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Bridgend

Council moves to counter ‘wildly inaccurate’ hydrogen plant rumours

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Bridgend County Borough Council is urging residents to come and get their facts directly from the experts after spotting ‘wildly inaccurate’ rumours circulating on social media about the impact of a new green energy plant planned for the Brynmenyn area.

A two-day public exhibition has been organised where people will be able to find out more about the plans, which are still at the design stage, and speak directly to Japanese specialists Marubeni as well as the council’s energy team.

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The exhibition will take place at Ynysawdre Swimming Pool between 2pm-7pm on Tuesday 13 December, and 9am-1pm on Wednesday 14 December.

Some of the rumours have suggested that a new Hybont plant – which uses hydrogen as a green renewable energy source – could pose a danger to life, dominate the landscape, create new pollution and potentially cause widespread damage within the community.

The council says that in reality, the proposed new plant will be based alongside existing industries within Brynmenyn Industrial Estate where it will occupy about as much land as a small petrol station. The only by-product it will produce is oxygen, and the site will be extensively landscaped.

The proposed location of the new Hybont plant (Image: Hybont / Google Earth)

The plant will create hydrogen using an electrolyser production unit and storage tank, which will be approximately the same size as a small shipping container, and a solar array connected via private wire to a local windfarm.

The council added that with similar projects taking place all across the UK and Europe, the Hybont plant is part of a new move towards tackling climate change by increasing the use of clean, safe renewable energy and decarbonising vehicles.

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Hydrogen technology has already seen the safe, effective introduction of 22 new hydrogen buses in London – the equivalent of removing 836 petrol cars and saving 1,848 tonnes of CO2 – while in Aberdeen, 15 hydrogen buses have already jointly travelled more than a million miles while saving 1,700 tonnes of emissions.

Hydrogen-powered waste and recycling trucks are also successfully being used in areas such as Aberdeen and the Wirral.

Councillor John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for Communities said: “Unfortunately, a great deal of misinformation is already in circulation about the proposed new Hybont plant, and some of the claims have been wildly inaccurate.

“This is proven technology, which is already in use elsewhere and which, if the proposal is successful, promises to deliver a £31m investment into the local economy of Bridgend County Borough and ensure that we are at the forefront of the increasing use of sustainable energy in everyday life.

“I hope that people will use this opportunity to come and find out exactly what is going on, and to get the facts directly from the real experts. We will also be providing additional briefings for local councillors, MPs and AMs to ensure that they are fully informed.”

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