The North West UK’s bid to become one of the UK’s first carbon capture clusters has seen support by the membership of the North West Hydrogen Alliance (NWHA).

In preparation for the upcoming carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) sequencing competition, the NWHA sent a letter to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy calling for the Government to support HyNet North West.

Representing 30 of the UK’s most influential organisations pushing for further development of a hydrogen economy, the NWHA argued that the project is vital for levelling up the UK and essential to the delivery of the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Members of the organisation include leading UK and global companies such as INOVYN (part of the INEOS Group), Peel NRE (part of Peel L&P), ABB, Atkins, Costain, Mott MacDonald, Uniper and Cadent (the UK’s largest gas distribution network).

Considered a vital development of a hydrogen economy in the UK, the Committee on Climate Change called CCUS “a necessity not an option” for UK’s fight against climate change.

Up to £1 bn has been pledged by the Prime Minister to support CCUS in four industrial clusters, or ‘SuperPlaces’. A competition launched by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for Phase 1 of the CCUS cluster sequencing process will seek to identify at least two CCUS clusters deemed to be ready for mid-2020s deployment to sequence on to ‘Track 1’ of the process.

NWHA CCUS Infographic

NWHA CCUS Infographic

The North West’s HyNet North West project is on track to be ready for as early as 2025 and is set to deliver over three-quarters of the Government’s 2030 target for hydrogen production and 100% of the target for carbon dioxide (CO2).

Commenting on the hydrogen economy in the North West, Joe Howe, Chair of the NWHA and Executive Director at Thornton Research Institute at the University of Chester, said, “CCUS is essential to the development of a hydrogen economy in the UK. It will enable blue hydrogen to be developed quickly and at scale, unlocking the hydrogen transportation and storage infrastructure which green hydrogen cab then readily connect to.”

“In the North West, we are committed to becoming one of the first two carbon capture clusters. We have a unique opportunity to repurpose existing onshore and offshore assets before they need to be decommissioned and deliver one of the lowest cost carbon capture clusters in the UK.”

He added that the opportunity to create a world leading low carbon industrial cluster, which is vital for the journey to net zero, must be grasped without delay.

In addition to decarbonising 30 major manufacturing sites across multiple sectors, the company is set to be the UK’s first net negative emissions waste company after it announced that Viridor, one of the UK’s leading recycling, resource and waste management companies is to join the HyNet consortium.

Myles Kitcher, Executive Director, Peel NRE, said that linking together the multitude of low carbon projects across the North West and beyond will futureproof existing industry as well as safeguard and create thousands of jobs.

With the carbon capture and storage (CCS) project InBECCS in the works, a carbon capture and utilisation project by Tata Chemicals in Cheshire that uses food grade CO2 will see the region strengthening its position as an energy hub.