Overview of the project
The HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline is essential to unlocking the benefits and ambitions of HyNet North West. Our project will put in place the infrastructure to deliver clean hydrogen power to industry, and blended hydrogen power to homes across the region.
We are developing 125 kilometres (around 77 miles) of new pipeline that will safely transport low carbon hydrogen produced by Vertex Hydrogen at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, or the Inovyn storage site, to various industrial customers.
It will also provide the opportunity to blend hydrogen into the existing gas network at Partington and Warburton (near Manchester). It will also link to underground hydrogen storage facilities that will be used to balance supply and demand.
Our pipeline will support the UK’s drive towards a net zero future and will unlock permanent jobs in the region.
The pipeline will be underground, although we will need ten Hydrogen Above Ground Installations (HAGIs) at various locations along the route.
Illustrative graphic of HyNet North West and its potential future stages. Click image to enlarge Pinch to zoom
In addition to the HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline, the wider HyNet North West programme includes:
- Hydrogen Production Plant at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex – developed by Vertex Hydrogen
- Hydrogen storage at Northwich – developed by INOVYN
- Carbon dioxide pipeline – developed by Liverpool Bay CCS Ltd
While Cadent’s HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline forms part of the wider HyNet North West programme, it is being developed as a standalone project and requires its own Development Consent Order (DCO). It is separate to the Hydrogen Production Plant, the hydrogen storage facilities at Northwich and the carbon dioxide pipeline and offshore storage project. Consultation responses should relate to Cadent’s HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline only .
For more information about the wider HyNet North West programme, please visit: www.hynet.co.uk.
Interactive map (under review)
This map shows an overview of the proposals we presented at our second, statutory consultation – the area where our pipeline will be routed and temporary construction areas located, as well as potential Hydrogen Above Ground Installation (HAGI) and Block Valve Installation (BVI) locations.See map
The majority of our pipeline will be underground. However, we will need ten HAGIs at certain points along the pipeline. This includes a Central Hub HAGI, which will act as the central connection point for each of our four pipeline route corridors.Click here to find out more about HAGIs in our latest blog
Click on the link below to find out more about how we would construct the project, including open cut and trenchless methods.
What is hydrogen?
Hydrogen is a colourless, odourless, non-toxic gas. It is used for a variety of purposes, including as a source of fuel.
Hydrogen doesn’t typically exist by itself in nature. It must therefore be processed in one of a variety of ways. Each process adds cost and, like all energy transformation processes, comes at the cost of some efficiency.
Once separated, hydrogen can be stored and transported and then turned back into other forms of energy. This makes it tremendously versatile, capable of being used in the power, heat and transport sectors.
From 2027, the aim is for HyNet North West to produce, store and distribute low carbon hydrogen.
What solution does hydrogen offer?
Traditionally we have burned fossil fuels (such as natural gas) to produce the energy we need day-to-day for cooking and heating our homes, as well as providing power for industrial use. But this produces carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
Low carbon hydrogen offers a cleaner alternative source of fuel that doesn’t release harmful emissions into the atmosphere. It can also be used in multiple sectors, which presents an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions across different industries – in power generation, transport, and in our homes and businesses.
What’s the difference between blue hydrogen and green hydrogen?
There are many different ways of making low carbon hydrogen. The two main types of low carbon hydrogen are typically described as either ‘blue’ or ‘green’. Vertex Hydrogen’s Hydrogen Production Plant will initially be producing low carbon blue hydrogen, but the HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline will be able to carry all types of low carbon hydrogen – including both ‘blue’ and ‘green’ hydrogen.
This is produced by ’splitting’ natural gas. Carbon dioxide is a by-product of this process, which is then captured and stored. Blue hydrogen can be regarded as ‘low carbon’ because almost all carbon dioxide created during production is captured and stored. This is what the wider HyNet North West programme plans to do, with capture rates of 97 per cent.
This is produced via the electrolysis of water. Electrolysis means to use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This process must be powered by a renewable source of electricity (wind or solar, for example) so that no carbon dioxide is emitted in the production of the hydrogen. Many renewable energy developers are looking to co-locate hydrogen production with new or existing infrastructure.
What is blended hydrogen?
Blended hydrogen is the injection of hydrogen, up to 20mol%*, into the existing gas infrastructure, safely and efficiently, allowing hydrogen to deliver cost-effective and non-disruptive carbon savings to consumers. This blended hydrogen is then transported to the wider gas network, mainly supplying general domestic and industrial customers.
This hydrogen and natural gas mix is less carbon intensive than 100 per cent natural gas, reducing the environmental impact of the energy we use in our homes and businesses while allowing existing domestic appliances, such as our hobs and boilers, to keep working without any changes.
A decision on blending hydrogen and natural gas, in relation to the use of hydrogen for heating, is to be made by the UK government in the future.
In the UK’s Hydrogen Strategy, published in August 2021, the government set a target for approximately 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. 5GW would be approximately sufficient power to heat 1.5 million homes for one year.
In the UK’s Energy Security Strategy, published in April 2022, the government increased this target from 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity to 10GW by 2030, doubling the amount of low carbon hydrogen required.
In the Queen’s Speech, delivered in May 2022, an Energy Security Bill was announced to deliver on the commitment to build a sustainable homegrown energy system that is more secure, clean, and affordable. Low carbon hydrogen transportation will play in an important role delivering this bill.