Zero Carbon Humber project details

Drax Group, Equinor and National Grid Ventures signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2019, committing to work together to explore opportunities for creating a zero carbon cluster in the Humber. 

We set out to:

  • Explore the opportunity to scale-up the innovative bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at the Drax Power Station in order to create the world’s first carbon negative power station in the 2020s 
  • Explore the potential development of a large-scale hydrogen demonstrator by as early as the mid-2020s – in line with the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation that hydrogen should be produced at scale in at least one industrial cluster by 2030
  • Explore the strategic opportunities in developing a cutting-edge hydrogen economy in the Humber region as well as Yorkshire and the North of England

Deliver CCUS at a transformative scale

The world's first negative emissions power station

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has emphasised the need to invest in and deploy carbon capture and negative emissions technology at scale in order to reach UK’s target of carbon neutrality by 2050. The CCC’s Net Zero report also identified that at least one of the UK’s CCUS regional clusters should involve substantial production of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030 to stay ‘on track’ for net zero.

Zero Carbon Humber plans to capture carbon dioxide at scale from industry around the estuary via pipelines that transport the emissions to permanent storage in naturally occurring aquifers under the southern North Sea. 

The capture technology is already under development at Drax Power Station’s pioneering bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilots, which could be scaled up to create the world’s first carbon negative power station in the 2020s. Similarly, Equinor has been operating CCS projects since the 1990s.

Capturing carbon dioxide from biomass generation at Drax Power Station

Establish a hydrogen economy in the Humber and the wider region

Clean hydrogen production at scale

Many experts including the Committee on Climate Change 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 pilot project at Saltend Chemicals Park will produce hydrogen from natural gas for use in existing power plants and industry, underpin the UK’s first low carbon infrastructure for hydrogen and carbon dioxide, and enable the production of low carbon chemicals.

The project is a first step to the Zero Carbon Humber vision with start-up expected in 2026. Both H2H Saltend and the low carbon infrastructure will then expand to link in other industrial users across the Humber region.



Producing low carbon hydrogen, capturing emissions

Build a globally competitive industrial cluster

A global leader in decarbonisation

In developing BECCS and the world’s first negative emissions power station, a hydrogen economy and large-scale carbon storage across the Humber estuary, 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 decarbonisation economy.

Zero Carbon Humber projects timeline


Capture for growth report

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H2H Saltend project brochure

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Reducing carbon emissions

Rejuvenating the region

Transforming industry