Some interesting developments of relevance to the community in my world in the world of hydrogen and indeed offshore wind, which I’ve been sharing with the community on the back of a parliamentary reception held to promote the hydrogen east coast initiative.
The coast is of particular interest. I’ve shared articles regarding the connecting of the UK gas grid, currently methane but going forwards likely hydrogen.
The European side of the North Sea is already a hive of activity with important developments in places such as Rotterdam, Antwerp, and then the German ports.
This launch follows an already published delivery plan shared with the community, and one where the longer-term aspirations are evident.
There are six or so hydrogen/ carbon capture hubs in the UK in key areas with planning applications already in train for a CO2 pipeline in the northwest of England.
The first phase of the pipeline development, already being worked up by consultancies such as Arup and Worley, is envisaged to start in 2024 and connect the Humber and Teesside clusters. The clusters are about 120km apart and start expanding the connections into Yorkshire and the East Midlands. Later phases from around 2028 would see further expansions both north and south.
The east coast movement is significant, not just from an English perspective, but with a wider geographical resonance, not just for the east of England – but also the North West and especially Scotland.
The English east coast is much nearer to the continent of Europe, the main potential offtake than Orkney or St Fergus.
The Ruhrgebeit – still the industrial heartland of Europe -and particularly Bacton, where potentially suitable pipelines are already in situ.
There may be Scottish aspirations to head towards Norway, but Norway herself has aspiration to head southwards to the German and Central European markets.
Elsewhere, from a European perspective, linking with the UK side makes perhaps good sense, especially given that the world’s largest wind cluster is operational and looking towards expansion.
There’s much for oil and gas incumbents to build upon, in the longer-term Project Union aspirations:
We will of course keep the community informed as developments occur, but project union may be underway.
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