07 Oct 2020

British Steel part of £75m Zero Carbon Humber bid

British Steel is among 12 leading companies and organisations across the Humber to have jointly submitted a public and private sector funded bid to accelerate decarbonisation in the region.

The Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) Partnership aims to create the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040 through low carbon hydrogen, carbon capture and negative emissions, known as carbon removal technology.

The scheme is enabled by shared infrastructure that includes a pipeline network to carry hydrogen to industrial customers and carbon dioxide from power generation and industrial emitters to permanent storage in an offshore aquifer below the seabed in the UK’s Southern North Sea.

As one of the UK’s leading steel manufacturers, and a significant local employer, British Steel could benefit from the ZCH infrastructure as part of its drive to lower emissions.

British Steel CEO Ron Deelen said: “We have ambitious plans to invest in a range of technologies to reduce the carbon intensity of our operations, with solutions that are globally recognised and acceptable to customers.

“The development of the ZCH project, with the proposed installation of a dual CCS (carbon capture and storage) and hydrogen supply pipeline, will afford us the opportunity to utilise a range of techniques to reduce the carbon intensity of our operations.

“This project complements the long-term decarbonising technology roadmap of British Steel.”

As well as British Steel, the ZCH Partnership includes Associated British Ports, Centrica Storage Ltd, Drax Group, Equinor, Mitsubishi Power, National Grid Ventures, px Group, SSE Thermal, Saltend Cogeneration Company Limited, Uniper and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The ZCH Partnership has applied for funding from Phase Two of the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, which forms part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, with significant investment also coming from the companies within the ZCH Partnership. The bid for matched funding covers obtaining land rights, development consents and front-end engineering design for the Equinor-led Saltend project and the onshore pipeline infrastructure for carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen, enabling the scheme to move towards a final investment decision on construction. The bid builds on the Humber’s successful application for Phase One funding, which was announced in April. 

The bid’s anchor project is the Equinor-led Hydrogen to Humber (H2H) Saltend project, which will establish the world’s largest hydrogen production plant with carbon capture at px Group’s Saltend Chemicals Park. H2H Saltend will convert natural gas to hydrogen and capture the CO2.

A pipeline network, developed by National Grid Ventures, will link H2H Saltend to energy-intensive industrial sites throughout the region, enabling further decarbonisation as additional businesses switch to low carbon hydrogen and capture their CO2 emissions. The 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.

The ZCH projects are supported by the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which models the wider economic and supply chain opportunities in the UK provided by these new technologies.