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    UK Awards Hydrogen Scheme $1mn


The government is funding development work that could lead to a major gas substitution project.

by: William Powell

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UK Awards Hydrogen Scheme $1mn

The UK government has awarded the northwest England HyNet project £800,000 ($1mn) to undertake further feasibility work in relation to hydrogen supply and use by industry, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) said September 2. If all goes well, much more taxpayers' money will be awarded to do further development work, it said.

The project includes the development and deployment of a hydrogen production facility utilising Johnson Matthey’s high efficiency low carbon hydrogen process at Essar’s refinery at Stanlow. This first plant alone will deliver over 600,000 metric tons/yr of carbon dioxide reductions, displacing around 2% of the UK’s industrial demand for natural gas, and it received $500,000 of the grant.

And under the government's industrial fuel switching programme, a consortium comprising Progressive Energy and several major industrial gas users in the northwest, including Pilkington, received the other £300,000.

The project involves the conversion to hydrogen of several major industrial plants, including boilers, kilns, furnaces and heaters. These will be supplied with low carbon hydrogen by pipelines from the production plant being developed at Stanlow.

Progressive Energy is leading the development of bids into the next phases of both the hydrogen supply and the industrial fuel-switching competitions. From these it hopes to secure up to a further £15mn to undertake front-end engineering design studies and demonstrations to delivering a ‘shovel ready’ project for investment.

As recently recognised by the Committee on Climate Change, low carbon hydrogen has a vital role to play in meeting the UK's ‘Net Zero’ commitments. With an appropriate policy framework, HyNet could be producing and distributing low carbon hydrogen in 2024, Beis said.

The wider HyNet ‘cluster’ includes supply of hydrogen both for flexible power generation to complement intermittent renewables such as wind and solar and to reduce the carbon footprint for households in the northwest. It also plays a vital role in delivering the government’s clean growth strategy, safeguarding existing industry and attracting inward investment into the region and the UK more widely.