The UK’s drive to net zero leaps forward as HyNet North West awarded substantial funding

future of energy

  • £72m funding announced today for North West green energy project
  • By 2030, carbon reductions of 10 million tonnes per year and over 6,000 new jobs created
  • Hydrogen made in Ellesmere Port will be supplied to millions of homes and industrial sites across Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and North Wales  

Following a commitment of £72 million of funding, HyNet North West will transform the North West into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster, playing a critical role in the UK’s transition to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the global fight against climate change.

HyNet North West is essential for UK Government to deliver several objectives within its recently announced 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, as well as the local net zero targets of Cheshire West & Chester in 2045, Liverpool City Region in 2040 and Greater Manchester in 2038.

HyNet North West underpins a regional commitment to carbon neutrality with additional exciting opportunities being explored and advanced by Net Zero North West.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

“We were the first major economy to put into law our target to end our contribution to climate change, and today we’re taking steps to be the first major economy to have its own low-carbon industrial sector.

“While reaching our climate targets will require extensive change across our economy, we must do so in a way that protects jobs, creates new industries and attracts inward investment - without pushing emissions and business abroad.

“Ahead of COP26, the UK is showing the world how we can cut emissions, create jobs and unleash private investment and economic growth. Today’s strategy builds on this winning formula as we transition low carbon and renewable energy sources, while supporting the competitiveness of Britain’s industrial base.”

Steve Fraser, CEO Cadent, said:

“When we first unveiled the plan for HyNet North West just three-and-a-half years ago, we knew quickly we were onto something big. This is a once-in-a-generation moment to effect real change.  Replacing fossil gas with hydrogen will achieve incredible carbon savings, create thousands of jobs and position the North West as a world-leader in this technology. Cadent and the whole HyNet consortium is determined to make that happen.”

The North West industrial cluster region stretches from Flintshire and Wrexham, through Cheshire, Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester into Lancashire.  It boasts the largest concentration of advanced manufacturing and chemical production in the UK and is home to a concentration of energy intensive users.  The HyNet North West hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) project is being developed by a world-class consortium of regionally located partners, Progressive Energy, Cadent, CF Fertilisers, Eni UK, Essar, Hanson, INOVYN (part of the INEOS Group) and the University of Chester.


From 2025, HyNet North West will begin to convert natural gas into low carbon hydrogen at Stanlow Refinery, with carbon dioxide safely captured and stored offshore in the Liverpool Bay gas fields.  A new pipeline network will transport the clean hydrogen to power industry, fuel buses, trains and heavy goods vehicles, to generate electricity, and to heat homes across North West England and North Wales. 


HyNet North West will reduce regional carbon dioxide emissions by up to 10 million tonnes every year by 2030 – the equivalent of taking four million cars off the road.  By then, HyNet North West alone will already be delivering 80% of the Government’s new UK-wide target of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen  for power, transport, industry and homes.


The project will kick start a low carbon hydrogen economy, protecting and creating jobs, setting the region on course to be the world leader in clean energy innovation.  In addition to creating over 6,000 new, permanent jobs, HyNet North West will protect and retain jobs in existing high value manufacturing industries.  Workers will develop fresh skill sets and train in exciting new sectors, fostering regional growth and inward investment.  By kick-starting the UK’s hydrogen economy, HyNet North West will help support up to 75,000 jobs across the country by 2035.


The £72m funding announced today comprises £33m from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC) fund, and £39m of consortium partner contribution. The funding will allow HyNet North West to accelerate to a Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2023 for the initial phase, and become operational in 2025. Further elements of the HyNet North West project will follow, resulting in the distribution of up to 30TWh / year of low carbon hydrogen being distributed by 2030 - enough to displace 45% of natural gas used across the region.


HyNet North West has been under development for four years with work so far including extensive engineering studies and demonstration projects. Environmental survey work, supported by funding from the Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Fund, has recently begun and consultation with stakeholders, including the general public, will begin in 2021 as the planning process to gain consent for development.


HyNet North West underpins a regional commitment to carbon neutrality with additional exciting opportunities being explored and advanced by Net Zero North West.

David Parkin, Director of Progressive Energy and HyNetNW Project Director said:

“Delivering net zero requires a transformation of our energy system.  We know we cannot reach net zero without decarbonising industry. HyNet North West is an exciting project of strategic importance to both the region and the UK.  It offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create real change in energy production and consumption, establishing a cleaner world for future generations.  It will unlock the low carbon hydrogen economy in North West England and North Wales, not only reducing emissions but also creating and safeguarding jobs.”



Further HyNet North West information can be found on our website and within HyNet North West’s vision document.

Quotes and details of all partners are available on request.
The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution Building back better, supporting green jobs, and accelerating our path to net zero, November 2020.


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.

Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

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