Following on from Lord Callanan’s Keynote Speech, Jake Tudge, Corporate Affairs Director at National Gas shared his excitement about his company’s “growing relationship with this region”.
As the Future Economy Seminar host, held at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, Jake shared more about National Gas, their organisation and hopes for hydrogen production in the east coast area.
National Gas comprises three businesses, under the umbrella of one organisation. Firstly, National Gas Transmission is the company’s arm which operates the 7,500km high pressure pipeline of steel up and down the country to provide power stations, major industry and storage sites with the connectivity they need to get gas from A to B. Secondly, National Gas Metering, which is the largest company in the business, which runs the metres within homes around the UK. Finally, National Gas Services, which Jake entitled the “thunderbirds of the gas industry”, with strategic sites around the country in order to effectively tackle gas-related incidents.
Gas Continues to Play a Huge Role
Jake explained that despite it being a transitional time in how the UK uses power and the shift towards hydrogen, gas will continue to play an important role in the economy. This can be seen in three main areas.
Within the 23 million homes which are heated by gas, alongside the power stations and industry which rely on gas – 500,000 businesses in total, from refineries to small outlets such as fish and chip shops. Finally, when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing, Jake shared how gas remains the back up power for our country. Last year a third of the UK’s electricity came from gas and as a result gas will continue to provide a huge service nationally and internationally.
An Industry Coming Together
Jake Tudge praised the coming together of the industry last year with the docking of gas in the UK’s energy terminal, allowing the interconnecters at Bapton to transport gas out to the Netherlands and Belgium, and back into us when it was required.
The UK has shifted 20% of gas to the Ukraine as a result of docked gas, keeping “ourselves and our neighbours secure.”
The Future of Hydrogen
With so much press lately about the future of hydrogen, Jake referenced the National Infrastructure Commission who outlined a future hydrogen backbone to interconnect those power stations, major industries and storage sites. This leads on to National Gas’s latest project – Project Union – which will involve the repurposing of the company’s pipelines to 100% hydrogen.
National Gas aims to be the delivery partner to convert their infrastructure and as result “keep the UK running.”
In terms of choosing to start this project in the east coast region, Jake explained:
“We want to be where the demand is going to be, and we know in 2037 we will have seven production sites in Teesside, which means that almost half of the government’s targets of hydrogen production will be in this area.
“There will also be five power facilities in this region as well which is very exciting.”
Jake concluded that National Gas has a UK-wide plan in terms of converting their infrastructure to hydrogen, and will work closely with the government to achieve it. Within this plan, National Gas is looking forward to cultivating a growing relationship with this region.