Peel Ports explores a greener future in hydrogen as it joins the North West Hydrogen Alliance

Peel Ports Group, the second largest port group in the UK, is the latest company to join the North West Hydrogen Alliance (NWHA).

The group, which operates the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal, has identified a clear role for hydrogen as it looks to minimise its environmental impacts and meet its net zero ambitions. It is looking at the potential for hydrogen to be used as an alternative fuel source for heavy plant equipment and sees the potential for the Port of Liverpool to be used as a strategic location for trials in hydrogen as a fuel for shipping.

Peel Ports’ assets in the North West are strategically positioned to take advantage of leading hydrogen and carbon capture project HyNet North West, with the Port of Liverpool potentially becoming a hydrogen distribution hub.

HyNet North West has recently been selected by the Government as one of two ‘Track One’ projects on the UK’s Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) cluster sequencing competition.

Martin Olverson, Mersey Sales Director at Peel Ports Group said:

“As one of the largest port groups in the UK, we understand our responsibility to continuously minimise environmental impacts and see a clear role for hydrogen in the future. We are supportive of the development of strong hydrogen infrastructure, as well as other alternative fuels and associated technology in the North West, and see the Mersey as being a gateway to a low carbon economy. We are pleased to be joining the North West Hydrogen Alliance and making sure the North West has an ambitious programme in this area; opening up opportunities for Peel Ports and our customers to have good access to hydrogen and other low carbon solutions” 

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

“There is huge potential for hydrogen to contribute to the decarbonisation of the marine sector. While historically Government has focused on air quality impacts from road vehicles as the main source of pollution, other emitters, including shipping and ports are now being asked to play a larger part in delivering clean air for all. Once again, the North West is leading the way on this agenda and we’re delighted to welcome Peel Ports to the Alliance where working together we can drive decarbonisation across a number of sectors.”

The NWHA represents over 30 of the UK’s most influential organisations driving forward the development of a hydrogen economy – a key aspect of achieving net zero in the region with climate change talks currently underway at COP26 in Glasgow.

The organisation recently responded to the Government’s consultations on Hydrogen Business Models, the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund and a UK Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard. While broadly supportive of the Government’s proposals as a positive first step, the NWHA has called for more to be done to scale hydrogen over the next decade.

The NWHA is supportive of the approach to business models and considers that it will stimulate hydrogen production, however has called on the Government to give greater consideration to the suitability of business models for different production methods, how small scale hydrogen production is incentivised and demand side policy intervention to stimulate fuel switching.

On the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, the NWHA is supportive of the approach to providing CAPEX support however feels this is insufficient to cover all the necessary elements of the hydrogen value chain. The NWHA supports the view that this funding should be focused on production but should retain the flexibility to include some small scale storage and distribution necessary for production projects and argues that further funding will be required to support the rest of the value chain.

The NWHA is also supportive of the Government’s proposed Hydrogen Standard but considers that the standards should be tightened over time to promote cleaner production methodologies once the market has had time to respond to the Standard.

Professor Joe Howe went on to say:

“We’re supportive of the approach the Government is taking in these policy areas and it’s clear there has been much engagement with industry ahead of these consultations. They mark a welcome first step in creating the necessary environment to support a hydrogen economy and we look forward to continuing to work with Government on the development of these policies further over the coming months.”

For further information:

Rebecca Eatwell: / 07827 353113