Industry heavyweight INOVYN joins North West Hydrogen Alliance

One of the biggest names in the chemicals industry, INOVYN is the latest company to join the North West Hydrogen Alliance (NWHA).

Following its launch in November 2018, the NWHA is already establishing itself as a prominent voice on the development of a hydrogen economy in the region. INOVYN, a wholly owned subsidiary of INEOS, has joined with Atkins, BOC, Cadent, Costain, Peel Environmental, Shell and the University of Chester to establish the North West of England at the forefront of the UK’s hydrogen journey.

INOVYN is a key player in the burgeoning hydrogen economy in the North West. The company has been producing hydrogen at its Runcorn Site for over one hundred years as a co-product of the chlor-alkali process. Working with fellow Alliance member, Cadent, and other project partners, it recently received Government funding to advance a possible 100MW power-to-gas energy storage facility at the Runcorn Site. The project, dubbed Project Centurion, will explore how energy storage can produce low carbon hydrogen for heat, decarbonisation of industry, and transport fuels as well as contributing towards energy security.

Richard Stevenson, Storage Projects Manager for INOVYN said:

 “Hydrogen energy could be transformational for the North West and INOVYN is delighted to be working alongside other Alliance members to drive this forward. The Alliance is making a strong case for hydrogen in the region, shining a spotlight on the wide variety of initiatives taking place.

“Hydrogen production, supply and use has been happening in the North West for many years, so we’re ideally placed to drive innovation in the sector.”

Professor Joseph Howe, Chair of the NWHA and Executive Director of the Thornton Energy Institute, said:

“It is a great privilege to welcome such a well known name to the Alliance. INOVYN are at the forefront of hydrogen innovation in the region and their knowledge, expertise and influence will be a real asset to our work.

“2019 is set to be a pivotal year for the development of the hydrogen economy with the North West set to play a key part. Welcoming INOVYN to the Alliance underpins just how big an opportunity this is and how important it is for the region to collaborate in driving hydrogen forward. There are hydrogen projects happening right now in the North West which could be game-changers in the journey to a low-carbon future.”

Hydrogen could play a key role in decarbonising the UK’s energy systems and meeting Climate Change obligations, as well as driving regional economic growth.  Studies show the development of a major hydrogen cluster could deliver £17 billion in Gross Value Added for the North West, creating nearly 6000 jobs and saving 1 million tonnes of CO2 every year.

In addition to Project Centurion, other key projects taking place in 2019 include:

  • Cadent’s HyNet programme, based on the production of hydrogen from natural gas, is a ‘first of its kind’. This hydrogen could be used in industry, homes and transport across the North West. Carbon dioxide produced from this process, and from other industry in the region, would be captured and transported to soon-to-be depleted gas reservoirs in the East Irish sea for storage.
  • The UK Government Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) Innovation fund is a £15million pot offering matched funding for innovative CCUS projects and research into CCUS technology. The North West offers the most practical and low cost scale option for CCUS in the UK; and it’s a vital part of the HyNet picture. A business consortium has submitted a bid for government funding to start early work on defining carbon capture and storage in the NW. Successful bidders are due to be announced soon.
  • Cadent has been given the green light for the first live trial of blended hydrogen and natural gas for domestic gas customers in the North of England through the HyDeploy If successful, the trials would build support for a much wider roll out including via HyNet.
  • The Government has committed £20 million as part of the Clean Growth Strategy to investigate the development of low cost, low carbon hydrogen for industry, buildings and transport and help create hundreds of clean industry jobs. The Hydrogen Supply Competition will provide businesses with funding to develop hydrogen solutions so that the technology can become a competitive, clean energy supply of the future. With applications closing at the end of last year, successful bidders are expected to be announced imminently.
  • The region has already been recognised by Government as a potential industrial cluster as part of its Industrial Clusters mission, which is set to ramp up in 2019. Partners are coming together in the region to put the best case forward to Government for why the Merseyside area should be leading the charge as a top location for global inward investment in low carbon products and technologies.

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