- £25m pledged to develop Carbon Capture and Storage technology
- Creates 2,500 construction jobs, 200 permanent jobs, and safeguards 20,000 jobs in region
Humber Zero, a project to decarbonise critical energy-intensive industry and safeguard local jobs in the wider Humber region, has today secured £25 million, £12.5 million of which is government funding.
Backed by Vitol’s VPI Immingham power plant and the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery, Humber Zero is a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project on the south bank of the Humber Estuary. The large-scale decarbonisation project will remove up to 8-million tonnes per annum of CO2 at the Immingham industrial site within the next 7 years. This represents a meaningful reduction in national CO2 emissions, while protecting local jobs and supporting the region’s economy.
Of the £25 million initially being invested into the project, VPI and Phillips 66 are investing £12.5 million and Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, is matching that figure. The initial £25 million will be used to develop the technology to capture and safely store carbon created by the Immingham industrial cluster.
In a further phase, the project aims to produce hydrogen at commercial scale allowing fuel switching, from natural gas to hydrogen, to fully decarbonise the Immingham industrial site.
The project will create 2,500 jobs during construction, 200 permanent jobs, and safeguards 20,000 direct and indirect jobs on the South Bank.
- A cluster of energy-intensive industries lies 1km from the coast, on the south bank of the Humber river. They include the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery and nearby combined heat and power plant VPI-Immingham, partners behind Humber Zero.
- Close to offshore gas storage fields the cluster sits along a key pipeline route, identified by National Grid, to connect and decarbonise other industries on the Humber’s south bank.
- Energy intensive industries account for over 20% of the local economy and one in 10 jobs.
- The project intends to create sufficient hydrogen to power over a million homes.
- Phillips 66 Humber Refinery is a global leader in the manufacture of premium grade graphite coke for electrical vehicle batteries, a UK leader in biofuels and constitutes around 20% of the UK’s refining capacity.
- VPI-Immingham is one of the largest combined heat and power plants in Europe, capable of generating 1,240MW – about 2.5% of UK peak electricity demand and up to 930 tonnes of steam per hour. Heat and power are used by nearby refineries to produce transportation products for use in the UK and internationally.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the components of the 10-point plan for the Government’s Green Industrial Revolution, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in November 2020, and is critical to the UK achieving its legislated goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Government has set a target to remove 10-million tonnes of the UK’s annual CO2 emissions by 2030, a figure equivalent to all industrial emissions from the Humber.
Phillips 66 UK Decarbonisation Lead and Technical Manager, Chris Gilbert, said:
“This is great news for the Humber and a further endorsement for Humber Zero.”
“The Phillips 66 Humber Refinery and VPI Generation’s combined heat and power plant are ideally situated to connect to offshore carbon storage. Humber Zero is ready to be a major part of the energy transition in the region,
“The Humber region represents 40% of the nation’s industrial emissions. By the late 2020s, Humber Zero will capture up to 8-million tonnes per annum of CO2 for permanent storage in nearby locations.
“Decarbonisation in the Humber is crucial to hitting the Government’s zero carbon emissions target by 2050 and this really is an ideal Gateway project for further decarbonisation of the region.”
Project Director, Jonathan Briggs, said:
“We are pleased to have been selected for the funding which allows us to go through to the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) stage.
“The Government’s confidence in the project is a sign of the Humber’s significance as an epicentre to decarbonise UK industry.
“It is cost effective and presents an opportunity to decarbonise strategic industries around Immingham.
“We now look forward to working with Innovate UK and transportation and storage operators who are developing sites.”
He said Carbon Capture Storage was not just an option but an imperative and its importance was recognised by the Prime Minister in his recent 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
“We have a world class partnership ready to meet the goals and ambitions of the Paris Agreement and there is an opportunity for the Humber to become a CCS global technology leader.”
The FEED stage starts with immediate effect and is expected to be completed by summer, 2023, for VPI and the end of 2023 for Phillips 66. The project will start carbon capture in 2027.
The project is a partner in the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan, which sets out the region’s decarbonisation journey and was awarded £1.7 million at the start of the year.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:
“We were the first major economy to put into law our target to end our contribution to climate change, and today we’re taking steps to be the first major economy to have its own low-carbon industrial sector.
“While reaching our climate targets will require extensive change across our economy, we must do so in a way that protects jobs, creates new industries and attracts inward investment – without pushing emissions and business abroad.
“Ahead of COP26, the UK is showing the world how we can cut emissions, create jobs and unleash private investment and economic growth.
“Today’s strategy builds on this winning formula as we transition low carbon and renewable energy sources, while supporting the competitiveness of Britain’s industrial base.”