The UK’s first-ever hydrogen transport hub could be operational by 2025 with the unveiling of an official ‘masterplan’ and £3 million in government funding.
A first of its kind, the transport hub – being built in Tees Valley – will bring together leading figures from government, industry and academia to focus research, testing and trials across all transport modes as we build back greener from the pandemic.
This could create up to 5,000 new jobs in the north-east over the long-term as we continue to level up the economy.
By creating real-world hydrogen transport pilots, the establishment of the hub will also help us to understand the role hydrogen has in meeting our 2050 net-zero ambitions, which will inform our future investment decisions and prime export opportunities.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “By harnessing the power of hydrogen technology, we have the opportunity to bring long-term prosperity right across the country.
“The hub will establish the UK as a global leader in hydrogen technology, paving the way for its use across all transport modes and propelling us towards our net-zero goals.”
Pop-up trials could see shops, supermarkets, online retailers, warehouse operators and delivery companies using hydrogen-powered transport to move goods and carry out last-mile deliveries.
It could also see local transport operators working with the transport research and development (R&D) sector to deliver emission-free hydrogen passenger services, such as on-demand regional buses or zero-emission refuse vehicles.
The Department for Transport’s masterplan sets out a vision for the hub and a blueprint of the infrastructure required to deliver that vision. The facilities within the hub also include an R&D campus for the creation and sharing of knowledge. This will enable the hydrogen transport hub to act as a living lab to understand the role of hydrogen as part of the energy transition in the transport sector.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “From offshore wind manufacturing, carbon capture utilisation and storage and hydrogen, make no mistake Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are at the forefront of powering forward the UK’s clean energy ambitions.
“Our region already produces more than 50% of the UK’s hydrogen, so it was a no-brainer for the government to set up the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub in Teesside, so we can lead the way in developing the technology and fully unleash our area’s potential as we build back greener.
“Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we are leading the world in the industries of the future and creating clean, good quality, well-paid jobs in the process.”