Photo: HyNet North West

New agreement to speed up carbon capture and storage element of HyNet

Italian energy giant Eni and Progressive Energy have signed a framework agreement to further accelerate carbon capture and storage (CCS) within the HyNet North West low carbon cluster project.

Progressive Energy, Cadent, CF Fertilisers, Eni UK, Essar, Hanson, INOVYN, and the University of Chester are partners on the HyNet North West hydrogen and CCS project.

Under the agreement announced on Thursday 27 May 2021, Eni will develop and operate both the onshore and offshore transportation and storage of CO2 in its Liverpool Bay assets.

On the other hand, Progressive Energy will lead and coordinate the capture and hydrogen aspects of the project on behalf of Hynet North West, thereby linking together the sources of CO2 emissions to Eni’s transportation and storage infrastructure.

Memoranda of understanding in respect of the capture and storage of future CO2 emissions across the region have been signed between Eni and multiple industrial companies who wish to reduce their CO2 emissions through HyNet North West, Eni said in the statement on Thursday.

The UK’s HyNet North West project is based on the production of hydrogen from natural gas. It includes the development of a new hydrogen pipeline and the creation of the UK’s carbon capture and storage infrastructure for industrial CO2.

According to Eni, driving forward the clean fuel transition, HyNet North West will substantially reduce CO2 emissions and create new green jobs across the North West of England and North Wales, both through the capture and storage of emissions from the industry and through the supply of low carbon hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels.

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The HyNet project is essential for UK Government to achieve several objectives within its recently announced 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, as well as the local net-zero targets of Cheshire West & Chester in 2045, Liverpool City Region in 2040 and Greater Manchester in 2038.

This agreement is the latest in a run of important milestones for HyNet North West partners. Namely, in October 2020, Eni was awarded a CO2 storage appraisal licence, which targets Eni’s offshore fields in Liverpool Bay to be utilised as a permanent store for CO2.

Earlier this year, Eni established a new company ‘Liverpool Bay CCS Limited’, a wholly-owned affiliate of Eni, to be the entity for future licenced operations under the Government’s envisaged regulated regime for CO2 transport and storage.

The project was given a further boost when it secured a funding commitment of £72 million in March 2021. The funding comprised of £33m from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC) fund and £39m of contributions from the HyNet consortium.

Philip Hemmens, Eni’s Head of North Europe Region Management said: “Our agreement with Progressive Energy is a critical part of the efforts being made through HyNet North West. Taking advantage of the unique location of our Liverpool Bay infrastructure, next to the industrial heartlands of the North West and North Wales, HyNet will transform one of the most energy-intensive industrial districts in the UK into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster.

“It will play a crucial role in the target of Net-Zero emissions at 2050. The project is fully aligned with Eni’s commitment to the energy transition, decarbonisation and the circular economy”.

David Parkin, Director of Progressive Energy and HyNet NW Project Director, said: “The North West industrial cluster stretches from Flintshire and Wrexham, through Cheshire, Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester into Lancashire. It boasts the largest concentration of advanced manufacturing and chemical production in the UK and is home to the most manufacturing jobs of any UK region.

“However, this level of industry brings with it an environmental problem – high levels of CO2 emissions. HyNet is the region’s route to the decarbonising of its industry, from as soon as 2025. It will create the UK’s first low carbon cluster shaping the region’s future as a leader in green growth and clean industrial innovation”.