Two huge industrial projects steering the Humber region towards Net Zero remain firmly on track as part of a £350 million fund to fuel green recovery from government.
More than a third of the cash – £139 million – is ring-fenced for emission cutting in heavy industry, supporting the transition from gas to hydrogen and scaling up carbon capture.
Both the Humber Industrial Decarbonisation Deployment Project – a scheme from Catch and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership to map out a holistic integrated regional network and help in delivery – and Green Hydrogen on the Humber – a widening of ITM Power’s plans to use offshore wind-generated electricity from Orsted to produce at scale for major industrial users on the South Bank – are flagged up as in contention for further support.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Today’s funding will ensure the Humber remains a crucial part of our industrial backbone while cutting emissions and lowering manufacturers’ energy bills.
“By harnessing the outstanding renewable resources off the Humber coast to provide hydrogen energy for manufacturers, we will build a clean, green future for our industries which will support jobs for years to come.”
ITM, based in Sheffield, is building on the original phase with Phillips 66 and Orsted for the latter, with Mr Kwarteng using it as the exemplar for an initial announcement early this year.
They are two of six projects nationwide that won a share of £1 million for early-stage development back in April. They promise not just large-scale job creation and capital-heavy infrastructure investment, but secure thousands of roles in long-term strategic industries such as steelmaking, oil refining and chemical processing.
Other projects are carbon capture for Grangemouth in Scotland, Teesside and South Wales, as well as a hydrogen and carbon capture network for the North West.
It is understood at least two will be taken forward, with expectations of work to start in March next year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We’ve made great strides towards our net zero target over the last year, but it’s more important than ever that we keep up the pace of change to fuel a green, sustainable recovery as we rebuild from the pandemic.
“The UK now has a huge opportunity to cement its place at the vanguard of green innovation, setting an example worldwide while growing the economy and creating new jobs.
“That’s why we’re backing cutting edge research to cut costs and carbon across our great British industries, and even paving the way for the first ever zero emission long haul passenger flight – so that our green ambitions remain sky high as we build back better for both our people and our planet.”
It comes as the Jet Zero Council also convenes for the first time with South Bank green jet fuel developer Velocys invited to join.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will co-chair the council with Business and Energy Secretary, Alok Sharma, who also welcomed the funding announcement.
Alongside the emission-cutting work for heavy industry comes a £149 million fund to drive the use of innovative materials; £26 million for new building techniques and £10 million for construction technology.
He said: “Climate change is among the greatest challenges of our age. To tackle it we need to unleash innovation in businesses across the country.
“This funding will reduce emissions, create green collar jobs and fuel a strong, clean economic recovery – all essential to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.”