Gas operator Cadent is pushing ahead with a groundbreaking plan to switch our region from natural gas to hydrogen - creating 5,000 jobs and slashing our carbon emissions in the process.
The trailblazing £900 million project, first announced in 2017, now has the support of both metro mayors for Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region, Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham.
Named Hynet, the project could completely transform the gas grid in the North West by the mid-2020s. Instead of delivering natural gas, existing pipelines will be connected to a new plant that will produce hydrogen - which produces just heat and water when burned.
Meanwhile, the CO2 resulting from the hydrogen production process will be captured and pumped back into decommissioned gas fields in the Liverpool Bay area for storage.
Huge carbon savings
A low carbon hydrogen gas blend will be delivered to smaller businesses and households - meaning two million homes in Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester would reduce their carbon footprint overnight.
Cadent expects the process to cut the North West’s collective carbon emissions by more than one million tonnes every year - the equivalent of taking 600,000 cars off the road. This is particularly important given that decarbonising the UK’s heating is proving a headache for policymakers.
Simon Fairman, director of safety and network strategy at Cadent, said: “This is unquestionably one of the most exciting energy projects for the North West in years.
“HyNet will create and secure thousands of jobs – up to 80 per cent locally – through the design, installation, construction and operation of the new hydrogen and carbon storage infrastructure needed.
Cadent is currently exploring a range of options to fund HyNet, with discussions due to take place with government, Ofgem and other potential partners.