Global manufacturers sign up to switch to North West low carbon hydrogen

Encirc bottling plant

Almost 30 global manufacturers have pledged to use low carbon hydrogen, produced and distributed in the North West.

From the mid-2020’s HyNet will produce, store and distribute hydrogen, as well as capturing and storing carbon, with the aim of securing a net zero future.

By 2030, industry in the region will have reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by a total of 10 million tonnes every year – a quarter of the region’s entire emissions – the equivalent of taking four million cars off the road.

The 28 companies provide a range of commodities, including food, drink, consumer goods, metals, paper, cars, glass, and chemicals. They include the likes of Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, and Jaguar Land Rover.

They will transition to low carbon hydrogen as part of the HyNet industrial decarbonisation cluster.

David Parkin, project director of HyNet, said: “In order for the UK to become self-sufficient in its energy production, we rapidly need to transition to a range of low carbon solutions. Low carbon hydrogen allows industry to make that transition whilst safeguarding jobs and attracting new industry to the region as we level up.”

Locally produced low carbon hydrogen will provide a high volume of low carbon fuel which releases no CO 2 emissions when used and can be stored to manage demand when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining.

Mr Parkin added: “HyNet’s low carbon hydrogen is in demand. We are receiving a high level of interest from businesses who want to use it to rapidly cut their carbon dioxide emissions, helping the UK’s journey to net zero, and to manufacture low carbon products, driving value for the business and its customers.

“As renewable electricity generation expands, HyNet’s infrastructure can also increasingly be used to create, transport and store hydrogen made from renewable electricity. In the meantime, we must decarbonise the natural gas that industry relies on today using UK technology, including carbon capture and storage, to produce low carbon hydrogen.”

Organisations already signed up to HyNet include:

  • Kellogg’s, which has manufacturing facilities in both Manchester and Wrexham, producing the nation’s favourite cereals, like Cornflakes, Rice Krispies and Coco-Pops.
  • Jaguar Land Rover, which produces the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport models at its site in Halewood, near Liverpool, employing more than 3,000 people.
  • PepsiCo in Skelmersdale, where it produces Walkers Crisps and Monster Munch.
  • Encirc, near Ellesmere Port, which produces 2.5 billion glass bottles each year for brands such as Budweiser, Baileys, Jameson and Pataks.
  • Novelis in Warrington, which operates one of Europe’s largest aluminium can recycling plants with an annual recycling capacity of 195,000 tonnes.
  • Kraft-Heinz in Wigan, Europe’s largest food processing facility, producing in excess of 1.3 billion cans of food annually, including Heinz Beanz, soups and pastas.
  • Essity, a hygiene and health company with four manufacturing sites in the North West and North Wales, producing household brand names including Plenty and Cushelle.
  • Pilkington Glass, a manufacturer of flat glass for the architectural market from its sites in St Helens.

Each company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intent of receiving a future network connection and supply of hydrogen through the HyNet infrastructure.

Demonstrations of switching from the fossil fuel, natural gas, to hydrogen within HyNet have already taken place at Pilkington Glass and Unilever, both located in Liverpool City Region. Further trials, which have received initial support from government, are planned over the next two years across a wide range of industrial sectors.

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