A LOW carbon future for one of the biggest refineries in Europe has become a major recruitment focus for Russell Taylor Group’s Industrial Trades team.
Essar Oil UK’s Stanlow refinery at Ellesmere Port will shortly begin its annual maintenance shutdown, forecast to yield a major boost to the business’ growth figures in the hiring of temporary labour.
The operation, which will start in September, will put between 70 and 100 technical specialist operators – from engineers and mechanics to industrial cleaning experts – on site for three months at the world’s first low-carbon hydrogen plant.
Stanlow, as a key strategic national and regional asset, each year produces a sixth of the UK's road transport fuels while playing a key role in Britain's broader petrochemical industry and leading its transition to low carbon by 2050. When fully operational in 2023, the plant will each year capture the equivalent of taking 250,000 cars off the road.
Stuart Watson, national business development manager for Russell Taylor Group’s Industrial Trades and Engineering Division and based at the company’s Burton Manor headquarters, said: “Shutdowns are regular occurrences on the industrial calendar but our recruitment programme for Stanlow is immense due to the sheer size of the operation there.
“It’s the second largest oil refinery in the UK – the size of around 300 football pitches – and our recruitment schedule has been intense.
“Shutdown requirements are rigorous and complex as the work needs to be carried out quickly and safely with minimum disruption to the round-the-clock plant operation – this is where early planning by our recruitment teams is crucial to successful delivery.
“It’s a huge job and one which calls for intense knowledge by the specialist teams we are currently hiring. Maintenance of a plant like this is vital for the plant and its equipment - putting faults right, preventing problems occurring in the future and making sure everything is working correctly.”
The Essar plant will be the UK’s first refinery-based furnace able to be fuelled entirely by hydrogen. Once completed and operational, the net zero ready furnace will reduce Stanlow’s CO2 emissions by 11 per year cent a year and deliver immediate energy efficiency improvements.
Expert maintenance of the Stanlow site – along with work at UK gas-powered stations at Damhead Creek in Kent and Staythorpe C in Nottinghamshire – is a major route to the decarbonisation pathway for the UK energy sector.
Rob Kurton, managing director at Russell Taylor Group, said: “A home grown energy sector, cutting our reliance on fossil fuels and reducing exposure to wholesale energy prices, relies on the smooth and safe running of the UK’s power stations.
“Our supply of highly qualified and professional teams to ensure plants like Stanlow are run to maximum performance and efficiency contributes to the national plan of providing sustainable fuels for the future.
“Projects such as this, which put the energy sector at the forefront of decarbonisation, are also giving a boost to many temporary jobs in Industrial Trades as we emerge from challenging times.”