The Mersey Dee Alliance welcomes the UK Government's vote of confidence in the MDA-based HyNet Consortium

26 October 2021

The Mersey Dee Alliance welcomes the UK Government’s vote of confidence in the Mersey Dee-based HyNet Consortium with the award of Track 1 Cluster Sequencing Funding for Carbon Capture and Underground Storage (CCUS) infrastructure. The implementation of CCUS from 2025 will safeguard the future of thousands of high value manufacturing jobs in the Mersey Dee and connected economic areas in North Wales and the North West of England.

Cllr. Mark Pritchard, Chair of the Mersey Dee Alliance said,

“The award of Track 1 Industrial Cluster status is fantastic news for the integrated cross border economy of the Mersey Dee area.

The MDA formed a strategic partnership with HyNet to ensure that the Mersey Dee area becomes the cradle of the UK’s green industrial revolution. Track 1 funding sets us on the road of early adoption of net zero industrial processes. It will secure thousands of existing well-paid jobs in advanced manufacturing and tackle the climate emergency by beginning the process of cutting carbon emissions to zero through CCUS and industrial fuel switching to hydrogen.

The Mersey Dee Alliance (MDA) will work with HyNet to develop a leading-edge hydrogen and CCUS supply chain in the Mersey Dee area. HyNet estimates that it’s investment in CCUS and hydrogen infrastructure will create 6000 new jobs. Track 1 Cluster status will add momentum to our plans to develop a hydrogen equipment demonstrator facility at Thornton Science Park with “start-up” finance from the proposed MDA Cross Border Recovery Deal.

I believe that this announcement strengthens the union because HyNet will be a cross border project that will benefit both North Wales and the North West of England.”

Cllr. Stuart Whittingham, vice chair of the Mersey Dee Alliance said,

“The award of Track 1 Cluster Funding is evidence of how cross border and cross-party partnership working brings results. The MDA has worked closely with HyNet, Liverpool City Region, Business Leaders, Welsh Government and local Members of Parliament across North Wales and the Mersey Dee area to advocate for the early implementation of CCUS and hydrogen supply in the North West of England and North Wales by HyNet.”

Cllr. Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said,

“I am delighted with HyNet obtaining Track 1 Cluster funding. This news is a fantastic way for us to go into COP26 and begin the process of addressing the climate emergency in a practical way that retains traditional jobs and creates new ones in new energy supply chains. We only have one planet. This announcement gives the Mersey Dee area the opportunity to radically reduce carbon emissions to avert climate disaster.

The Mersey Dee area will reap huge environmental benefits from being a leader in the development of CCUS and hydrogen energy production. The decision recognises the needs of businesses for new fuels and carbon capture infrastructure in our area, where per head carbon emissions are four times the UK average”

Cllr. Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire Council said,

“This is great news for Wales and North Wales in particular. HyNet will provide CCUS and hydrogen energy for industrial fuel switching and domestic energy in North Wales. Local companies like Hanson and Essar will be huge beneficiaries of the early adoption of CCUS in the Mersey Dee economy.

HyNet will be able to make a significant contribution to Welsh Government plans for a “hydrogen economy” in Wales. There will be benefits for decarbonising heavy goods transport by using hydrogen fuel and complementing local projects like the Deeside Hydrogen Hub.”

Ashley Rogers, Commercial Director of the North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council said,

“This is truly an excellent piece of news for the cross-border area and wider North Wales and North West of England. Low carbon hydrogen is an essential element in the journey to net zero for our businesses, large and small. With this UK Government HyNet will play a leading role in helping to decarbonise energy production, heating, transport and the Private Sector estate in our area for the benefit of our economy, communities and environment.”

Dr. James Davies MP, (Vale of Clwyd) Chair of the Westminster Mersey-Dee and North Wales All Party Parliamentary Group said,

“I am delighted that HyNet has been announced as a Track 1 cluster and will be in line for UK Government funding. The sustainable development of this project will create thousands of jobs and help promote North Wales as a hub for clean energy innovation. From as soon as 2025, the project will enable our manufacturing sector across the region to decarbonise, as well as providing the opportunity to transition the way we travel and how we heat our homes. I will continue to support HyNet in their negotiations with the UK Government and look forward to further positive news in the years ahead.”

Justin Madders MP (Ellesmere Port), Vice Chair of the Mersey Dee and North Wales All Party Parliamentary Group said: -

This is great news for Ellesmere Port and the surrounding region. The certainty of early investment will contribute hugely towards our ambition to reduce carbon emissions, to safeguard those highly skilled jobs in local industry but also to create new jobs in clean energy production.”
 

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