UK to Create World’s First Net-zero Emissions Industrial Zone by 2040

‘Net Zero Teesside’ to convert a steel manufacturing plant into a Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage facility

The UK is working towards achieving its ambitious goal of creating the world’s first net-zero emissions industrial zone with Net Zero Teesside. Six projects working on this goal across the UK have recently received £8m from the government’s £170m Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge fund. The fund has been set up to meet the UK’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

A net-zero emissions industrial zone will house industries that collectively use low-carbon energy and green technology to bring their emissions down to zero. Situated in Tees Valley in North England, Net Zero Teesside will convert a large part of Redcar Steelworks into a Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage facility. The move is expected to create close to 5,000 jobs for locals. Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen said: “Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering and chemical processing for generations. Now we are a trailblazer for the jobs of the future.”

Net Zero Teesside is being developed by a consortium of energy companies, some of which are BP, Shell and Total. The Carbon Storage and Capture facility is expected to capture up to 6m tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This is equivalent to the energy consumed by almost 2m homes every year. The captured carbon dioxide will be shipped to storage sites under the North Sea via pipeline. Ben Houchen was quoted saying, “Industries across [Teesside] emit 8.8 million tonnes of CO2 a year, so it is crucial that we develop the technologies to decarbonize these hugely important businesses.”

Teesside is also set to house the country’s first Hydrogen Transport Centre. Established in collaboration with Teesside University with £14m in funding, the centre will focus on clean energy innovation, research and development. More than half of UK’s hydrogen is being produced at Teesside, and the centre will focus specifically on hydrogen-powered technology for both public and private transportation.

The UK government recently announced an ambitious Ten Point Plan for the green energy sector, and an Energy White Paper. Over the next decade, the UK has committed to creating 2,20,000 jobs in the green energy sector. Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK is leading the world’s green industrial revolution, with ambitious targets to decarbonise our economy… this funding will help key industrial areas meet the challenge of contributing to our cleaner future while maintaining their productive and competitive strengths.”