Major milestone for Humber’s decarbonisation ambitions

The Humber’s ambition to become the world’s first net zero industrial region by 2040 has taken a major step forward.
The Humber Bridge

In October, the East Coast Cluster was named as one of the UK’s first two industrial clusters set to be decarbonised. Now, several members of Zero Carbon Humber have submitted projects into Phase 2 of the Government’s Cluster Sequencing Process.

The East Coast Cluster is a collaboration between Zero Carbon Humber, Net Zero Teesside and the Northern Endurance Partnership, and will be supported by the government with an aim for deployment by the mid-2020s.

Bringing carbon capture and hydrogen infrastructure to the Humber region provides the opportunity to decarbonise the UK’s largest emitting industrial region and unlock value for businesses and communities alike. This phase of the UK’s Cluster Sequencing Process is another step forward in the region’s transformation and will identify the first projects to connect into the shared infrastructure.

A range of projects have been submitted by Zero Carbon Humber partners. The projects are ambitious in scale and cover a breadth of industries, highlighting the potential for the Humber to become a global leader in decarbonisation. Projects include:

  • H2H Saltend – Led by Equinor, this 600 MW low carbon hydrogen production facility will ‘kick-start’ wider Humber decarbonisation by first reducing emissions at Saltend Chemicals Park, one of the region’s most carbon intensive sites. By fuel switching the on-site power station from natural gas to hydrogen and also providing hydrogen to multiple other offtakers for use in their processes and products, the project could reduce the Park’s emissions by around one million tonnes – around a third of its current total.
  • Humber Hub – Led by Uniper, a blue and green hydrogen production hub development at its Killingholme site, operational later this decade. Hydrogen production at Killingholme could see the capture of approximately 1.6Mt of carbon per year, contributing to the UK Government’s target to capture 10Mt of carbon per year by 2030. The hydrogen produced could be used to decarbonise heavy industry, transport, heating and power throughout the Humber region and beyond.
  • Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station – Led by SSE Thermal and Equinor, a new highly-efficient power station which could become the UK’s first equipped with carbon capture technology. With the potential to capture more than 30 million tonnes of CO2 across its lifetime, it is an ideal project to support the UK’s transition to net zero and deliver a secure, decarbonised power system by 2035, and back up renewable generation.
  • BECCS at Drax – Led by Drax Group, Drax's first BECCS unit could be operational by 2027, delivering the UK's largest carbon capture project and permanently removing millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The project has submitted an Expression of Interest as part of the Government’s parallel selection process for engineered Greenhouse Gas Removal technologies

Other local decarbonisation projects, including some from organisations outside of the Zero Carbon Humber partnership, have also made submissions, strengthening the regional case.

Following the submission process, projects will now be assessed with a decision expected from May 2022 on which ones will be taken forward to negotiations.

In total, Zero Carbon Humber consists of 14 leading organisations in the energy, industrial, network operation, and research & innovation sectors, including Associated British Ports, British Steel, Centrica Storage Ltd, Drax Group, Equinor, INEOS Acetyls, Mitsubishi Power, National Grid Ventures, px Group, SSE Thermal, Saltend Cogeneration Company Limited, Uniper, the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), and Velocys.