The Tees Valley is set to become home to the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub. The project took a step closer to becoming a reality with the unveiling of a masterplan and £3m in government funding.
A transport hub project will bring together government, industry and academia to focus research, testing and trials across all transport modes.
The masterplan unveiled by the Department for Transport (DFT) says that the hub is expected to be fully operational by 2025.
Pop-up trials could see shops, supermarkets, online retailers, warehouse operators and delivery companies using hydrogen-powered transport to move goods and carry out last-mile deliveries.
Local transport operators are set to work with the transport research and development (R&D) sector to deliver emission-free hydrogen passenger services, such as on-demand regional buses or zero-emission refuse vehicles.
Facilities within the hub will include an R&D campus for the creation and sharing of knowledge. The DfT hopes the campus will enable the hydrogen transport hub to act as a living lab to understand the role of hydrogen as part of the energy transition in the transport sector.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “By harnessing the power of hydrogen technology, we have the opportunity to bring long-term prosperity right across the country. The hub will establish the UK as a global leader in hydrogen technology, paving the way for its use across all transport modes and propelling us towards our net-zero goals.”
There are hopes that the hub could help create up to 5,000 new jobs in the North East over the long-term.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “From offshore wind manufacturing, carbon capture utilisation and storage and hydrogen, make no mistake, Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are at the forefront of powering forward the UK’s clean energy ambitions.
“Our region already produces more than 50% of the UK’s hydrogen, so it was a no-brainer for the government to set up the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub in Teesside, so we can lead the way in developing the technology and fully unleash our area’s potential as we build back greener.”
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