As a consortium partner, the announcement gives Hanson the green light to carry out a carbon capture & storage (CCS) feasibility study at its Padeswood cement works near Mold, Flintshire.
This feasibility study will provide a design basis and cost estimate for a carbon capture plant and connection to the planned HyNet North West carbon dioxide (CO2) transport and storage system.
The HyNet North West project will reduce regional CO2 emissions by up to 10 million tonnes – including up to 800,000 tonnes from Hanson’s Padeswood plant – every year by 2030.
“Today’s funding announcement is fantastic news for everyone involved in HyNet North West,” said Hanson chief executive Simon Willis. “Cutting CO2 emissions is a key priority for us, and we are excited to be one of the first UK cement producers working on carbon capture and storage (CCS) as part of this collaborative project.
“We’ve taken big steps towards reducing carbon emissions and have set ourselves an ambitious target of achieving a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, based on 1990 levels, and net zero carbon concrete by 2050. CCS at cement plants is a key part of our roadmap to net zero.”
The £72m funding announced today comprises £33m from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) through its Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC) fund, and £39m of consortium partner contribution. It will allow HyNet North West to move to a final investment decision for the initial phase in 2023 and become operational in 2025.
According to the plan, from 2025 HyNet North West will begin to convert natural gas into low carbon hydrogen at Stanlow Refinery, with carbon dioxide captured and stored offshore in the Liverpool Bay gas fields. A new pipeline network will transport hydrogen to power industry, fuel buses, trains and heavy goods vehicles, to generate electricity, and to heat homes across northwest England and north Wales.
The project is led by Progressive Energy with a consortium that includes Cadent, CF Fertilisers, Eni UK, Essar, Inovyn (part of the Ineos Group) and the University of Chester as well as Hanson (part of Heidelberg Cement).
David Parkin, director of Progressive Energy and HyNetNW project director said: “We know we cannot reach net zero without decarbonising industry. HyNet North West is a game-changing project of strategic importance. It is uniquely developed to be low-cost and deliverable and will begin decarbonising the north west by 2025.
“Through the production of low carbon hydrogen and the capturing, and storing, of carbon dioxide, it offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create real change in how we produce and use our energy, establishing a cleaner world for future generations. It will unlock a low carbon future economy in northwest England and north Wales, not only reducing emissions but also creating and safeguarding jobs. We are pleased to be working with government on making the green industrial revolution a reality.”