What is HyNet North West?

HyNet North West is a hydrogen energy and carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) project. The goal of HyNet is to reduce carbon emissions from industry, homes and transport and support economic growth in the North West of England.

It is a low-cost and deliverable project which would save over one million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year. The equivalent of taking more than 600,000 cars off the road.

How will HyNet work?

The initial phase of HyNet is based on the production of hydrogen from natural gas. It includes the development of a new hydrogen pipeline; and the creation of carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) infrastructure.

It will supply hydrogen to participating energy intensive industrial gas users to achieve a significant reduction in their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Domestic users and small businesses in the local distribution area would receive a blend of hydrogen and natural gas at a level which requires no changes to their current gas appliances, or the way they use gas.

The new hydrogen pipeline infrastructure built for HyNet also provides the opportunity for hydrogen transport fuelling hubs across the region.

HyNet includes creation of the UK’s first CCUS infrastructure on the existing Liverpool Bay oil and gas fields. CCUS is a vital technology for widespread long-term emissions savings.

The new infrastructure built by HyNet is readily extendable beyond the initial project, and provides a model for similar projects in other parts of the UK.

Where exactly will HyNet happen?

The project delivery spans across Liverpool, Manchester and parts of Cheshire. The primary industrial users are based around the Manchester Ship Canal / Ellesmere Port area.

Where will the hydrogen for HyNet come from?

The hydrogen for HyNet will be produced in bulk at a central plant using established, proven technology. It would be supported by CCUS technology. This is the most cost-effective way to produce hydrogen for the initial project.

Renewable energy sources in the region offer potential for future hydrogen production to move towards 100% renewable energy. The potential for connection to hydrogen supply infrastructure could also encourage investment in regional renewable energy projects (e.g. wind, solar, tidal and biomass). This could help absorb excess off-peak renewable energy generation. Find out more here.

When will HyNet be delivered?

HyNet is being developed by Cadent now, but such major infrastructure projects must pass through all consenting, permitting and safety processes prior to construction. These can take several years. Along with an estimated 3-year construction period, therefore, it is expected that the first phase of HyNet will be delivered by the mid-2020s.

Beyond 2025, further phases may be rolled out extending the HyNet infrastructure to more industry, heat, power and transport connections, and to areas beyond the North West.

Ahead of this, a set of hydrogen demonstration projects in the local area are currently being developed and will be deployed in the next 2-5 years.

What is Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage and why is it needed?

Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) is technology which prevents carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels. It captures the carbon dioxide that is emitted from a source, compresses it and stores it under ground.

Successful demonstration of CCUS is critical for the UK to achieve large scale low carbon energy. Find out more here.

What does this mean for transport?

HyNet can provide a future low carbon source of hydrogen for transport. The hydrogen infrastructure could enable hydrogen transport fuelling hubs across the North West at existing fill station sites.

A new hydrogen pipeline could also provide train fuel. This fits with the Department for Transport’s vision for hydrogen to become a key fuel to replace diesel on the rail network. Find out more here.

What are the benefits for the North West?

HyNet is an opportunity for the North West to lead on clean growth for the UK and showcase a leading carbon emissions reduction programme for other areas to replicate. Find out more here.

What does HyNet mean for domestic customers?

HyNet proposes delivering a blend of hydrogen and natural gas to around 2 million homes and small businesses in the North West region.

Blending hydrogen of up to 20% volume with natural gas can reduce carbon emissions from domestic heat without the need for customers to make changes to their appliances or around their homes. It is a deliverable and practical initial step to start the journey to domestic heat decarbonisation. Find out more here.

What will it cost?

The estimated required infrastructure investment for the full HyNet project is around £0.9billion. This includes hydrogen production, pipelines and full CCUS chain. Find out more here.