THE VISION

Zero Carbon Humber: delivering our net zero future

Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) brings together international energy producers, major regional industries, leading infrastructure and logistics operators, global engineering firms and academic institutions in a plan to decarbonise the UK’s largest industrial region.

This will be enabled by shared trans-regional pipelines, for low-carbon hydrogen and captured carbon emissions, creating the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040.

Delivering this is expected to protect 55,000 existing jobs in the Humber and create 49,000 new ones, while supporting skills, apprenticeships and educational opportunities in the region.

 

WHAT ZERO CARBON HUMBER WILL DELIVER

A FUTURE TOUR OF THE DECARBONISED INDUSTRIAL CLUSTER

Equinor-led Hydrogen to Humber (H2H) Saltend is Zero Carbon Humber’s anchor project. It will establish the world’s largest hydrogen production plant with carbon capture at px Group’s Saltend Chemicals Park.

The H2H Saltend project will be the starting point for a carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen pipeline network developed by National Grid Ventures, connecting energy-intensive industrial sites throughout the region, offering businesses the options to directly capture their emissions or fuel-switch to hydrogen.

All captured CO2 will be compressed at Centrica Storage’s Easington site and stored under the southern North Sea using offshore infrastructure shared with the Teesside industrial cluster.

As this shared infrastructure is delivered, other Zero Carbon Humber partners will connect their infrastructure, currently in development, to the pipelines. For example:

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), at Drax Power Station near Selby, from 2027, scaled up to become the world’s first carbon negative power station by 2030. 

SSE Thermal’s Keadby 3, near Scunthorpe, the UK’s first gas-fired power station with carbon capture and storage (CCS) by the mid-2020s.

At Uniper’s Killingholme site in Immingham, clean hydrogen production, in line with the company’s pledge to be carbon neutral in Europe by 2035.

Establish a hydrogen economy in the Humber and the wider region

Clean hydrogen production at scale

Many experts including the Climate Change Committee (CCC) see clean hydrogen production and fuel switching from fossil fuels to hydrogen as pivotal for the UK to reach net zero by 2050. Hydrogen produced at scale can be applied to industry, power, heat, transport and even serve as energy storage.

Equinor’s H2H Saltend project at Saltend Chemicals Park will produce blue hydrogen by reforming natural gas, initially for use in existing power plants and industry, whilst capturing its carbon emissions. This will underpin the UK’s first net zero infrastructure for hydrogen and carbon dioxide, and enable industries in the region to produce low carbon chemicals. There is also the potential to incorporate green hydrogen production, making use of increasing supplies of renewable energy from offshore wind in the Humber.

The project is a first step to realising the Zero Carbon Humber vision with operations expected from2026. Both H2H Saltend and the net zero infrastructure will then expand to facilitate other industrial users across the Humber region. Hydrogen could be produced at other sites, in addition to Saltend.

Producing low carbon hydrogen, capturing emissions

Deliver CCUS at a transformative scale

Carbon capture for energy, industry and negative emissions

The CCC has emphasised the need to invest in and deploy carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) and greenhouse gas removal (GGR) or negative emissions technology at scale in order to reach the UK’s legally-binding target of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Zero Carbon Humber partners will capture CO2 at scale from electricity generation, hydrogen production and industrial processes around the estuary via pipelines that transport the emissions to permanent storage in naturally occurring aquifers under the southern North Sea. 

The initial trio of CCUS projects within the cluster are blue hydrogen production at H2H Saltend, low carbon gas power Keadby 3 and carbon negative biomass power at Drax Power Station.

SSE Thermal has over a decade of experience with CCUS projects. Its Keadby 3 power station currently seeking planning consent will generate 910 megawatts (MW) of flexible, electrical power while capturing 1.5 million tonnes (MT) of CO2 per year.

Drax Group’s biggest power station, in North Yorkshire, will generate both negative emissions and renewable electrical power. By 2030, some 8MT CO2 could be captured per year at Drax Power Station, generating firm power via two 600 MW+ BECCS units. In 2019, Drax became the first company in the world to capture biogenic carbon at an operational biomass power plant.

Capturing carbon dioxide from power generation at Drax and Keadby 3 power stations

Build a globally competitive industrial cluster

A global leader in decarbonisation

In developing large-scale CCUS across the Humber estuary, low carbon hydrogen production, clean gas-fired power generation and the world’s first BECCS-based negative emissions power station, Zero Carbon Humber will establish the wider region as a global leader in decarbonisation.

In addition to the jobs and clean growth it offers the region, it will also develop skills, knowledge and technology than can be exported around the world – putting the Humber estuary and wider region at the centre of a global, decarbonised economy.