In the UK, the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) deployment project, led by Costain, has been granted phase two funding of nearly £20 million (≈ EUR 23.4 million) following successful completion of phase one assessments looking at decarbonization schemes and the infrastructure required for a hydrogen economy in South Wales.
The South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) is a partnership of businesses from many sectors, including utilities, heavy industry, and power generation, geographically located in South Wales. Combined these businesses employ more than 100 000 people and are committed to creating a net-zero carbon economy in Wales that supports sustainable jobs and sustainable communities.
SWIC will explore the decarbonization of heavy industry and identify how south Wales’ available resources and existing gas and electricity infrastructure can not only help heavy industry get to Net Zero but also decarbonize home heating.
Our ambition in SWIC is to create a world-leading truly sustainable cluster, so this deployment project, led by Costain and part funded by Innovate UK, will form an important step for us to realize that ambition. Each of our industries faces a transformational change to reach net zero. This project starts to develop the necessary low carbon power, hydrogen, and CCUS infrastructure that will be so important to maintain and grow the net-zero industry in South Wales, said Dr Chris Williams Head of Industrial Decarbonization, Industry Wales.
Led by Costain, collaborators in the SWIC Deployment Plan are Associated British Ports (ABP), Capital Law Ltd, CR Plus Ltd, Industry Wales, Lanza Tech, Lightsource bp, Port of Milford Haven, Progressive Energy, RWE, Shell, SIMEC Atlantis Energy, Tata Steel, Tarmac, University of South Wales, Valero Energy and Wales & West Utilities.
Funding for Phase Two
With the funding announced on March 17, 2021, Phase Two of the project involves engineering studies to explore the routes to decarbonization, including the use and production of a hydrogen supply, carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS), and carbon dioxide (CO2) shipping from South Wales which would be the first CO2 shipping industry in the whole of the UK and would create an entirely new industry for the region.
The SWIC holds the potential to strengthen the economic resilience of Welsh industry and communities by ensuring operations in the region are sustainable for the long term. As the lead for deployment, we will work with the partners to support investment decisions that will advance regional hydrogen deployment and develop Carbon Capture Usage and Storage to arrive at the best solutions for significant carbon reduction, Rob Philips, Energy Sector Director of Costain.
As well as contributing to the UK’s carbon reduction commitment, the project will enhance the UK’s ability to locally manufacture low or net-zero carbon cement and steel products, helping to drive the low carbon future of UK construction and other sectors.
We were the first major economy to put into law our target to end our contribution to climate change, and today we’re taking steps to be the first major economy to have its own low-carbon industrial sector. While reaching our climate targets will require extensive change across our economy, we must do so in a way that protects jobs, creates new industries, and attracts inward investment – without pushing emissions and business abroad. Ahead of COP26, the UK is showing the world how we can cut emissions, create jobs, and unleash private investment and economic growth. Today’s strategy builds on this winning formula as we transition low carbon and renewable energy sources while supporting the competitiveness of Britain’s industrial base, Kwasi Kwarteng, Business, and Energy Secretary.
The scheme is aligned to the Government’s Ten-Point Plan for a green industrial revolution and will include the engineering studies into:
- The production and distribution of hydrogen from both renewable energy and imported LNG which is distributed by repurposing the existing gas network;
- Cleaner electricity production using carbon capture and/or hydrogen-rich natural gas;
- Industrial carbon capture, usage, and storage technologies along the South Wales coast as well as the transportation and shipping of CO2;
- Large industry decarbonization through fuel switching (substituting one energy source for a greener, cleaner alternative), process efficiencies, and the production of cleaner transportation fuels.