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.
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.
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.
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.
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.