its associated product flows into the company’s UK distribution and retail footprint, which operates under the Harvest Energy brand. This will create unique opportunities for synergies with existing Prax-owned assets, as well as demonstrating our ongoing commitment to building a reliable supply chain to meet the needs of our customers for many years to come.”

The acquisition includes Lindsey Oil Refinery, the Finaline pipeline and the Killingholme loading terminal, together with shares in joint venture operations.


IETF Phase 1: Spring 2021 provides up to £40 million of grant funding for energy efficiency projects and studies. Innovate UK and BEIS are jointly delivering this phase of the competition for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Phase 1: Spring 2021 project types

Phase 1: Spring 2021 provides funding for:

  • projects deploying technologies that improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes
  • feasibility and engineering studies into energy efficiency and deep decarbonisation measures for industrial processes

Competition dates

For Phase 1: Spring 2021 applications, the competition:

  • opens on Monday 8 March 2021
  • closes on Wednesday 14 July 2021


The Phase 1: Spring 2021 competition is open to businesses of any size registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. To be eligible, your business must operate a site which falls into the following categories of activity:

  • manufacturing 10(000) through to 33(200)
  • data centres 63(110)

Businesses are allocated a SIC code at the time of registering at Companies House. You need to check your business SIC code to make sure you are eligible. In the case that a parent company has a SIC Code that does not reflect the activity carried out at the site of the proposed application, for example where a data centre is owned by a telecoms company, you may be eligible and should contact Innovate UK for further details at ietf@innovateuk.ukri.org.

The documents here provide more detail on the eligibility criteria.


The funding will be awarded as grants towards the total costs of successful proposals. To be eligible, proposals must fall within the stated minimum and maximum award thresholds:

Funding applied for Minimum threshold per application Maximum threshold per project
Energy efficiency deployment projects £100,000 £14 million
Engineering studies £50,000 £14 million
Feasibility studies £30,000 £7 million

The minimum thresholds have been lowered in response to feedback received during Phase 1: Summer 2020.

For energy efficiency deployment projects, you must use the project benefit calculator v2.0 in your application.

Get in touch

If you need more information about the application process for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, please contact Innovate UK:

  • by email ietf@innovateuk.ukri.org
  • by phone – call the helpline on 0300 321 4357 between 9:00-11:30am and 2:00-4:30pm, Monday to Friday

Innovate UK offers an eligibility screening service which you should use if you have any queries about your proposed application. Type ‘Eligibility screening assessment request’ as the subject line of your email if you require this service.


The General Manager of the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery at South Killingholme has joined the board of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.  The appointment of Darren Cunningham, who is Lead Executive at Phillips 66 in the UK, strengthens representation on the LEP’s Board of Directors from northern Lincolnshire.

Last year North and North East Lincolnshire chose to remain in the Greater Lincolnshire LEP area, while the Humber LEP is being renamed the Hull and East Yorkshire LEP.  A chemical engineer by training, Darren has more than 30 years’ experience in various refining and commercial roles and has been General Manager of the Humber Refinery since 2017.

He began his career with Conoco at the Humber Refinery in 1985, where he held various roles in engineering and planning and economics.  In 1993 he transferred to the commercial office in London as a crude oil trader. He then took assignments in Singapore and across the United States, working in business development and corporate strategy roles.  He is now leading the Humber Refinery and Phillips 66 UK decarbonisation agenda.

“I’m honoured to join the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership and look forward to working together as our region looks towards the future in these most challenging times,” he said.

Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, welcomed Darren to the board.

“On behalf of the board I am delighted to see an individual with Darren’s vast experience and capability in such an important sector to the LEP economy, with its change agenda, joining us. Having a key south bank employer on board is also important to fully represent the LEP geography.

“I know the board is looking forward to Darren’s valuable contribution and shares his enthusiasm for the numerous opportunities evident in the north of our area.”

Phillips 66 is an American multinational energy company based in Houston, Texas.

The Humber Refinery was built at South Killingholme in 1966 and has a crude oil processing supplying 24% of UK fuels. Humber is leading the way in low carbon fuels production and was the first in the UK to produce fuel, at scale, from used cooking oil.

The Humber Refinery is a key partner in two leading decarbonisation projects for the region, Humber Zero and the Gigastack, and is one of the most complex refineries in the Phillips 66 portfolio and one of the most sophisticated in Europe.


Pensana Rare Earths Plc announces that Saltend Chemicals Park near Hull has been selected as the proposed site to build the UK’s first rare earth processing facility with a view to helping create the world’s first fully sustainable magnet metal supply chain.

