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Irving Oil and Simply Blue Group explore renewable energy hub in Cork

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 23/09/2022 Irving Oil
International energy company Irving Oil and Simply Blue Group, an Irish blue economy developer in floating offshore wind, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a commitment to explore opportunities related to the potential development of an integrated renewable energy hub at the Irving Oil Whitegate Refinery.

This agreement will see the companies jointly exploring a series of opportunities that would contribute to the development of a renewable energy hub at the Whitegate refinery – including the production of green hydrogen and its use in the production of electrofuels for local and international markets. Electrofuels, known as e-Fuels, are zero-carbon fuel products produced with electricity from renewable sources.

Irving Oil and Simply Blue Group will also be assessing ways to integrate planned offshore wind developments around Ireland into this renewable energy hub, including Simply Blue Group's planned
Emerald Floating Wind project, to be located approximately 50km south of Cork, Ireland.

"At Irving Oil, we are committed to leadership through the energy transition and engaging in strong partnerships is a key part of our strategy as we all work toward a lower carbon future," says Irving Oil President Ian Whitcomb. "The work we are starting with Simply Blue Group is another example of our energy transition strategy coming to life. Bringing together a key piece of energy infrastructure in Ireland – the Whitegate refinery – with Simply Blue Group's global leadership in offshore wind development can create compelling new opportunities in Ireland."

Headquartered in Cork, Ireland, Simply Blue has a current floating wind footprint of over 3.2 GW in development and a total project pipeline of over 10 GW. Simply Blue's projects in development include the 96 MW
Erebus and 300 MW Valorous projects off Wales, under the Blue Gem Wind joint venture with TotalEnergies; the 1.3 GW project off the south coast of Ireland being developed by the Emerald joint venture with Shell; the 1.35 GW Western Star project off the Atlantic coast of Ireland; and the 200 MW Salamander project off Scotland with Subsea 7.  

"This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Simply Blue Group, and we are delighted to be working with Irving Oil as we jointly investigate the potential development of an integrated renewable energy hub at the Irving Oil Whitegate Refinery,"
said Sam Roch Perks, Simply Blue Group's Chief Executive Officer. "The concept of integrating large-scale floating offshore wind farms with large onshore e-Fuel production facilities offers many advantages and this will provide Ireland with a significant opportunity to become an energy export economy. The continent of Europe cannot achieve net-zero without importing low carbon fuels and Ireland is well set up to work with the oceans to deliver this solution."

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