Phase 1 Building Evidence and Securing Consents 2018-2023

The detailed design and engineering for Phase 1 of HyNet is underway. Significant funding has been raised to take forward the following core strands of development which comprise the overall project:

  • Carbon Capture, Usage & Storage
  • Hydrogen supply
  • Hydrogen distribution
  • Blending of hydrogen with natural gas for supply to homes
  • Switching of industry from natural gas to hydrogen

Before construction and operation can begin, we need to apply for and secure consent to develop these schemes. We’ll be engaging with local residents and interested groups in the near future about our development proposals.

Carbon capture and hydrogen supply

Carbon Capture

Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage in the East Irish Sea offers the most practical and low cost option for CCUS in the UK. Storage of CO2 is essential to decarbonising industry and to enabling bulk low carbon hydrogen production, and so it’s a vital part of HyNet.

A HyNet consortium comprising Cadent, Progressive Energy, CF Fertilisers, Essar, Peel and the University of Chester were awarded grant funding in 2019 under the UK Government’s CCUS Innovation Funding. This 12-month project to undertake what is known as ‘pre-FEED’ engineering is now coming towards its conclusion. The study has developed engineering solutions for all parts of the system, and, most importantly, has looked at how the system operates in an integrated way – this is a process called ‘Flow Assurance’ and involves complex numerical modelling of the whole end-to-end system. This programme of work will conclude in March 2020 with a report that provides far greater granularity on the system cost and how it will operate. At that point, we will seek to launch the next phase of work, called ‘FEED’, which will last two years and take the project to a Final Investment Decision (FID).

Hydrogen Supply

A consortium comprising Progressive Energy, Essar, Johnson Matthey and SNC Lavalin has been awarded £7.5M of Government funding to undertake a ‘FEED’ study in relation to a hydrogen production plant, which uses Johnson Matthey’s proprietary technology to produce low carbon hydrogen from natural gas. To be located at Stanlow Refinery, the ultimate project may include up to 3 plants, producing up to 18TWh per year of low carbon hydrogen. The team has started work with the goal of being ‘shovel-ready’, with all the engineering complete and ready to start construction, by spring 2021.

A report on the previous phase of work can be viewed here.

Industrial Fuel Switching to Hydrogen

A consortium comprising Progressive Energy, Unilever, Pilkington and Essar has been awarded £5.3M of Government funding to undertake detailed design and practical demonstration of conversion of three sites from natural gas to hydrogen. Once the demonstrations are complete in spring 2021, these sites, and a range of others using very similar boilers, furnaces or gas turbines will have sufficient confidence to fully convert to low carbon hydrogen once it becomes available in bulk from the HyNet project.

A report on the previous phase of work can be viewed here.

Hydrogen Distribution

Progressive Energy, working closely with Cadent, is currently engaged on work, funded under the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA), to further develop the design of the HyNet hydrogen distribution network, and, equally importantly, develop its operating philosophy. The integration of the network with storage sites is particularly important, as this gives the necessary level of flexibility to the operation of the system, allowing it to meet heat demand and future demand for flexible power generation.


Hydrogen Blending to Homes

HyNet is currently building evidence for the safe and straightforward delivery of blended hydrogen and natural gas to over 2 million customer homes in the HyNet area. The UK’s first project to trial a blend of hydrogen (up to 20% vol.) and natural gas was approved by the Health & Safety Executive and started operating in January 2020. A second, larger project, comprising two demonstration areas has also received funding and is currently under development. The results of these projects and other research will be used to inform HyNet.

Click here to find out more.


As part of HyNet, the HyMotion project launched in 2018, and has now concluded with a report which is available for download here. This work showed that using networks is by far the most cost-effective approach to hydrogen distribution and that using this approach, the deployment of refuelling infrastructure and associated hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be competitive with electric vehicles. The work also set out a routemap to deployment, which highlights both policy and technical recommendations to enable widespread adoption; in particular to decarbonise heavy vehicles, such as HGVs, which are less suited to electrification.

Case study

Summary of our transport project.

HyNet North West Project Partners

HyNet North West is being delivered by a consortium of partners, each of which will lead a different part of the project.
Progressive Energy is leading the development of the low carbon hydrogen production plant and the CO2 pipeline and Cadent is leading development of the hydrogen pipeline.