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Wales & West Utilities Supports Decarbonisation Cluster in North Wales

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Wales & West Utilities is supporting the HyNet low carbon cluster project in its bid to unlock a low carbon economy in North West England and North Wales and is urging the UK Government to award it ‘Track 1’ status later this month.

The company is throwing its weight behind the project due to its importance in meeting Wales’s low carbon and green growth ambitions, whilst also protecting high value manufacturing jobs. The game-changing project will capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) and dramatically increase the supply of clean hydrogen in North Wales within this decade.

HyNet is an innovative low carbon and hydrogen energy project which will put the region at the forefront of the UK’s drive to Net Zero.  It is currently one of five clusters bidding for ‘Track 1’ status in the UK Government’s Cluster Sequencing process, which would allow it to start decarbonising the region by the mid 2020’s.

Wales & West Utilities, which looks after the gas network for Wales and south west England, is also partnering with HyNet Homes to explore how hydrogen produced from HyNet can decarbonise homes, businesses and industry across North Wales.

Wales & West Utilities Head of Net Zero & Sustainability, Matt Hindle, said:

“We’re pleased to support HyNet– the only low carbon cluster in Wales eligible to bid in the UK Government’s process.

“This revolutionary project has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions by 10 million tonnes every year by 2030 – the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off the road. By achieving this, HyNet will create and maintain thousands of local jobs, as well as enable long-term sustainability for businesses and financial security for communities across the region.

“The 2020s must be a decade of delivery, where we put the research and development work that has been done on hydrogen into practice, and HyNet will play a central role in decarbonising homes, businesses and industry across North Wales. It is critical to meeting, and surpassing, Wales’s ambitions of achieving Net Zero and we’d urge the UK Government to award it ‘Track 1’ Status.”

David Parkin, HyNet Project Director, said:

“Developing a hydrogen economy is set to generate a £17 billion economic impact for the North West and North Wales, providing a much-needed boost for businesses across the region.

“The vital contribution that HyNet can make to the regional economy and sustainable objectives will position Wales as a world leader in hydrogen and carbon capture and storage technologies.

“HyNet will enable the decarbonisation of industry and flexible power generation via fuel switching to hydrogen and we anticipate the project will support industry in the Deeside Industrial area, Wrexham Industrial Estate and along the Dee estuary.  It will also facilitate the supplying hydrogen for use as a transport fuel, especially for buses, HGVs and rail, whilst kick starting the decarbonisation of homes, initially through blending hydrogen into the gas distribution network.

“Achieving Track 1 status at the end of this month is essential to ensure HyNet can help Wales make material progress on decarbonisation by 2030.”

Wales & West Utilities is the company that look after the pipes that keep the gas flowing to heat the homes and power businesses of 7.5m people across Wales and south west England. They operate the gas emergency service, connect new homes and businesses, and upgrade the gas network so it’s safe today and fit for the future.

The company is also committed to playing its part in getting to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. 46 power stations connected to its network support renewables like wind and solar power while 19 green gas sites inject enough decarbonised green gas to power approx. 180,000 homes, Additionally, company’s network supplies bus garages in three locations across the south west of England, fuelling CNG buses that improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions from public transport.