Peel NRE and Progressive Energy are set to explore new projects at Protos, the strategic energy and resource hub near Ellesmere Port in the heart of the North West region.
The two organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the design and delivery of vital new hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure at Protos, capitalising on its proximity to HyNet.
This step comes after Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, revealed plans to design a local CO2 network at Protos to capture carbon from energy generators and surrounding businesses. Peel NRE and Progressive Energy will now work jointly on plans for further Protos plots of land, initially looking at delivering: a CO2 receiving terminal capable of accepting deliveries of CO2 by road and/or rail, before exporting to the HyNet carbon transport and storage infrastructure; and hydrogen production through electrolysis.
Jane Gaston, Protos Development Director at Peel NRE, said: “It’s brilliant to be working together with Progressive Energy as part of the next chapter for Protos. We’re collaborating to explore how critical new infrastructure could produce low carbon hydrogen on the Protos site, as well as facilities to generate electricity to be fed into the grid – helping increase security of our energy supply.
“Not only that, we’ll also tackle how we can extend the benefits of HyNet’s carbon capture infrastructure by linking it to a local CO2 network at Protos, helping cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing energy generators and surrounding businesses.
“This is yet more progress at Protos, where we’ve a track record in securing sustained investment in the low carbon technologies.”
David Parkin, Director at Progressive Energy, said: “Protos is on the doorstep of HyNet, at the centre of the North West industrial heartland, and is therefore the perfect location for new, low carbon infrastructure.
“We’ll be working closely with the Peel NRE team to plan and design projects to support the decarbonisation of the region’s industry as we move into a net zero future.
“We’re already working with some of the biggest employers in the region who see the switch to hydrogen and carbon capture as the route to cut their carbon emissions whilst maintaining operations.
“Delivering such innovative projects at Protos will further strengthen HyNet’s position as the UK’s leading decarbonisation cluster to retain, and attract, business to the North West as we lead the growth of the UK’s hydrogen and CCS economies.”
HyNet is the UK’s leading decarbonisation cluster project, spanning the Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Warrington, Cheshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. It will supply low carbon hydrogen to fuel industry and transport and to heat homes across the region – enabling a switch away from fossil fuels starting from the mid 2020’s. It will also capture, and lock away, CO2 emissions from regional industry who are unable to operate without producing CO2.
The new projects at Protos will complement and strengthen HyNet’s currently planned hydrogen and carbon capture infrastructure. The CO2 terminal would extend HyNet’s reach, enabling communities and businesses not on the planned pipeline network to link up to HyNet CO2 storage infrastructure, helping to further cut carbon emissions.
The MOU will kick-start a nine month period of feasibility studies before detailed designs are carried out with each project being explored requiring individual planning consent.