The North West of England has the industry, infrastructure and innovation to make hydrogen energy a reality.
The North West Hydrogen Alliance brings together some of the UK’s most influential organisations driving forward the work to develop the region as the UK’s primary hydrogen economy.
The company specialises in low emission technology, offering engineering services for the conversion of engines to run on hydrogen, particularly the conversion of commercial vehicles to run as dual fuel hydrogen diesel vehicles, where the approach allows fleet managers to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions to ultra-low levels.
BOC is part of the Linde Group. Its St Helens site, which has been operating for over 40 years, produces gases – including hydrogen – for supply to the local glass works and other regional manufacturers. BOC also has production facilities at Runcorn.
Hydrogen is used in the manufacture of float glass, to provide an inert atmosphere during production. NWHA member BOC supplies this hydrogen via a pipeline to the company’s main UK manufacturing facility at St Helens, Merseyside.
MMU Fuel Cell Innovation Centre
The landmark new £4m technology hub leading the way in harnessing renewable energy. The Centre is exploring the pure science of the fuel cell itself, driving engagement with industry on a local, national and international scale, and developing the technology talent of tomorrow. A strategic asset for the city and University, Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre brings together the latest technology, world-leading academics and industry professionals to create new, clean electrolysers and fuel cells.
Solvay is an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges.
Storengy owns and operates the Stublach Gas Storage Facility located in Cheshire near the town of Northwich. Natural gas is stored over 500 metres below the surface in salt caverns. The salt caverns are formed by pumping water into ground (solution mining) to dissolve the salt to create a large, underground chambers connected to the surface by a series of metal tubes cemented into the overlying rock. In the future these caverns could be used to store hydrogen to be released during high demand periods.
Is leading the first substantive industry response to the Government’s challenge to remove diesel rolling stock by 2040. The company is working with Eversholt Rail on plans to convert Class 321 electric trains to hydrogen operation, fitting hydrogen tanks and fuel cells to upcycle trains that are some of the best proven on the network into Britain’s most advanced rolling stock.
Thornton Science Park
Thornton Science Park is a high-tech home for innovative and growing businesses in the energy, environmental, automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors. Located within the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone and offering 1.1 million sq.ft of space, Thornton provides a base for new technologies to be developed, tested and deployed in the surrounding industrial heartland.
Using renewable or waste feedstocks, the DMG® System thermally converts these streams into an extremely valuable intermediate product – EcoSynthesis Gas – in an environmentally responsible and economically viable manner.
EcoSynthesis Gas can in turn can be used to produce chemical precursors, allow the extraction of a stream of ultra-pure hydrogen gas, or to generate electricity for use within an enterprise.
Protos is the destination of choice for energy, innovation and industry currently being developed by NWHA member Peel Environmental. Strategically located amongst some of the north of England’s biggest industrial forces, Protos offers the chance to bring ideas to life in a thriving environment.
Essar Oil (UK) Limited (Essar Oil UK) owns and operates the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, located on the south side of the Mersey Estuary near Liverpool. Stanlow plays a key part in the national economy, producing over 16% of the UK’s transport fuels. Significant amounts of hydrogen are produced as a by-product of the cracking process used to produce petroleum products from crude oil.
Cadent owns and operates four of the UK’s gas distribution networks. Covering the North West – and some of the largest cities outside London – its network uses over 130,000km of pipeline to deliver gas to around 11 million customers. The company is behind HyNet, a major project in the North West to produce and distribute hydrogen, reducing carbon emissions from industry, domestic heat and transport.
Reduced cost CCUS infrastructure opportunity through the reuse of the Liverpool oil and gas fields. The estimated CO₂ storage capacity is 130 million tonnes, with greater CO₂ storage also available in the wider area.
Renewable energy sources in the region offer potential for future hydrogen production to move towards 100% renewable energy. The potential for connection to hydrogen infrastructure could also encourage investment in renewable energy projects, helping to absorb excess off-peak renewable energy generation.
Major gas consumers
The largest consumers of natural gas in the area are from the Chemicals sector, followed by the Food and Drink, Oil and Gas, and Glass sectors. These users represent 10% of the total gas used in the area, and hydrogen has the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from them.
This world class project explores the electrolytic production, pipeline transmission, salt cavern storage and gas grid injection of green hydrogen at an industrial scale. The feasibility study will explore the system design and costs and will assess the business case for deployment. NWHA member Cadent is a partner in this project.
Hydrogen is produced as a by-product of the chlorine production process at INOVYN’s Runcorn site. The chloro-alkali process produces significant volumes of hydrogen. Inovyn previously used the majority of this to fire an onsite boiler.
Liverpool2 is a £400 million investment by Peel Ports to create a new deep-water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool, enabling the largest vessels to call directly in the heart of the UK. The facility will not only have the capacity to accept the largest generation of container ships but will provide one of the most modern and efficient terminals in the world, future-proofing the port for decades to come.
Manchester Ship Canal
The Ship Canal allows nearby petrochemical facilities a strategic advantage in the development of carbon utilisation technologies; producing cleaner fuels, polymers and other materials; reducing the amount of CO2 sent for storage.