A special business zone dedicated to advancing energy technologies and creating thousands of related jobs has been established between Ellesmere Port and Runcorn in Cheshire.
The district has been established by the Cheshire Energy Hub, which includes a number of technology developers, manufacturers and property firms based in the region.
The main aim is to enable energy and industry to join forces to solve energy challenges and provide secure, indigenous, low carbon energy to the region and beyond - creating more than 30,000 jobs and £7 billion in investment in the process.
The district takes in both existing sites and around 1,200 acres of new development land. Existing sites include:
- Storengy UK - one of the UK’s biggest underground gas storage facilities
- Protos - energy infrastructure, including a 21MW biomass facility and 57MW wind farm
- Essair Oil UK - transport fuel manufacturer
- Encirc - one of Europe’s largest glass bottling manufacturers
- URENCO - provider of nuclear energy services
- CF Fertilisers - nitrogen fertiliser plant
- The University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park
- Capenhurst Technology Park
Members of the Hub hope to attract businesses and innovators in areas such as heat networks, low carbon transport, electricity networks, the hydrogen economy and energy storage.
Ged Barlow, chairman of the Cheshire Energy Hub and managing director of Hub member, C-Tech Innovation, said: “The Energy Innovation District is a British first – a place where energy generators are working hand-in-hand with business to attract investment, boost productivity and increase the competitiveness of our industries.
“It will embrace and develop new technologies across a range of generation methods and actively explore how this can directly benefit industry.”