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Major hydrogen pipeline planned to decarbonise Welsh industry

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Wales & West Utilities is announcing plans for a major hydrogen pipeline in South Wales, to accelerate decarbonisation plans for industry and gas customers in the region.

HyLine Cymru will assess the feasibility of a pipeline network from Pembroke to the Swansea Bay area, connecting low carbon hydrogen production with industrial demand and providing options for other natural gas customers.

If built, the pipeline will pave the way for commercial scale hydrogen production in Pembrokeshire, Port Talbot and in the Celtic Sea, whilst also providing infrastructure for energy intensive industrial customers to begin fuel-switching their processes to hydrogen in the 2030s or earlier.

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It could also facilitate the conversion of home heating to hydrogen; enabling south Wales towns to go green while keeping disruption to homes and communities to a minimum, and connect to National Grid’s Project Union, which will establish a National Hydrogen Transmission System to link the UK’s industrial clusters with a dedicated supply system.

Changing the way we heat our homes and power businesses will be critical to reducing carbon emissions, and for Wales and the UK to meet its net zero targets. Hydrogen can replace natural gas in industrial processes, as well as for heating and cooking in homes. It provides energy in the same way, but does not produce carbon dioxide at the point of use, meaning it is an environmentally friendly source of energy.

HyLine Cymru is being led by Wales & West Utilities in collaboration with eight key organisations to explore the feasibility of transporting hydrogen to maximise the decarbonisation opportunity in south Wales. These include: Associated British Ports (ABP), Dolphyn Celtic Sea Developments, LanzaTech, National Grid Gas Transmission (NGGT), Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC), RWE, Shell and Tata Steel UK.

Matt Hindle, Head of Net Zero and Sustainability at Wales & West Utilities, said: “Hydrogen will play a central role in decarbonising heavy industry and building the economy and jobs of the future.

“HyLine Cymru will help make sure Welsh homes and businesses can make the most of the opportunities offered by hydrogen.

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“We’re delighted to be leading this project to explore the feasibility of transporting hydrogen produced in Pembroke to the central and easterly regions of south Wales, connecting hydrogen supply and demand.

“The 2020s must be a decade of delivery, where we put the research and development work that has been done on hydrogen into practice. If we are to decarbonise homes, businesses and heavy industry across Wales then we need to get moving on the infrastructure now.”

Chris Williams, Head of Industrial Decarbonisation at Industry Wales, said: “This proposed hydrogen pipeline will unlock opportunities for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea and help ensure that renewable development is maximised for the benefit of industry in south Wales.

“Hydrogen infrastructure is crucial for the development of SWIC, and to enable industrial fuel switching where electrification is not an option.

“This project will significantly de-risk hydrogen production and demand projects which need connecting infrastructure and help secure the 100,000 people employed in south Wales industries as they go through their just transition to net zero.”

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The South Wales Industrial Cluster was formed in 2019, to help plan and shape a route to net zero for industries in south Wales. Its Deployment Project involves 17 partners working on feasibility studies for specific projects that will reduce emissions in the region. The project involves feasibility and engineering design studies, which will inform financial investment decisions and the first project should be completed ‘on-the-ground’ in 2025.

(Lead image: Wales & West Utilities)

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