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125km North West Hydrogen Pipeline Project Clears Consultation Hurdle

A statutory consultation has now closed on plans for the HyNet North West hydrogen pipeline project. 547 members of the public attended events both in person and online with 151 pieces of feedback being submitted.

HyNet North West is an innovative low carbon and hydrogen energy programme that will unlock a low carbon economy for the North West and North Wales. Cadent, who owns and operates the UK’s largest gas distribution network hopes that it will put the region at the forefront of the UK’s drive to net zero.

HyNet will produce, store, and distribute hydrogen as well as capture and store carbon from industry in the North West. The infrastructure has been designed to help the region and the UK to meet its net-zero targets by 2050, as well as supporting domestic energy security.

Public feedback

Throughout the eleven consultation events, which launched on the 1st October and concluded 10th November, attendees were keen to understand a range of topics including traffic movements, construction management and environmental protection.

Cadent will now carefully consider all feedback shared before submitting a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the Planning Inspectorate and Secretary of State for BEIS.

100% Hydrogen Pipeline

The proposals, which the consultation focused on, were for the UK’s first 100% hydrogen pipeline at scale and comprise the construction, operation and maintenance of up to 125km of new pipelines that would distribute hydrogen produced at Stanlow Manufacturing Complex to several industrial gas customers across the North West.

The pipeline itself will be underground, with approximately ten ‘Hydrogen Above Ground Installations’ (HAGIs) required along the pipeline route.

“Hydrogen from HyNet will enable decarbonisation of hard-to-reach sectors, including heating of homes, fuelling of industry and flexible power generation”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region

Commenting on the news, Project Director for Cadent’s HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline, Rob Donovan said: “We thank all those who came to speak with us and share their views on our project throughout this consultation. The invaluable insights gained will help us to develop the best possible pipeline route.

“The feedback we received will be considered and inform our future planning along with technical and environmental works.

“There will be further opportunities for local people to have their say on the project during the Development Consent Order process. We look forward to continuing our engagement in the future.”

About HyNet North West

HyNet North West is an innovative low carbon and hydrogen energy programme that will unlock a low carbon economy for the North West and North Wales and put the region at the forefront of the UK’s drive to net zero.

HyNet will produce, store, and distribute hydrogen as well as capture and store carbon from industry in the North West. The infrastructure has been designed to help the region and the UK to meet its net-zero targets by 2050, as well as supporting domestic energy security.

Hydrogen pipeline network - HyNet
The HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline will help unlock an energy revolution to decarbonise the North West. (Image: HyNet)

In October 2021, the government confirmed that HyNet North West was a Track 1 Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCUS) Cluster – one of two projects selected to lead the way in developing hydrogen and CCUS infrastructure. This project is at the forefront of the energy revolution and will be decarbonising the region from 2025.

The project was visited by Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Environment, Chris Skidmore MP in September, where he said “HyNet will make a substantial impact on the UK’s drive to reach net zero.”

Final thought

As world leaders thrash about the final agreement for COP27, it is important that politicians do not overlook the work that is currently underway to transform the UK’s infrastructure.

HyNet will unlock the opportunities that new sources of energy such as hydrogen will bring, helping the UK to meet its net zero obligations.

As anyone who has dealt with a statutory consultation, passing this major milestone is not to be dismissed. Parliamentarians who are supportive of this scheme have been in touch with Chamber to discuss the socio-economic and environmental benefits. With any major construction programme, environmental considerations should of course be considered, however, on the face of it, there looks to be significant amounts of support in the region.

Hydrogen Opportunities Commission

As a policy institute, Curia is holding a series of inquiry sessions on the exciting opportunities that hydrogen will bring the UK. Informing leaders across the UK about the opportunities, they will kick off next year with the first inquiry session focussing on transport.

To find out more information, or get involved, email team@curiauk.com

Find out more about HyNet

To find out more about the project and future consultations, visit the project website: www.hynethydrogenpipeline.co.uk or https://hynet.co.uk/

(Image: Sue Adair)

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