SSE Thermal backs Zero Carbon Humber bid to bring CCS projects one step closer

SSE Thermal is partnering with leading organisations across the Humber on a bid worth £75m to accelerate the development of commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen projects.

The Zero Carbon Humber partnership brings together companies across a variety of key industries in a plan to decarbonise the UK’s most carbon-intensive region by 2040.

The partners have today applied for funding through Phase Two of the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Fund, part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The proposal, which also includes significant private investment from partner organisations, builds on the Humber’s successful application for Phase One funding, which was announced in April.

As the Prime Minister outlined yesterday, carbon capture and storage can play a big part in the UK’s transition to net zero. This bid will advance the development of the necessary shared infrastructure, including a pipeline network to transport hydrogen and CO2 across the region, allowing CO2 captured from energy generation and industrial use to be transported and stored under the Southern North Sea.

The pipeline will run via SSE Thermal’s Keadby site in North Lincolnshire, where the company is aiming to develop a major clean power hub for the region. Building on its investment in the cutting-edge Keadby 2 Power Station, SSE Thermal is now developing Keadby 3, which could become the UK’s first power station equipped with carbon capture and storage technology by the mid-2020s. If built, the station will provide large-scale and decarbonised flexible power generation, complementing the increasing levels of renewable energy on the grid and helping to maintain security of supply.

The projects supported by Zero Carbon Humber could reduce the UK’s annual emissions by 15% and save industry around £27.5 billion in carbon taxes by 2040. The project will also help to secure the future of the Humber’s heavy industry and related supply chains, safeguarding 55,000 existing jobs in the region, while creating major new opportunities for growth.

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Thermal said: “We know the Humber has the potential to play a crucial role in the UK’s transition to a net-zero future, and it’s essential we’re working together across the various industries in the region to turn this vision into a reality. For SSE Thermal’s part, we’re looking to develop a clean power hub for the region in North Lincolnshire, with Keadby 3 as the UK’s first gas-fired power station equipped with carbon capture and storage technology.

“Through the development of shared CCS and hydrogen infrastructure, the Zero Carbon Humber Partnership can help drive a clean industrial revolution across the Humber and wider regions, stimulating billions of pounds in private investment and supporting thousands of high-quality jobs.”

Alongside SSE Thermal, the partnership includes Associated British Ports, British Steel, Centrica Storage Ltd, Drax Group, Equinor, Mitsubishi Power, National Grid Ventures, px Group, Saltend Cogeneration Company Limited, Uniper, and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

You can find out more about Zero Carbon Humber at www.zerocarbonhumber.co.uk.