National Grid Ventures, Drax Group and Equinor announce new zero-carbon partnership

National Grid Ventures, Drax Group and Equinor have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, committing them to work together to explore how a large-scale carbon-capture usage and storage (CCUS) network and a hydrogen production facility could be constructed in the Humber in the mid-2020s.

Storing carbon emissions from energy-intensive sectors brings clean growth to industrial areas, supporting the delivery of a clean energy future. The partnership could lead to the Humber becoming the world’s first net-zero carbon region and home to a new world-leading hydrogen economy.

Commenting on the partnership, Jon Butterworth, Chief Operating Officer, Global Transmission, National Grid Ventures, said: “We all agree that we must act now to start delivering a ‘net-zero’ carbon economy and we’re delighted to be working together with Equinor and Drax. This is a project of great potential for the UK and the Humber region, and we look forward to leveraging our skills and expertise to enable this transition.

“We have seen rapid progress in decarbonising energy through established technologies such as wind power, solar and electricity interconnectors. CCUS and hydrogen create a new pathway to greater decarbonisation of the energy system and provide a platform for decarbonising other areas of our economy; which will be to the benefit of current and future generations.”

This is the first significant action from industry since the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recently published its Net Zero report, which found that CCUS and hydrogen technology developed in regional industrial clusters is essential if Great Britain is going to achieve a ‘net zero’ carbon economy by 2050.

The three companies will work together to explore the:

  • opportunity to scale-up the innovative bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at Drax Power Station, to create the world’s first carbon negative power station in the 2020s
  • potential development of a large-scale hydrogen demonstrator within the Drax site by as early as the mid-2020s
  • strategic opportunities in developing a cutting-edge hydrogen economy in the region.

A study outlining the technical, economic and societal opportunities for CCUS and hydrogen in the Humber region will be published by the partners later this year.