Working with Wood Group, the UK engineering consultants, the processing facility would become one of only two major producers outside China of rare earth oxides used in the manufacture of powerful permanent magnets, critical to the offshore wind and electric vehicle industries. Lynas Corporation of Australia is currently the world’s largest non-China producer of magnet metal rare earth oxides from its facility in Malaysia.

Gerry Grimstone, UK Minister for Investment said: “We very much welcome the proposal to establish a fully sustainable rare earth oxide magnet metal processing facility in the Humber region. This facility is an important step in the establishment of a permanent magnet supply chain in the UK which could support a range of industries important to building back greener and our Net Zero ambitions.”

The Saltend Chemicals Park is a cluster of world class chemicals and renewable energy businesses including BP Petrochemicals, Ineos, Nippon Gohsei and Air Products, strategically located on the Humber estuary, a gateway to Europe and the UK’s busiest ports complex.  The 370 acre site, which is managed by the px Group, has had £500 million of investment over recent years. The px Group provides a range of services including power, water, reagents, waste disposal, centralised control and administration which will allow the Company to focus on the operational aspects of the facility.

Chairman Paul Atherley commented: “The Saltend Chemicals Park offers an exceptional range of services allowing us
to plug into power, water, reagent supplies and services and to recruit a highly skilled local workforce at internationally competitive rates.  It is very clear that it is no longer acceptable for British and European companies to import the raw materials critical to the Green economy from unsustainable sources.  The Saltend facility has the potential to become a world class producer of rare earth oxides and to help establish a sustainable supply chain for the manufacture of powerful permanent magnets critical for the offshore wind and electric vehicle industries in the UK and Europe.”

Full details can be found here


Minister Kwarteng announces latest energy publication.

Following a very busy Autumn period that included several key announcements and another successful Industrial Energy Stakeholder Forum, I am pleased to be able to announce today the publication of our Energy White Paper.

This white paper supports the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, setting out a detailed vision for the UK’s energy system that will enable homes and businesses to migrate away from our dependency on fossil fuels and move towards clean energy solutions. This publication contains a number of commitments, including investing £1 billion up to 2025 to facilitate the deployment of CCUS in two industrial clusters by the mid-2020s, with a further two by 2030; providing a £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund for low carbon hydrogen production; and increasing the ambition of our Industrial Clusters Mission, aiming to deliver four low carbon clusters by 2030 and at least one net zero cluster by 2040.

The overarching message contained in this white paper is further commitment towards a decarbonised future, reaffirming how clean energy will deliver jobs and economic growth for the whole country.

I look forward to working with you next year to deliver on this important ambition.
Minister Kwasi Kwarteng

View the Energy White Paper: Powering our net zero future


BEIS have a consultation open on the design of a Green Gas Levy with a closing date of 2nd November 2020.

Full details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/green-gas-levy

The Green Gas Levy, was announced in the March 2020 Budget and is intended to fund support for biomethane injection into the gas grid through the new Green Gas Support Scheme.

BEIS will also hold workshops in mid-October on the design of the levy. These will primarily be of interest to gas suppliers, but are open to everyone. Space will be limited to one person per organisation. If you would like to attend a workshop, please email gglconsultation@beis.gov.uk .

In addition, the Green Homes Grant Scheme goes live today. Full details available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme


We wanted to take this opportunity to inform you Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS): A Government Response on potential business models for carbon capture, usage and storage  has today been published.

This is an important milestone and underlines the Government’s ambition to delivering CCUS and low carbon hydrogen in the 2020s, supported by new commercial frameworks which we will put in place over the next two years. The response document sets out the progress we have made on business models to incentivise CCUS and low carbon hydrogen, as well as an update on the CCS Infrastructure Fund, announced at the Spring Budget. The response sets out the Government’s intention to progress an Industrial CCUS Contract for Difference and to provide a further detailed update on the model’s design by the end of the year.  On low carbon hydrogen, it includes a commitment to continue to progress the development of a low carbon hydrogen business model with the intention to consult on a preferred business model. Alongside this we have also published: Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage: A Government Response on the re-use of oil and gas assets in CCUS projects, which identifies the opportunities and existing barriers to the re-use of existing infrastructure for CO2 Transport and Storage, as well as the assets with the greatest re-use potential for CCUS.

In July 2020, the UK Government announced plans to publish an Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy in Spring 2021. The Strategy will set out the Government’s vision for a prosperous, low carbon UK industrial sector in 2050. Working closely with Devolved Administration partners, the Strategy will set out how the low carbon transition can support industrial competitiveness and the Green Recovery across the UK, including identifying opportunities for new markets and sectors to develop.

The Strategy’s aim is to set out:
• how the UK can have a thriving industrial sector aligned to Net Zero without pushing emissions abroad;
• how and when Government will act to support decarbonisation, whilst sharing the costs fairly between industry, its customers and the taxpayer; and to
• start a conversation about the shape of industry in a Net Zero world.

