South Wales Industrial Cluster Bid To Decarbonise Region By 2040 Awaits Decision

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RWE is pleased to be a partner in the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC); a consortium of some of Wales’ top industry, energy, infrastructure, law, academic and engineering organisations.

Earlier this year the project received an allocation of grant funding for South Wales from Innovate UK that supported the first phase of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) Roadmap and Deployment projects.

Following on from this success, South Wales businesses and industry have joined forces to submit a public and private bid for a £37million project, to scope out a route to the decarbonisation of industry in the South Wales region. The bid will help the group to plan the acceleration of being net zero and create the UK’s first large scale carbon dioxide shipping industry at the same time.

The South Wales Industrial Clusters (SWIC) application is being led by Costain Oil, Gas and Process, and partners alongside RWE include; Associated British Ports, Capital Law, CR Plus, Industry Wales, Lanzatech, Lightsource bp, Milford Haven Port Authority, Progressive Energy,Shell, Simec Power, Tarmac, Tata Steel, The Port of Milford Haven, The University of South Wales, Valero Energy and Wales & West Utilities.

The bid has been made as part of UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Industrial Decarbonisation Fund, with industry putting forward £18 million towards the project.

Phil Cahill, strategy business manager, UK Generation, said: “We are really pleased to be part of the SWIC bid, and eagerly await the decision on the awarding of the grant funding which is due to be made by Innovate UK and the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 11 December. If the required funds are granted, RWE will work with the partners in SWIC to develop decarbonisation options for South Wales and we will carry out feasibility studies for the mixing of Hydrogen into the fuel diet of its Pembroke Power Plant and for green hydrogen production. Regardless of the outcome for funding, the company will continue to evaluate all options regarding the possibilities for Hydrogen in the UK.”

The much-anticipated ’10 Point Plan’ to deliver a Green Industrial Revolution will mobilise £12 billion of Government investment and create 250,000 jobs in the “green economy”. With the Prime Minister setting aside a further £200 million on top of £800m already pledged to create “carbon capture clusters”, this bid can play a crucial role as part of this Green Industrial Revolution.

The SWIC deployment project will carry out the urgent engineering studies needed to keep South Wales on the path to decarbonisation, including the production, distribution and use of hydrogen, creating sustainable aviation fuel and carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS), including CO2 shipping from South Wales ports.

This would be the first CO2 shipping industry in the UK and it is estimated could create around a thousand jobs in South Wales, as well as create an entire new industry for the region.

Dr Chris Williams, who is heading up SWIC for Industry Wales, said: “The UK Government has set in law that the UK needs to be net zero by 2050, but the South Wales Industrial Cluster has ambitions to do so earlier, by 2040, in support of several points within the 10 Point Plan and the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge. Our bid, if successful, will help to achieve this in Wales.”

Dr Williams said the fact that so many Welsh businesses are supporting and working on the bid has been pivotal to its achievements so far: “We have a unique opportunity here to change the fate of our environmental and industrial future and so it has been great to get so many businesses supporting and advocating our vision and plans.

“This deployment project will help unlock the route to net zero in South Wales, therefore helping support the future of existing industries, businesses and jobs, but also to help develop the net zero infrastructure required to attract new industries and businesses from abroad and use hydrogen for home heating, power generation and transport across the region.

Hydrogen is key to getting to net zero, across all RWE companies, there are 250 employees working on 30 hydrogen projects in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. RWE is involved in all stages of the H2 value chain, ranging from electricity generation from renewables to hydrogen generation and storage, through to distribution to industrial customers. Through our gas-fired power stations, such as Pembroke Power Station in Wales, the company is positioned to be an off-taker of clean hydrogen for firm, flexible power. It will also support RWE’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2040.

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