BEIS minister visits Viridor site after HyNet backing

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UK leading industrial decarbonisation project, HyNet, today welcomed Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Hands, to the North West region.  The visit comes just a week after Government selected the project as a Track 1 cluster to fast-track the decarbonisation of the North West England and North Wales, cementing Government’s commitment to the region.

During the visit, Minister Hands, learnt more about the economic and environmental benefits which will be felt across the region as businesses decarbonise through connecting to HyNet’s infrastructure.

The visit combined two North West businesses that are committed HyNet partners.  First stopping at Novelis’ plant in Warrington, Minister Hands saw how the world’s largest recycler of aluminium, will use HyNet hydrogen, produced at the UK’s first hydrogen production plant, to reduce its carbon emissions. 

Second on the agenda was Viridor’s Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) site in Runcorn.  Viridor will capture around 900,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year at the Cheshire facility which will be transported and safely stored beneath Liverpool Bay using HyNet infrastructure.

Tim Rotheray, Director of ESG and External Affairs, said “We were delighted to be able to show the minister first-hand the difference our project could make to HyNet. Runcorn operates over 90% of the time, treating waste that can’t be recycled, so can supply a steady flow of CO2 into HyNet’s infrastructure. Viridor is serious about making carbon capture work to decarbonise our business. That is why we announced ambitious plans last week at the Prime Minister’s Global Investment Summit to install CCUS across 7 of our sites, enabling us to reach net zero emissions by 2040. Runcorn is the foundation of those plans, capturing nearly 1 million tonnes of carbon a year. We can’t wait to get started.”

After touring the factories and learning more about how the businesses will be transformed through HyNet, Hands said: “It was fantastic to visit the North West today to see the HyNet carbon cluster project first-hand. As we set out in our landmark Net Zero Strategy, carbon capture will be key to helping industry decarbonise as we chart our path to net zero emissions by 2050.

“Backing Hynet as one of UK’s first carbon clusters will put the North West of England and North Wales at the forefront of the UK’s Green Industrial Revolution, safeguarding and creating new jobs, while driving economic growth across both regions as we build back greener.”

David Parkin, HyNet Project Director said: “It has been fantastic to show the Minister first-hand how HyNet will unlock a low carbon economy for the North West, putting the region at the forefront of the UK’s drive to net zero.  Not only will the project produce, store and distribute low carbon hydrogen to industry such as Novelis, it will capture and store carbon from those industries which we all rely on but that produce carbon dioxide as part of their vital activities, such as Viridor.
“This game-changing project has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide 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."
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