Industry accounts for 16% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. This includes sectors like iron and steel, chemicals, cement, glass and paper, as well as industrial buildings. To meet Net Zero, industry emissions must fall by around 90% compared to 1990 levels. The Strategy will look at the role of different technologies and measures in achieving this, including using hydrogen, electrification, biomass and carbon capture, as well as improving energy efficiency and resource efficiency. It will look at industrial sites in clusters and beyond. The Strategy will also discuss the role of Government and industry in this transition, including how Government can coordinate the change, create the right incentives and address the risk of carbon leakage.

Ministers and officials will be talking to stakeholders in the development of the Strategy to ensure it captures a broad range of views and ideas.

For more information please contact: IEstakeholderengagement@beis.gov.uk


The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in collaboration with Innovate UK, has today officially opened the Phase 1 competition of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF).

The Phase 1 funding for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which is worth up to £30 million, is available in the form of a grant scheme and will be available for:

  • Deployment of mature energy efficiency technologies that improve industrial process energy efficiency and reduce energy demand.
  • Feasibility and engineering studies for projects deploying mature energy efficiency technologies or deep decarbonisation technologies. These technical and economic assessments of potential projects reduce risks and provide more accurate cost estimates, enabling decision-makers to make informed investment choices.

The Phase 1 competition, which opens today, will run until Wednesday 28 October 2020. The competition closing date will be kept under review due to the Covid-19 situation.

The Phase 1 applicant guidance, which was published on Monday 29 June 2020, contains all the information necessary for applying for IETF Phase 1 funding.

Innovate UK also operates a customer support service. If you need more information about the application process, please email Innovate UK at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 between 9am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

Background information

The UK Government announced £315 million of funding in the 2018 Autumn Budget. The funding is available over the period to 2024. It will support businesses with high energy use to transition to a low carbon future, and to cut their bills and emissions through increased energy efficiency.

The IETF is a crucial part of the Government’s strategy for tackling climate change and reaching Net Zero by 2050. It will complement other government programmes that offer innovation and early demonstration support, such as the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and the Energy Innovation Programme (EIP), and will help to transform an important part of the UK economy. The IETF also provides vital support for businesses in key policy areas at a time when the country is tackling the Covid-19 crisis.


The second Industrial Decarbonisation network brought together 24 participants from around the region.  The network was the first blended meeting, of speakers and participants at the CATCH site, socially distanced and many dialing into the meeting via MS Teams.  The meeting commenced with David Talbot introducing the speakers and commenting on the Humber regions status as the largest cluster for C02 emission in the UK, and that the region has the potential to be a world leader in terms of decarbonisation.

David Theakston, project development engineer at VPI Immingham, started the presentations with an overview of the Humber Zero project between a number of partners including, lead partner VPI, Uniper, Philipps 66 and Total LOR.  David explained that the project goal is to reduce CO2 by 8MT per year.  He explained the pathways and project components such as green Hydrogen, post combustion at refineries and the land available and concept layouts at Uniper and Phillips 66.  David then explained in more detail the project plan including feeds and costs, plus how to link into a new proposed CO2 transport and storage system.

Next, Martin Hopkins from Velocys presented how to develop sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).  Martin advised that the International Civil Aviation organization has an aim to reduce CO2 production by 50% – many of the larger airlines have signed up.  Then he covered other drivers such as the UK excess waste and the government priorities such as net zero, local air quality and inward investment.  SAF is key to decarbonizing the aviation industry.  Next Martin gave an overview of the Grimsby Altalto project to build the UKs first commercial household waste to fuels plant, using household waste as the sustainable feedstock.  The process saves 600,000 Tons a year of non-recyclable waste going to landfill.  Martin outlined the benefit of this is CO2 ready to be captured for use or storage.  The main advantages of these plants are that there is a 70% reduction in greenhouse gasses, reduction in pollutant emissions as it is a clean burning fuel, and a reduction in waste to landfill.  Martin also covered using wood chips as a feedstock.

Katie then gave a short update on the project that CATCH is working on – Innovate UK has funded CATCH and the Humber LEP to develop its methodology for a Roadmap to decarbonise Humber industries.  CATCH and the Humber LEP are applying for Phase 2 funding to deliver their Roadmap from January 2021 through to March 2023.

There is a webinar taking place on the 30th July – Targeting Industrial net zero in the Humber region – which explains the project in more detail. You can find details of the webinar here.  https://catchuk.org/webinar-targeting-industrial-net-zero-in-the-humber-region/

The next Humber Industrial Decarbonisation Network will take place on 21 October.

If you would like further information on HIDN please contact Katie – katie.hedges@catchuk.org


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