North Yorkshire-based power company Drax Group plc said on Tuesday it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Equinor and National Grid Ventures committing to explore how a large-scale carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) network and a hydrogen production facility could be constructed in the Humber in the mid-2020s.
“The partnership could lead to the Humber becoming the world’s first net zero carbon region and home to a new world leading hydrogen economy …” said Drax.
“This is the first significant action from industry since the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recently published its Net Zero report, which found that CCUS and hydrogen technology developed in regional industrial clusters is essential if Great Britain is going to achieve a ‘net zero’ carbon economy by 2050.”
Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said: “The Committee on Climate Change was clear – the UK needs both bioenergy with CCS and hydrogen production at scale by 2030 to achieve a ‘net zero’ carbon economy.
“This partnership is committed to meeting this challenge putting Great Britain at the heart of the global energy revolution.
“With Drax’s carbon negative power station, the Humber region could lead the world in new technologies that can deliver for the climate and the economy, helping to create a cleaner environment for future generations whilst creating new jobs and export opportunities for British businesses.
“We’re excited to be working with National Grid Ventures and Equinor on this project – for decades the Humber has been a strategically important industrial cluster for the UK – it has the skills, industrial capability as well as offshore storage to transform itself into a cutting-edge low carbon hub.”
Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s executive vice president for marketing, midstream and processing, said: “As a global leader in CCS and a major gas supplier to the UK for many decades, we are committed to helping shape sustainable solutions for a low carbon future.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Drax and National Grid Ventures in looking at how the Humber region can be a launch pad for wider decarbonisation in the UK economy and be an example for others to learn from.
“Globally we must see substantial decarbonisation of industry and energy in the years ahead, and we believe CCS and hydrogen must play a significant role in this.”
Jon Butterworth, Chief Operating Officer, Global Transmission, for National Grid Ventures, said: “We all agree that we must act now to start delivering a ‘net-zero’ carbon economy.
“That’s why we’re delighted to be working together with Equinor and Drax.
“This is a project of great potential for the UK and the Humber region and we look forward to leveraging our skills and expertise to enable this transition.
“We have seen rapid progress in decarbonising energy through established technologies such as wind power, solar and electricity interconnectors.
“CCUS and hydrogen create a new pathway to greater decarbonisation of the energy system and provide a platform for decarbonising other areas of our economy, which will be to the benefit of current and future generations.”