Funding boost takes North West clean energy project a step closer

future of energy

  • World-leading HyNet project on track to be operational by 2024
  • UK Government scheme unlocks over £800,000 support to enable next stage of project
  • Over 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions to be avoided each year
A major infrastructure project that promises huge carbon savings and thousands of jobs for the North West has been awarded over £800,000 in support from UK Government and project partners.
HyNet will capture and store over a million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industry and store this offshore in depleted gas fields in Liverpool Bay, which are currently operated by Eni. HyNet will also subsequently produce hydrogen as a fuel for both heating, power and transport. A UK-first at such large scale, the first phase will be operational by 2024.

Since its launch in May last year, HyNet has attracted significant industry and political support, both regionally and from Westminster. Led by the UK’s biggest gas distribution network Cadent and project developer Progressive Energy, the wider consortium now also includes Essar Oil UK, CF Fertilisers, Peel and the University of Chester.
The financial support – announced today – from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) enables the HyNet consortium to begin the next phase of engineering design for the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) element of the project. This CCS infrastructure is the critical enabler for decarbonisation of the major parts of the North West economy.
Energy intensive industry in the North West operates in a competitive global market, and is subject to UK and EU carbon ‘taxes’. The new CCS infrastructure will not only enable long-term, low carbon production but will help both maintain existing, and attract new, industry to the region.
The first phase of the HyNet project would see around £300 million invested in constructing CCS infrastructure. Longer term, the overall investment in CCS and hydrogen infrastructure in the region is planned to reach around £1 billion.

This will bring a range of economic benefits, including up to 5,000 jobs from the planning, construction and ongoing operation of these new facilities, with the prospect of more jobs and investment as the technology rolls out to other regions of the UK.
HyNet is also being supported by the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT), which recently announced its response to the Government’s challenge to establish a Low Carbon Industrial ‘Cluster’ by 2030. The goal set by Government is to establish a low-carbon exemplar that others in the UK and internationally can learn from and replicate. HyNet forms a major part of the NWBLT bid, and is supported by private and public sector partners from across the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and Warrington, and Greater Manchester.

Ed Syson, Chief Safety and Strategy Officer at Cadent, said:
“This a critical step towards achieving huge carbon savings for UK industry and to enable its clean growth. HyNet is game-changing and positions the North West as a world leader in carbon capture and hydrogen technologies. With a range of partners, we are building a project here that will help decarbonise heat in homes and industry, along with providing cleaner fuel for transport like trains and buses.”
Richard Carter, Chairman of the North West Business Leadership Team, welcomed the news of the award:
“We firmly believe that we have the opportunity to build a powerful collaboration in the North West of which HyNet is a crucial part. Working together we can create an innovative, sustainable and low-cost energy system that will help to deliver an increasingly decarbonised future. It will also contribute to energy security and the sort of sustainable economic growth that will be of benefit to local communities also. This announcement is an important first step on that journey – and places the North West in the vanguard of this new technology.”
Dr Tony Smith, Commercial Strategy Manager at Peel Environmental, said:
“The delivery of this project to assess scale carbon capture and storage in the North West is a critically important step in the development of a regional decarbonised industrial cluster.”
Garfield Southall, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park, added:
“The University is very excited to be a partner in this project, which will boost the competitiveness of our North West industrial cluster, attract inward investment, deliver skills and innovation that can support the realisation of a low carbon global economy for a low carbon glow.  With Dr Carolina Font-Palma and Professor Joe Howe at the University, and all partners working together, I believe that we can accelerate the cost-effective deployment of ‘at scale’ industrial decarbonisation by the mid-2020s.”
Jonathan Chinn, Chief Projects Officer, Essar Oil UK said:
“This is a very important initiative and we look forward to playing our part in this consortium working towards the decarbonisation of energy intensive industry.”
More information on HyNet is at


Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

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