CATCH Industrial Decarbonisation Network write up 15th May 2024


Prof Joe Howe welcomed over 50 delegates in person and online to the CATCH Industrial Decarbonisation Network. He introduced Ed Gilford, Hydrogen Development Engineer, Hydrogen Programme, National Gas Transmission.  Ed explained that National Gas Transmissions used to be part of the National Grid. They are a stand-alone company and operate the high-pressure pipeline system throughout the UK. Ed explained that Project Union aim is to repurpose existing transmission pipelines to create a hydrogen backbone for the UK by early 2030s, initially connecting industrial clusters. East Coast Hydrogen is an infrastructure project that spans two of the UKs most intensive industrial clusters Humber and Teesside.  Ed advised that there are 122 consortium members who have signed a letter of support and/or provided forecasts to get a true view of hydrogen demand in the area. 424 gas sites investigated, 191 expected to switch to hydrogen. 22 sites have plans for production and 4 sites have confirmed an intention to store hydrogen. Ed then discussed these figures in more detail including future industrial demand and commercial demand. More details can be found in the Hydrogen delivery plan here –

After questions, Joe introduced Amelia Mitchell ERM.  Amelia explained that ERM is the largest specialist sustainability consultancy in the UK and operates globally. Amelia updated the group on the launch of a new IDRIC funded study, which is a “one year on” study that investigates the impact of recent announcements on the scenarios in the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan.  Following this review, two scenarios are likely to be impacted, mainly due to timelines typically a 2-3 year delay in progress. However, the Humber can still achieve significant reduction by 2030 and deep decarbonisation by 2040. The full report will be made available in the next two weeks and sent on to participants.

After a coffee break Joe introduced Dr Phil Rogers, Equilibrion, who gave a presentation on Decarbonising Heat, Transport and Industry with nuclear energy. A new small company, with a large impact – a consultancy offering project support. Phil explained the different type of nuclear reactors. Gigawatt, small modular, advanced modular and Nuclear Fusion.  Phil explained that Equilibrion’s focus is the Small modular reactors. Phil then discussed the net-zero role for nuclear energy, and the role nuclear plays in government policies.  Next Ed introduced the DESNZ alternative routes to marketing consultation for new nuclear projects, and the siting consultation where they put a draft out of the national policy statement for EN-7 – enabling the construction of a new nuclear power station – removing the barrier of specific sites.  Phil told the group about the launch of eq. flight, which is the developing project for sustainable aviation fuel and eq. hydrogen -which seeks to aggregate demand suitable for nuclear offtake.

Next Joe introduced Dr Geeta Lakshmi, University of Lincoln, who told the group about the IDRIC project Inspiring young minds: work skills readiness for decarbonisation in the Humber. The project looked at how schools and colleges are preparing the future workforce.  Geeta discussed the methodologies they used, including modified / age appropriate surveys and analysis. 837 responses received across Franklin College (mean age 16.7)  and 5 schools (mean age 12.7). And 18 responses from teachers, including 2 interviews of senior leaders.  Geeta then discussed the findings, categorised into knowledge, attitude and career motivation. Following the research they have conducted workshops in schools and then commissioned e-learning materials and a journal paper produced.

Joe summarised the meeting and brought the event to a close, thanking speakers and attendees.

Lisa Buck


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