Chamber backs £75m world-leading scheme to decarbonise the Humber, creating first net zero industrial cluster
AMBITIOUS plans are in the pipeline to create a Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) by 2040 – and the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce is giving the bid its full backing.
Following a presentation by Richard Gwilliam, the Head of Cluster Development at Drax Power Station, to the Chamber’s Council, the business organisation’s most senior policy-making body, Chamber members gave the ambitious plans their full support.
The scheme, which includes 12 leading Humber businesses, will accelerate decarbonisation in the Humber – a region which is now recognised as the UK’s most carbon intensive industrial region through hydrogen carbon capture and negative emissions, known as carbon removals technology.
The public and private sector funded bid worth £75-million helps advance development of a new pipeline which will link some of the region’s biggest polluters and take carbon dioxide to an offshore aquifer under the North Sea. A shared pipeline network will also carry hydrogen, widely recognised as a fuel of the future, to customers.
Chamber President, Phil Jones, said: “The Chamber feels a successful bid will reinforce the Humber region as a leading light in efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of major industries, many of which are to be found on the banks of the Humber. Success could result in our region being held up as an exemplar of good practice across the world!
“During this time of increased uncertainty as the world is battling with the Covid-19 pandemic, and with the possible changes Brexit may bring, the Chamber believes it is crucial to drive forward the Zero Carbon Humber proposals which will help to safeguard 55,000 existing jobs in the region, but also may help to create more than 20,000 new jobs, as well as improve the skills of our workforce and lead to more apprenticeships and educational opportunities”.
“We have some major industries in our area, and the opportunity to future-proof those important, high quality businesses is one that should not be missed. Supporting clean growth is clearly now more important to the future of the Humber and UK plc, than ever before.
“The development of hydrogen as a key fuel for the future will place the Humber in pole position to benefit from new technologies, industrial advances and inward investment in the years to come, and becoming the world’s first net zero industrial cluster is now a realisable ambition.
“Creating a Zero Carbon Humber will put in place a clear pathway to large-scale regional decarbonisation which we feel is increasingly critical to stimulate and revitalise the region’s economy as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis and will also help to address the Government’s stated ambitions to “level up” the UK economy in the North of England.
“A Zero Carbon Humber is clearly a major step in the right direction and the Chamber gives this ambitious scheme its unequivocal support”.