NWHA welcomes three new members as it celebrates Hydrogen Week success

The North West Hydrogen Alliance (NWHA) announces a batch of new members following the success of the UK’s first Hydrogen Week held last month.

Glass manufacturer and filler Encirc, international multi-disciplinary consultancy Stopford and Manchester Airport are the latest to join the NWHA’s growing and diverse membership.

The news comes on the back of the UK’s first Hydrogen Week (13th – 19th February 2023) which saw over 6,300 individuals and 110 supporters take part. From Aberdeen to Bristol, organisations of all sizes got involved with everything from podcasts and blogs to schools outreach, roundtables and virtual tours.

Spearheaded by the NWHA, the week long campaign aimed to unify all regions of the UK to celebrate and promote the role of hydrogen in reaching net zero and capitalise on the huge economic benefits on offer.

Professor Joe Howe, Chair of the NWHA and Executive Director, Energy Research Institute at the University of Chester, said:

“We were absolutely blown away by the thousands of people that took part in the first national Hydrogen Week. But the mark of real success was how it brought together organisations of all sizes, from schools to big business, and across the entire UK. The momentum the week created is undeniable and should demonstrate to Government and investors alike that we are ready to deliver a hydrogen economy in the UK.

“Encirc, Stopford and Manchester Airport join the Alliance at a pivotal moment and all have something unique to offer, demonstrating the real range of applications hydrogen can have in the journey to net zero.”

Encirc recently announced plans to build a new hydrogen furnace at its Elton plant in Cheshire to create the world’s first net zero glass bottles at scale by 2030. Decarbonising glass packaging will be a key part of the Government’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050.

Adrian Curry, Managing Director at Encirc, said:

“As a packaging material, glass is best for health, taste, and the environment but there’s no denying that the manufacturing process is carbon intensive. We’ve worked tirelessly to find solutions to this and in 2021, completed a successful trial making the world’s most sustainable bottles. Introducing hydrogen to power our furnaces will allow us to take our sustainability efforts to the next level, and fight for a low carbon economy. Joining the NWHA makes perfect sense to us, allowing us to share our knowledge with others, to promote a green recovery.”

Stopford is an international multi-disciplinary consultancy, engineering design and project management services company, headquartered in Manchester. Stopford have extensive experience in both the production and uses of hydrogen and share a vision to bring science and technology together to decarbonise economies and transition to net zero.

Prith Rajendran, Managing Director at Stopford said:

“We are pleased to be part of the NWHA supporting the region’s hydrogen based economy. Stopford is involved in all areas of the emerging hydrogen economy, aligned with our company ambition to lead the way in engineering a sustainable world through the transition to a low carbon economy. We are keen to share our experience and capability, collaborate with likeminded organisations and play our part in realising the North West’s net zero ambitions”.

Manchester Airport is working in partnership with hydrogen and carbon capture project HyNet North West with the aim to deliver hydrogen to the aviation sector at the earliest opportunity, including through the connection of Manchester Airport to the hydrogen pipeline being developed by HyNet.

Adam Freeman, Head of ESG and Environmental Strategy said:

“Manchester Airports Group is a leader in the effort to decarbonise the aviation industry. We’re pleased to be able to continue this work through the North West Hydrogen Alliance, supporting the region as it realises the benefits of a hydrogen economy.

“Manchester Airport is working in partnership with HyNet to deliver hydrogen to the aviation sector at the earliest opportunity. By securing a direct pipeline connection between the HyNet project and Manchester Airport, our 60 airlines will be able to make use of this exciting and ground-breaking technology as soon as possible.”

The North West Hydrogen Alliance is the largest industry-funded regional hydrogen alliance, representing nearly 40 of the UK’s most influential organisations driving forward the development of a hydrogen economy in the North West of England.”