Reducing network carbon intensity with hydrogen

The use of hydrogen in place of natural gas could offer a route to widespread decarbonisation of gas distribution networks.

The Liverpool-Manchester Hydrogen Cluster project is a conceptual study to develop a practical and economic framework to introduce hydrogen into the gas network in the Liverpool-Manchester area.

It proposes converting natural gas into clean-burning hydrogen gas, using a process called steam methane reforming. The process also removes CO2 from the gas, which can then be captured using existing carbon and capture storage technology and stored in depleted offshore gas reservoirs.

The hydrogen gas would then be supplied to a core set of major industrial gas users in Liverpool-Manchester and fed into the local gas distribution network as a blend with natural gas.

Progress so far

The initial conceptual project is complete and a further project is in progress to scope out the proposed design in more detail. We are also engaging with regional stakeholders.
A future major conversion project in the 2020s could support the objectives of the Government’s forthcoming ‘Clean Growth Plan’ and Industrial Strategy White Paper. It could also lead the way for similar projects in other industrial clusters across the UK.