Eleven leading energy and industrial companies have signed a formal agreement to support a joint plan to develop a decarbonised industrial cluster in the Humber.
The consortium’s plan to transform the Humber region into the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 was boosted last week (April 16) when UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) announced that the Humber project had been successful in its application for Phase One funding via the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
The proposals for the Humber include identifying anchor projects from across the region that can ‘kick-start’ the decarbonisation of the Humber industrial region, with the potential to capture and store around 10% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions per year by 2040.
The plan is a coordinated approach to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by maturing options to deploy capture and storage of emissions (CCS), negative emissions (through bioenergy with CCS), fuel switching to low carbon-hydrogen (produced from natural gas using CCS) and looking into future options of hydrogen through electrolysis.
The companies involved include some of the largest businesses in the Humber region: Associated British Ports; Centrica Storage Ltd; Drax Group; Equinor; National Grid Ventures; Phillips 66 Ltd; px Group; SSE Thermal; Saltend Cogeneration Company Limited; VPI-Immingham LLP; and Uniper.
The plan has the potential to contribute to the future prosperity of the UK’s largest industrial hub, which currently contributes £18bn towards the UK economy.
Chair of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, Lord Haskins, said: ‘We are pleased to welcome this agreement and the commitment companies across the Humber are making to working towards a net-zero carbon economy.
‘This collaborative effort is key to the region – currently the UK’s highest emitting industrial cluster – reducing its carbon output and creating more new economic opportunities through clean growth.
Speaking on behalf of the consortium, Al Cook, executive vice president and UK Country Manager at Equinor, the company leading the bid, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with such a broad group of skilled and experienced partners on a plan that will bring huge benefits for the economy of the Humber and the environment.
‘We believe CCS and hydrogen must play a significant role in decarbonising energy systems in the UK and globally, so we are pleased that the UK Government and UKRI have recognised the ambition and potential of these proposals.’
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