Eni has announced that the HyNet North West integrated project, which is aimed at decarbonising the important industrial district in the North-West of England, has received GBP 33 million in funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the UK government’s body that supports research and innovation in the country, through its Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC) fund. The funding covers around 50% of the investment necessary to finalise ongoing planning studies with the aim of the site becoming operational by 2025.
Alongside Eni, the HyNet North West project is being led by a consortium of regionally located industrial companies. The site intends to capture, transport and store carbon dioxide emissions from existing industries and from future production sites for blue hydrogen, as an alternative fuel for heating, electricity generation and transport.
The project will be the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure in the UK.
Eni will play a pivotal role as part of the consortium by transporting and storing the CO2 in its depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs, located at around 18 miles offshore in Liverpool Bay, for which the company was awarded a carbon storage licence by the UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) in October 2020.
Once operational, the project will transform one of the most energy-intensive industrial districts in the UK into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster and will help reduce CO2 emissions by up to 10 million tonnes every year by 2030, delivering 80% of the Government’s new UK-wide target of 5 GW of low carbon hydrogen and playing a crucial role in the target of Net Zero emissions by 2050.
This goal is fully aligned with Eni’s own commitment to the energy transition and decarbonisation. CO2 capture, utilisation and storage, in particular for “hard to abate” industrial emissions, represents an important solution towards meeting the targets set by the Paris Agreement and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and is also considered crucial by the UN, as stated in its latest Unece report.