In October 2020 the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) awarded us a six-year appraisal licence which targets Eni’s offshore fields in Liverpool Bay to be utilised as a permanent store for CO2. The development is part of HyNet North West, a low carbon cluster project to help UK decarbonisation. Eni will be the owner and operator of the transportation and storage of CO₂ for the wider HyNet North West project. The appraisal licence is for an area in Liverpool Bay, where we plan to reuse the exhausted hydrocarbon fields – specifically the Hamilton, North Hamilton and Lennox fields – and convert the related infrastructure for permanently storing captured CO₂ in the North-West of England and North Wales. In March 2021 the project received a funding commitment of £33 million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through its Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC) fund. The funding covers around 50% of the investment necessary to finalise ongoing planning studies, with the aim of the site becoming operational by 2025.
Once operational, the project will transform one of the most energy-intensive industrial districts in the UK into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster and will help:
- reduce CO₂ emissions by up to 10 million tonnes every year
- deliver 80% of the Government’s new UK-wide target of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen
Thanks to this licence we will be able to help decarbonize the North-West of England and North Wales, but also work actively with industrial companies to capture and transport CO₂ from existing plants and future hydrogen production sites. Hydrogen will be used as a transition fuel for heating, electricity and transport, as part of the UK’s zero-emissions target for 2050. The project will have positive effects for local communities, creating new job opportunities and supporting the region’s economic development. Furthermore, we will be helping chart a practical path to an energy transition, and decarbonizing the economy.
In May 2021 Eni and Progressive Energy Limited have announced the signing of a framework agreement to further accelerate carbon capture and storage (CCS) within the HyNet North West low carbon cluster project. Under the agreement, Eni will develop and operate both the onshore and offshore transportation and storage of CO₂ in their Liverpool Bay assets, whilst Progressive Energy will lead and coordinate the capture and hydrogen aspects of the project on behalf of Hynet North West, thereby linking together the sources of CO₂ emissions to Eni’s transportation and storage infrastructure.
Moreover, in June 2021 Eni UK and Uniper signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly evaluate decarbonisation initiatives in North Wales. The collaboration, in line with the UK government's ten point plan for green industrial revolution, will investigate the technical and commercial feasibility to work together on future low carbon project initiatives in the region.
In July 2021 Eni UK, as the group lead for the consortium that will develop the HyNet North West integrated project, has submitted the documentation necessary to participate in the Cluster Sequencing for Carbon Capture Usage and Storage Deployment: Phase 1 tender process held by the UK Government. In the event of its successful bid, Eni UK and its partners will gain access to the Carbon Capture Storage Infrastructure Fund (CCFI), with non-repayable financial support of £1bn for the realisation of four projects for the capture and storage of around 10 million tons of CO2 by 2030. The process involves two project streams with different starting time, one by 2025 (Track 1 projects), and one by 2027 (Track 2 projects). The fund is part of a broader investment plan of £12 billion for the Ten Point Plan presented in November 2020 by the British Government to drive the United Kingdom’s energy transition plan and promote the Green Industrial Revolution. In addition to CCS, the plan aims to promote other technologies such as offshore wind, blue and green hydrogen, nuclear power, electric mobility and energy efficiency of private homes.