Wales and Northwest hydrogen scheme could create 55,000 jobs, say business leaders
Welsh business leaders are backing plans to produce low carbon hydrogen for industry and store CO2 under the seabed, which they say could create 55,000 jobs.
The North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council says the HyNet project will pump £17 billion into the regional economy, creating 55,000 jobs, as well as 6,000 new construction jobs each year in the process.
The switch away from fossil fuels to low carbon hydrogen for businesses will also potentially save 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year being emitted.
The hydrogen will be produced by Vertex Hydrogen at Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in Ellesmere Port, then be piped to industrial users and power generators, with the CO2 by-product stored in the depleted oil and gas field in Liverpool Bay operated by Eni UK.
The company’s terminal in Flintshire will be repurposed so that CO2 can be pumped into the sandstone reservoirs which will be depleted by the mid-2020s.
HyNet is being fuelled by millions in funding from the UK Government, alongside private investment by HyNet’s consortium partners.
It’s hoped the ambitious scheme can be up and running by the end of 2025.
Business Council chief executive Ashley Rogers: “Our businesses in north Wales will need access to substantial supplies of low carbon fuels and energy to decarbonise and HyNet is a major part of the equation.
“We’re very fortunate that we already have a large amount of the infrastructure necessary for hydrogen supply and also the carbon capture.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, creating jobs and prosperity in North Wales and across the Northwest.”
HyNet project manager David Walker, who works for Progressive Energy, said: “The CO2 will be locked away under the seabed – where oil and gas was created millions of years ago. The methods of injecting and storing it will be using the same geology, so they are able to capture and lock in the CO2 over the equivalent timeline.
“We’ve had really positive engagement with local councils because it will bring skills and prosperity to North Wales and the Northwest which is exciting.
“The support of the North Wales Mersey Dee Council is absolutely critical because it really means we have cross-border support.
“We’ve done a number of studies around that social and economic impact and we’re looking to create 55,000 permanent UK jobs, as well as up to 6,000 annual construction jobs, all the way up to 2035.
“In terms of the capital investment, we’re looking at £5 billion but when you look at the multiplier effect, with investment coming from multinational companies, you’re looking at £17 billon coming into the regional economy.
“It’s a trailblazer project that can be replicated in other places and we’re already seeing interest from across the world.”
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It’s that … “And Northwest” that has me suspicious. Will North Wales ACTUALLY benefit?