Bay Hydrogen Hub project gets major boost
An EDF led consortium to utilise innovative technology which uses nuclear generated heat and electricity to create hydrogen for asphalt and cement sites, has won government backing.
The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy awarded the Bay Hydrogen Hub – Hydrogen4Hanson project, in Lancashire, almost £400,000 in funding for a feasibility study recently. This funding has been made available from the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, under the Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator Programme. This project is a key step towards the decarbonisation of the asphalt and cement industries, developing nuclear enabled hydrogen production and investigating technologies to deliver hydrogen to dispersed industrial sites.
The consortium, which involves Hanson UK, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Hynamics, CERES Power, EDF R&D and EDF Generation, will undertake this Stream 2A initial feasibility study, with the future target of demonstrating the technology at the megawatt scale through 2023-25.
The concept is to demonstrate solid oxide electrolysis (SOEC) integrated with nuclear heat and electricity to provide low carbon, low-cost hydrogen via novel, next generation composite storage tankers to dispersed asphalt and cement sites in the area around Heysham nuclear power station.
The technology could improve hydrogen production efficiency by 20% when compared to conventional electrolysis and has not yet been physically demonstrated anywhere in the world. Neither has the use of hydrogen as a fuel for asphalt production. This approach has the potential for significant carbon emission reduction, supporting the UK’s net zero mission and ensuring that the nation continues leading the way in the cement and asphalt industries.
Patrick Dupeyrat, EDF UK Research & Development, said “This award is an enormous vote of confidence in our project. Decarbonising UK industry is one of the biggest challenges the nation faces in the push for Net Zero – using nuclear power to produce hydrogen which can power the carbon heavy asphalt industry is a logical thing to do.”
“Doing so will help create the nation’s new nuclear future with new innovative technology and could help safeguard jobs.”
Rachael Glaving, EDF Generation Strategic & Commercial Development said: “This is a fantastic project and a great opportunity for EDF to demonstrate how nuclear can contribute to the energy transition. The proposed study highlights how future nuclear stations might not only provide electricity but also heat which in this case will be used to support hydrogen production more efficiently than is currently possible.”
The Bay Hydrogen Hub research and development will also make a significant contribution to decarbonising multiple construction industries and supporting nuclear generated hydrogen from the next generation of nuclear reactors.
Marian Garfield, sustainability director of Hanson UK, said: “The use of hydrogen as a fuel at asphalt sites has not yet been physically demonstrated anywhere in the world, so we are delighted to once again be leading the way with new technologies that have the potential to significantly cut carbon emissions across our industry. Our involvement in this project is another example of our commitment to meeting our 2050 net zero carbon ambitions.”
It is hoped that the project will demonstrate a key step forward towards the decarbonisation of both the asphalt and cement industries and has the potential to be upscaled to more than 250 sites in the UK alone, and learnings disseminated across the mineral products industry.
Gareth Headdock, NNL Vice President Government and New Build, said: “NNL’s role in this project is integral in enabling deeper industrial decarbonisation through nuclear energy. We will examine how this demonstration project could unlock the opportunity for SOEC to be coupled to a wider range of nuclear reactor types, its scalability and coupling techniques to other industrial applications."
Pierre de Raphélis-Soissan, Global Business Development Director at Hynamics, said: “As a company we are committed to this project alongside EDF and the partners. It will enable us to develop learnings on nuclear hydrogen production which shall at the same time play a part in the drive towards decarbonisation of the asphalt and cement industry. The potential for carbon reduction drives us to accelerate technology development and its applications across the UK.”
Notes for Editors
About EDF in the UK
EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future and tackling climate change. We are Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity – from our five generating nuclear power stations and more than thirty wind farms – meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand. In addition to being one of the largest suppliers to British homes and businesses, we’re a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping our customers become more energy efficient and independent. We continue to invest in the UK’s low carbon energy infrastructure, constructing the first new nuclear power station in a generation at Hinkley Point C, leading the development of plans for Sizewell C in Suffolk, and construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK we employ around 11,000 people. Visit EDF Energy
NNL is the UK’s national laboratory for nuclear fission. Government owned, we cover the whole of the nuclear fuel cycle. With our unique set of skills, facilities and capabilities – including four worldleading laboratories in North West England – we are harnessing nuclear science to benefit society. Visit NNL
EDF’s low-carbon hydrogen development business, incorporated since 2018 and currently operating one of the very few hydrogen production and refuelling stations in Europe. With a plan to develop 3GW of electrolytic hydrogen by 2030, Hynamics has a key focus on the UK market. Visit Hynamics
A leading developer of clean energy technology enabling the world's most progressive companies to decarbonise at scale and pace. Ceres’ technology includes fuel cells for power generation and electrolysers for green hydrogen. Our licensing model has seen us establish partnerships with some of the world’s most progressive companies to develop clean energy at the scale and pace needed to decarbonise power generation, transportation, industry, and everyday living. Visit Ceres Tech
Hanson UK is a leading supplier of low carbon heavy building materials to the construction industry. We are part of Heidelberg Materials, one of the largest building materials manufacturers in the world, the global market leader in aggregates which also has leading positions in asphalt, cement, concrete and other downstream activities. Our principal markets are the major conurbations in England and Wales and the central belt of Scotland. We have no production operations in Northern Ireland. Visit Hanson
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Leading economy-wide transformation by backing enterprise and long-term growth, generating cheaper, cleaner, homegrown energy and unleashing the UK as a science superpower through innovation. This funding has been made available from the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which looks to accelerate the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies and systems. The £26 million Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator Programme provides funding for innovation projects that can provide evidence on end-to-end industrial fuel switching to hydrogen.
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Nick Hughes – Senior Business Development Manager